An appeal has been launched by one of Wales’s leading literary festivals to find poets to take part in a unique relay around a shopping centre.
To kick of this year’s festival the Carnival of Words will be staging a Poetry Baton event at Eagles Meadow in Wrexham on Saturday, April 29.
The poetry relay will travel around the shopping centre with the poets being spread out across the shopping centre.
It will be one of a number of events being held at Eagles Meadow during the week-long festival.
Organisers are keen to hear from any poets from the area who want to have their work heard.
According to festival director Dylan Hughes, a former librarian the festival has grown in popularity since its launch three years ago.
He said: “The Poetry Baton event at Eagles Meadow will be on the first day of the festival and will involve poets reading their work before passing on the baton to the next poet to read theirs.
“Poets will be spread around Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre. Any poets that want to take part should get in touch through our website.
“Our aim is to get the most poets taking part in one continuous reading in Wrexham. And the language the poetry is written in isn’t important. We want to hear Welsh, English, Polish, Spanish or any other language. It isn’t the language but the words that matter.”
He added: “Then, also at Eagles Meadow on Monday, May 1st between 11am and 3pm we will be holding a new Voices event at Eagles Meadow. This will be an opportunity for new literary voices to share their writing journeys with the audience.
“The event will be introduced by bestselling author AD Garrett and will offer the chance for a Q and A session with the new authors, all of whom live within a 25 mile radius of Wrexham.”
“The festival’s packed programme will see events taking place right across the town with leading authors such as Joanne Harris, who wrote Chocolat, Barbara Erskine, who wrote Lady of Hay and Ben Kane, who wrote The Eagles of Rome all attending the festival and on hand to discuss their work.
“We also have the former Labour Government Minister Alan Johnson who will be discussing The Long and Winding Road, the latest volume of his autobiography at Gwersyllt Community Resource Centre.”
Patrick Cox, Coleg Cambria’s Library Services Manager and a festival committee member, added: “We also have the acclaimed local poet and author Aled Lewis Evans presenting a retrospective account of his work at the Catrin Finch Centre.
“And the Saith Seren pub and Welsh Centre will be hosting a popular open mic for poets and writers featuring Alys Conran.
“There will also be a collective effort to write the 2017 Wrexham Workers’ Poem in local workplaces with the final version being performed at Gwersyllt Community Resource Centre.
“Crime writing will be featured with a behind-the-scenes look at real life murder investigations with Lisa Cutts, a police officer with the serious Crime Directorate, and Simon Booker who has written extensively for television series such as the Inspector Lynley Mysteries.”
Paul Jeorrett, of Glyndwr University Library and a festival committee member said: “The popular Murder Mystery event will be taking place again this year at Wrexham Library with a script from award-winning crime writer Anne Cleves based on the latest Shetland novel Cold Earth.
“The comedy drama Bothered and Bewildered by Gail Young will present a moving insight into the realities of dementia whilst local walkers will not wish to miss Ramblers and Readers.
“Award winning graphic novelist Karrie Fransman will explore why comics are entering a new golden age.
“Historical fiction provides one of the highlights of this year’s Carnival when a panel of authors who know their eras inside out will try to convince you that if you were to step back in time, you’d choose their period. Come along ready to vote and then be prepared to change your mind!
“Lucienne Boyce, author of The Bristol Suffragettes will also show how the establishment tried to turn the tide against the campaigns of the Suffragettes.”
Fellow committee member Gwyneth Marshman, a web designer, said: “It’s a packed and really interesting Carnival and we are delighted the event is gaining in popularity.
“There really is something for everyone and the Carnival is going from strength to strength. We don’t want the festival to grow too commercial, we want to keep that local feel and celebrate and do justice to Wrexham’s literary roots.”
She added: “We are really pleased with the support of Eagles Meadows shopping centre and the other venues around the town that are pulling out all the stops to ensure the success of the event.
“It’s going to be a wonderful festival and I’d encourage people to visit our website and see what’s going on and how they can get involved or check out the programme at local libraries and other community venues.”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley said: “We are thrilled to be involved with the Carnival for a third time. Previous events here at Eagles Meadow have been very popular with our shoppers and visitors and it’s an event we are keen to help promote.
“I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the Poetry Baton and New Voices events here at Eagles Meadow. It is something different and any event that highlights literacy, books and learning is worth getting involved with.”
To find out more about the Wrexham Carnival of Words and to check out the full programme of events please visit www.wrexhamcarnivalofwords.com