2021: Event 9

(9) Poetry Wales Party

Friday 16th April | 7:30-8:30pm | Free

An evening of wonderful poetry from recent issues of Wales’ premier literary journal, hosted by Editor Jonathan Edwards and Jannat Ahmed. Founded by Meic Stephens In the 1960s, and edited by some of Wales’ best poets, Poetry Wales has gained a surge of popularity thanks to the current team and to the featured poets who make up a generous sampling of work to have recently appeared in the magazine. With Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, Alan Gillis, Merrie Joy Williams, Jessica Mookherjee, David Clarke, and Amanda Rackstraw.

Sign Language interpretation provided

If you’ve already registered under another event there is no need to sign up again. One link will allow you access to any free event across the weekend so that you can drop in and out of the ones you’re most interested in.

The Festival is organising the bookselling in partnership with bookshop.org. There’s an expanded range of Festival titles for each event available from our bookshop.org affiliate shop. Take a look at them here. If you buy from our shop, you are supporting the Festival, the writers, the publishers, and, thanks to the way bookshop.org operates, independent booksellers generally.

Poetry Wales

Jonothan Edwards holding a book, performing a reading.

Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards‘s first collection, My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren, 2014) received the Costa Poetry Award and the Wales Book of the Year People‘s Choice Award, and was shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. His second collection, Gen (Seren, 2018), also received the Wales Book of the Year People‘s Choice Award, and in 2019 his poem about Newport Bridge was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. He lives in Crosskeys, south Wales, and is Editor of Poetry Wales.

Jonathan Edwards – Gen
ISBN-13: 9781781724736

Jannat Ahmed

Jannat Ahmed was born and grew up in Barry, Wales and is co-founder and editor-in-chief at Lucent Dreaming, an independent magazine for writing and art. She graduated with a master’s degree in English Literature from Cardiff University and is better known as Subscriptions and Marketing Officer at Poetry Wales where she introduced, and now manages, Wales Poetry Award and Wales Young Poets Award/Gwobr Beirdd Ifanc Cymru. She has previously performed at Where I’m Coming From as a featured artist.

Lucent Dreaming

Alan Gillis

Alan Gillis  is from Belfast and now lives in Scotland, where he teaches English at The University of Edinburgh. His most recent poetry collection  The Readiness was published by Picador in 2020, following four collections with The Gallery Press:  Scapegoat  (2014), Here Comes the Night  (2010),  Hawks and Doves  (2007) and Somebody, Somewhere  (2004), which won the Strong Award for Best First Collection in Ireland. He has been shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize, the  Irish Times  Poetry Now Award, and he was selected as a ‘Next Generation Poet’ by the Poetry Book Society in 2014.

Alan Gillis – The Readiness
ISBN 13: 978-1529037661

Amanda Rackstraw

Amanda  Rackstraw  started out as a  RADA  trained actor. After she moved to Wales, she continued to work as a performer and storyteller, combining this with a second degree and MA at Cardiff University where she taught creative writing until 2017. She has been published in  Mslexia, Planet, New Welsh Review, Acumen and Poetry Wales  and longlisted for the last four years for the National Poetry  Prize; also shortlisted for the Bridport.  Amanda has found inspiration walking the coastline near to where she lives; there’s a short poem of hers on a sculpture outside the walled garden in Dunraven  Bay.  

David Clarke

David Clarke is the author of two poetry pamphlets (Gaud, Michael Marks Award Winner 2013;  Scare Stories, a Poetry School ‘Book of the Year’ in 2017) and two full collections (Arc, longlisted for the Polari Prize 2016; The Europeans, 2019). His work has also appeared in journals including  Magma, Poetry Wales, Long Poem Magazine, and Under the Radar

David Clarke – The Europeans
Nine Arches
ISBN: 9781911027690

Jessica Mookherjee

Jessica is of Bengali origin, grew up in Wales and now lives in Kent. Her work appears in many journals including Agenda, Poetry Wales, The North, Rialto, Under the Radar, Birmingham Literary Review and in various anthologies including the forthcoming Bloodaxe’s  Staying Human. Her pamphlets are The Swell (Telltale Press 2016) and Joyride  (BLER Press 2017). She was highly commended in the 2017 Forward Prize.  Her first collection, Flood, was published by Cultured Llama in 2018 and her second, Tigress, by Nine Arches Press in 2019. She is a joint editor of Against the Grain Poetry Press.

Jessica Mookherjee – Tigress
Nine Arches
ISBN: 9781911027720

Merrie Joy Williams

Merrie Joy Williams is a poet, novelist, editor, and educator, who is a winner of the Poetry Archive’s Wordview 2020 competition. She is the recipient of a London Writers Award, an Arts Council England award, an Obsidian Foundation fellowship, and was shortlisted for the 2020 Bridport Prize. Merrie’s work has featured in Poetry Wales, The Interpreter’s House, and The Good Journal, amongst others. Her debut collection is Open Windows (Waterloo Press). Magma has described the collection as “generous and openhearted… poems for the stage as well as the page”, and Williams as “a poet to watch and listen out for”. 

Merrie Joy Williams – Open Windows
Waterloo Press
ISBN: 9781906742881

Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch

Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch is a poet whose publications have been shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year (Not in These Shoes,  Picador  2008), the Roland Mathias Prize (Banjo,  Picador  2012) and the Michael Marks Award (Lime & Winter,  Rack 2014).  In 2015 Samantha won an Arts Council Creative Wales Award to write the performance piece  Tango in Stanzas.  In 2019 she was awarded a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.  Samantha runs a writers’ retreat on the Wales Coastal Path (writebythecoast.co.uk) and is currently working on a new collection. 

Samantha W. RhydderchBanjo
Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9780330544665