Announcing our 2021 programme

Join us from the comfort of your own home for four jam-packed days of readings, workshops and events. With twenty-three to choose from you’ll be spoilt for choice.

This year, for the first time, all of our events (excluding workshops) are FREE. Registration will give you access to all our main events, enabling you to drop in and out to attend the performances that most interest you. 

Our exciting line-up features a plethora of talent. Benjamin Zephaniah will share his Desert Island Poems with Rhian Edwards. Cerys Matthews presents her new poetry/music crossover album We Come From the Sun, and there will be readings from poetry stars like Tishani Doshi, Joe Dunthorne, Pascale Petit, Patience Agbabi, Katrina Naomi and Kim Moore.   

We celebrate the fantastic literary culture we have here in Wales. In the annual Meic Stephens Lecture, Professor M. Wynn Thomas will discuss his book The History of Wales in Twelve Poems with poet Gwyneth Lewis, while Poetry Wales hosts a party with various guest readers from the magazine.

We showcase emerging new voices such as Natalie Ann Holborow, Mari Ellis Dunning, Abeer Ameer and Alex Wharton, as well as more familiar artists like Paul Henry and Brian Briggs (of Stornaway) performing their music/poetry collaboration, Cave Songs. Christopher Meredith is launching both his novel Please and poetry collection Still, whose publication side by side on the same day is a rare, if not unique, publishing event.

Renowned Welsh-language poets Mererid Hopwood and Menna Elfyn expand the narrow walls of Lockdown through poetry from their own rooms on either side of the river Tywi in Ceisio’r Neuadd Fawr (Seeking the Large Hall). There will be dual-language readings from Troeon : Turnings, a Welsh/English collaboration between Philip Gross, Cyril Jones and artist Valerie Coffin Price; and Let Me Tell You What I Saw, an Arabic/English translation of Adnan Al-Sayegh epic poem Uruk’s Anthem translated by Jenny Lewis.   

For poetry enthusiasts, we also have several workshops with tutors such as Jonathan Edwards, Tishani Doshi, Katrina Naomi and Christina Thatcher. Spaces are limited through so book fast to avoid disappointment!

Other contributors include Moniza Alvi, Dai George, Fred D’Aguiar, Caroline Smith, Rob Mackenzie, Zoë Brigley, Kristian Evans, Ruth Awad, Sean Hewitt, Jenny Mitchell, Laura Wainright, So Mayer, Anne-Marie Fyfe, Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, Alan Gillis, Merrie Joy Williams, Jessica Mookherjee, David Clarke, Amanda Rackstraw, Elizabeth Burnett, Polly Atkin, Angela Graham, Rosalind Hudis, Mir Mafuz Ali, Robert Walton, Raymond Antrobus and Belinda Zhawi.

The Festival aims to be as accessible and inclusive as possible, with a mix of measures including live captioning, making poems available as text, and having audio description of images. Several events will be accompanied by sign language interpretation. Go to our Accessibility page for full details of the steps we’re taking to improve inclusivity.

We hope you can join us for what promises to be a fantastic four days!