Event 4

Festival Open Mic: Mike Jenkins, Eric Ngalle Charles and Ifor ap Glyn

Friday 14 February 2020

Location: Marble Hall


Bring a single poem to share with us! 

MERTHYR POETS from the IMP, hosted by Mike Jenkins and featuring regular guests: Eric Ngalle Charles and Ifor ap Glyn. Poetry in Welsh, English and Bakweri. Bring a single poem to share with us.

With musical interludes from Merthyr resident Eädyth.

In October 2018 three Wales-based poets travelled to the west African country of Cameroon, the homeland of Eric Charles, in order to launch an anthology of Welsh/Cameroonian writing. These new poems are a unique record of their journey as the poets encounter a lively, contentious and fast-moving nation and make sense of this in their own distinctive ways.

The three poets will read a selection of these artful, challenging, beautifully observant poems that offer the reader a glimpse of a fascinating country through the eyes, ears and hearts of these talented poets. There are dark moments but interspersed throughout is a compelling humanity, exemplified by the vivid street-life of Cameroon, as observed by all. With musical interludes from Merthyr resident Eädyth.

£3 entry fee, Merthyr residents free!

Authors and Artists

Mike Jenkins

Poet, author, editor, retired teacher of English, still doing creative writing workshops with children and adults. Winner of many prizes including Eric Gregory Award & Wales Book of the Year for a collection of short stories Wanting to Belong (Seren).

Former editor Poetry Wales; co-edited Red Poets for 26 years. His latest book of poems is From Aberfan to Grenfell written in Merthyr dialect and part of a collaboration with Swansea artist Alan Perry (Culture Matters). He is also an activist in Indy movement, Yes Cymru. Cardiff City fan.

Mike hosts OPEN MIC MERTHYR poets from the IMP at the festvial on Friday 14th Feb, 7:30 with Ifor ap Glyn, Eric Ngalle Charles and Eädyth.

Eric Ngalle Charles

Eric Ngalle Charles is a Cameroon-born writer, poet, actor and playwright based in Wales. A fellow of the leadership network British-American Project, he currently sits on the Board of Directors for Literature Wales. 

Ngalle Charles is one of the Hay 30 young writers who will help shape the world over the next three decades. He holds a Creative Wales Award from the Arts Council of Wales for his research into migration, memory and trauma.

A recent work is the Wales Cameroon anthology Hiraeth-Erzolirzoli. His plays have been performed at London Southbank Centre, Hay Festival, Llandeilo Festival and many more.

He has published a moving memoir, I, Eric Charles, with Parthian books and has performed his poetry throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.  

Ifor ap Glyn

Ifor ap Glyn is a regular broadcaster in Welsh and English and since 2016, the current Bardd Cenedlaethol or National Poet of Wales. He has published five volumes of poetry, most recently the bilingual collection Cuddle Call? and his work has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Ifor is an active performer, and has taken part on many poetry tours, most recently Y Gadair Wag / The Empty Chair which toured around Wales with dates in London, Belfast and Dublin.

He has won the Crown at the National Eisteddfod, in 1999 and 2013, and as National Poet is proud to represent the literatures of Wales in festivals around the world from Blackwood to Beijing. Ifor visited Cameroon with Eric Ngalle and Mike Jenkins just over a year ago, which inspired some of the poems that he’ll present at this year’s festival in Cardiff.

Ifor was brought up in the Welsh community in London where his family have lived for over a century, and growing up in London was the subject of his first novel Tra Bo Dau. He now lives in Caernarfon, north Wales.


Eädyth is a bilingual soul/Jazz/RnB electronic artistfrom Merthyr, South Wales. In 2017 she competed in the Can I Gymru, and came third in the Brwydr y bandiau at the National Eisteddfod in Anglesey. She performed at the March for Independence Rally in Merthyr on 7 September, 2019, with her sister, Kizzy Crawford.

Eädyth also appeared In the 2019 Poetry festival and we are thrilled to have her back. She is featured this year in the OPEN MIC MERTHYR poets from the IMP with Mike Jenkins, Ifor ap Glyn, and Eric Ngalle Charleson.