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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Sheer poetry

As most of Wales looks to the rugby field this afternoon for its poetry, the Western Mail reports that the Arts Council of Wales have found some money to appoint a Welsh National Poet. The appointment will be a yearly one and it is envisaged that it will alternate between writers who work in English and Welsh.

Academi intend to give the role to a poet who will write about the political and cultural life of Wales. The National Poet's work will form the focus of verse writing in Wales. He or she will also take part in readings and in ceremonies and official occasions.

...."The poet will boost the profile of poetry, benefiting audiences throughout Wales and encourage participation in literature activities amongst young people by visiting schools and taking workshops."

The paper lists a number of poets who might be considered for the role including Gwyneth Lewis, Grahame Davies, Menna Elfyn, Gillian Clarke and Porthcawl-based Robert Minhinnick. There is no mention of Swansea poets, Nigel Jenkins or Peter Thabit Jones however. Let us hope that whoever sits on the panel to choose this person each year has a slightly deeper knowledge of contemporary Welsh literature than the Western Mail.
I don't think your poems qualify, Peter. Don't give up the day job just yet....
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