Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival Takes a Break for 2023

Due to a period of exciting change at Seren, the Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival will be taking a break in 2023.

The festival is run by the small team behind Welsh independent publisher Seren and arranging the festival each year is an enormous undertaking. Following the retirement of our long-term Publisher Mick Felton, Seren is currently in the process of appointing a new CEO and the Seren team are focused on working together on our forthcoming titles and annual publishing programme.

As a result, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone our 2023 festival. However, we won’t be going away completely, as we are still planning a small series of one-off events to keep us going until we announce our future plans.

Keep an eye on our website and the Seren social media channels for details of these events which will be announced very soon.

Thank you to all our followers for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you again very soon!  

Thank you

Not that the dust has settled, we want to say a big thank you to everyone who joined us in person & online for Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival 2022! We hope you enjoyed the weekend.

Thank you to everyone who joined us in person and online for Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival 2022 and especially to our sponsors and partners

We’d especially like to thank everyone who made the festival possible this year. Thanks to our media partners Culture Colony & AM for handling the online stream, and to Taz Rahman and the team at Just Another Poet for their fantastic reporting throughout the weekend (subscribe to the Just Another Poet Youtube channel to catch up on all the latest). We’d also like to thank our charity partners Daring to Dream.

Thanks must also go to our main sponsors The Rhys Davies Trust, and to the Learned Society of Wales for sponsoring the Meic Stephens Lecture, and Literature Wales for sponsoring our Published during the Pandemic events on Saturday and Sunday.

Thanks to our festival directors Rhian Edwards and Zoë Brigley for organising a fantastic programme, to the festival team for their hand work during the weekend, and of course to all of our performers.

Finally thanks to you our audience for supporting all of our events. We’d love to hear your feedback on your overall experience. Please let us know your thoughts by filling in our quick feedback questionnaire.

The countdown is on

There’s just one week to go until we open our doors for Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival 2022! We’re looking forward to welcoming audiences back in person and online for 3 days of readings, workshops and discussion on the theme of wellbeing. Tickets for all our events are available here. You can also buy Day and Weekend passes to make the most of each day.

To watch any of our events online order a £5 Festival Online Pass and dip in an out of the live stream on our AM channel at any time across the 3 days.

Award-winning line up

Left to right: Abeer Ameer, Jeremy Dixon, SL Grange and Kim Moore

This year’s stellar line-up features numerous award-winning poets including Abeer Ameer and Jeremy Dixon who are both on this year’s Wales Book of the Year shortlist; Kim Moore who was recently shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection; Robert Minhinnick who, as well as being multi-award-winning author, was awarded the Hay Festival Medal for Poetry earlier this year; and the winners of the Poetry Wales Pamphlet Prize and Wales Poetry Award. As if that isn’t enough, our annual Meic Stephens Lecture focuses on the Roland Mathias Prize for Poetry, following publication of the anthology A Last Respect.

Check out our full programme to find out who else is on the line up.

Don’t miss out

Left to right: Claire Williamson, Sian Melangell Dafydd, Cath Drake and Sascha Akhtar

There are still spaces left for our in person workshops. Whether you’re looking to find inspiration in nature with Jonathan Edwards; reset during Sascha Akhtar’s Immersive Mediation session; start the day with relaxing yoga guided by Siân Melangell Dafydd; spark creativity in Cath Drake’s Poetry and Mindfulness Uplift; or learn how to put Feelings into Words with Claire Williamson, there’s something for everyone.

Headline events – in person & online

Left to right: Leanne Wood, Amy Wack and Kizzy Crawford

Join us on Friday 29th July to hear Leanne Wood discuss her Desert Island Poems with Zoë Brigley. This event also supports our charity partner Daring to Dream as we’re donating all proceeds from sales of Leanne’s Desert Island Poems pamphlet to the charity.

On Saturday 30th July our monthly First Thursday reading goes on tour with eight of our regular readers from Chapter appearing alongside our former poetry editor Amy Wack in the First Thursday Showcase.

Finally the weekend closes on Sunday 31st July with a fantastic concert in Welsh and English by muscian Kizzy Crawford.

Digwyddiadau Cymreig / Welsh Events

Left to right: Sian Melangell Dafydd, Angela Graham, Gwyneth Lewis and Rev Aled Edwards

Ddydd Sul 31ain Gorffennaf bydd gennym nifer o ddigwyddiadau yn cael eu cynnal yn Gymraeg. Yn ogystal â dau weithdy dan arweiniad Siân Melangell Dafydd (Barddoniaeth a Ioga a Barddoniaeth a Meddwlgarwch) rydym yn cynnal Barddoniaeth & Noddfa (Poetry & Sanctuary), sef panel dwyieithog wedi’i gadeirio gan Angela Graham a fydd yn cynnwys cyfieithu ar y pryd i’r Saesneg.

On Sunday 31st July we have several events taking place in Welsh. As well as two workshops led by Siân Melangell Dafydd (Barddoniaeth & Yoga and Barddoniaeth & Meddwlgarwch) we’re hosting Barddoniaeth & Noddfa (Poetry & Sanctuary), a bilingual panel chaired by Angela Graham, that will include simultaneous translation into English.

Starting conversations

Conversation sessions: Anyone is welcome to join us for these free informal sessions at The Atrium led by our charity partner Daring to Dream. Reading and writing: their impact on emotional wellbeing. 16:00 Saturday 30th July. 14:00 Sunday 31st July. In person and online via Zoom. Find out more at

In collaboration with our charity partner Daring to Dream, we’re hosting two informal conversation sessions about reading and writing and their impact on emotional wellbeing. Anyone is welcome to join us for these sessions in the workshop room. There will be contributions from festival poets, from a clinical perspective and from adults living with physical illness. These sessions are taking place at 4pm on Saturday 30th July or 2pm on Sunday 31st July.

We hope you can join us for what promises to be a fantastic weekend! Don’t forget to spread the word and join in the conversation online. Find us on Twitter and Facebook #SCPF22.

Tickets for all events

Introducing our charity partner…

We are delighted to announce that Welsh charity Daring to Dream will be our 2022 charity partner.

Daring to Dream supports the emotional health and wellbeing of patients, aged 16 years and over, who are under the care of hospital clinics across Wales. They aspire to help patients dare to dream that their life can be full of colour and joy, despite the emotional and physical demands of living with chronic, serious or critical illness.

As a charity they work to raise awareness of the need for support of emotional health and wellbeing for all patients in Wales, provide that support through the creation of non-clinical ‘safe havens’ in hospitals for patients, their relatives and the staff who care for them, and through facilitating services and activities that support the wellbeing of patients (be they at home or in hospital).

This includes their annual online live-streamed festival Lleswyl, a music festival-at-home celebrating the importance of music to emotional health and wellbeing with a fun, joyous and emotionally uplifting event that everyone can share, including those not normally able to attend live gigs.

As our charity partner, Daring to Dream will be around at the festival talking about their work and how reading and writing can play a key role in boosting emotional wellbeing. We also hope to build relationships that may lead to our authors running events as part of the charity’s ongoing programme of activities in the future.

Daring to Dream’s Chair of Trustees Barbara Chidgey says: “Literature and creative writing can be very powerful tools to support and improve emotional health. A good story, told or written well, or an idea presented interestingly or even provocatively can spark the imagination and take us on a journey beyond our physical limitations. We look forward to working with Seren and its authors to deliver a lasting impact through words.”

As in previous years, the festival will be producing a pamphlet of the poems chosen by Leanne Woods in our Friday headline event Desert Island Poems. All proceeds from the sale of this pamphlet will be donated to Daring to Dream to support their work.

“With this year’s festival focussing on wellbeing, we’re looking forward to partnering with a charity for which this is a key focus. Reading and writing can be vital tools for taking care of our mental health. We look forward to seeing where this partnership takes us in the future.” – Sarah Johnson, Deputy Publisher.

For more information about the charity visit their website

New Client Partnership with the Rhys Davies Trust

Following our incredibly successful third festival, we are delighted to share that we have funding to continue for another three years thanks to financial support from the Rhys Davies Trust.

The Rhys Davies Trust was established in 1991 with funds provided by Lewis Davies, the brother of the author.  It seeks to foster Welsh writing in English, especially in the valleys of South Wales, and in the genres in which Rhys Davies wrote.

The Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival is one of five new Welsh-based client partners taken on by the Trust. Collectively these organisations provide a dynamic and innovative series of creative initiatives designed to celebrate the past of Wales’ long tradition of literary achievement through the medium of English and build towards its future.

Alongside the Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival, the new Rhys Davies Trust Client Partners are: Parthian Books, DylanED, the educational arm of the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize, the South Wales Miners’ Library, and Literature Wales.

The creation of Rhys Davies Trust Client Partners represents the culmination of the Trust’s work over the past three decades. The work of Rhys Davies as well as his influence and interests will live on. 

What this means for us

The Trust’s support will enable us to continue to present some of the best poetry in the world from a range of international poets bringing back to the capital a literary experience of a kind not seen since the Commonwealth Poetry Festival of 1965. Festival Director Amy Wack will take poetry lovers to places they have not been before. The festival will also include the new annual Meic Stephens Lecture on poetry begun in 2020 with a lecture on the career of renowned Welsh poet and documentary maker John Ormond. The 2021 Festival will also take poets into Cardiff schools as part of a programme of increased educational activity.

“We are incredibly grateful to the trust for supporting the festival and its growth over the next few years. We are excited to begin planning for 2021 and look forward to continuing to bring fantastic authors, and their poetry, to Cardiff from all over Wales, the UK and beyond.” – Amy Wack, Festival Director

For more information on the initiatives and programmes supported by the Trust visit