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   

We are dedicating our 2019 festival to Christian Brown, OBE, KSG… 

Christian Brown

We are dedicating our 2019 festival to the inspirational whirlwind that was Christian Brown, OBE, KSG, Co-Director of our First Festival and the force behind the restoration of the beautiful Cornerstone building in Charles Street.

Christian sadly died in 2018, but he left a legacy of passionate involvement in the arts, particularly poetry and music. We salute his memory.

“Christian Brown was an irrepressible font of enthusiasm for the arts and as co-founder of the Seren/Cornerstone Poetry festival he has contributed to the culture of Wales in no small measure. We celebrate his vision, courage and considerable humour. He will be missed.” – Amy Wack, Seren Poetry Editor

Christian is pictured with Cornerstone Poet in Residence Katherine Stansfield, who performed in the Seren/Cornerstone Poetry Festival, which took place for the first time in February 2018.

The festival would not have taken place without Christian’s dynamic leadership and his passion for poetry; we will be forever grateful for his partnership and support.

‘He was full of enthusiasm for the role of poetry in Cornerstone’s new life, believing it could offer a special record of the year’s events, diverse as they were. As poet-in-residence it was my job to capture life at Cornerstone – a bustling place with a rich history of different forms of worship – in five poems, written over the course of twelve months.’
Katherine Stansfield (read more)

If you have any queries you can get in touch with the festival team through our Contact page