Thursday, May 5, 2022 - 19:30 to 21:30

Chapter Arts Centre, 
Market Road

First Thursday May – In person and live streamed

On Thursday 5th May, Seren First Thursday returns to Chapter Arts Centre for the first time since start of the pandemic. However, we’ll also be streaming the reading live on Facebook for people to watch from home! 

This month we’re joined by Eric Ngalle Charles, whose debut collection Homelands was published earlier this month. In this book, he draws on his early life raised by the matriarchs of Cameroon, being sent to Moscow by human traffickers, and finding a new home in Wales. Rich in tone, subject and emotion, Charles’ poetry moves between the present and the past, between Africa and Europe, and between despair and hope. It discovers that historical injustices now play out in new forms, and that family tensions are as strong as the love within a family. Despite the difficulties Charles has faced, Homelands contains poems of fondness, warmth and humour and, as he returns to Cameroon to confront old ghosts, forgiveness. 

Our second reader is Rae Howells whose collection The Language of Bees is published by Parthian. With a forensic eye, Howells takes us on a journey through ordinary human lives and the extraordinary natural world we are in danger of losing asking: How can we have hope in a world that is dying? The carder bee carries the story of a colony, a species, and, ultimately, the fate of all life on earth. The mermaid weaves an almost beautiful tale of a tragic miscarriage. The magpie writes yearning letters to her lost lover. The brilliant kingfisher flits through the mind of a woman with dementia. Through each exacting portrait, we begin to understand something special, a language of bees, and discover for ourselves how intimately we are all connected and what the natural world is trying to tell us.

The main readings will be followed by our usual open mic. Unfortunately this month only those attending in person will be able to read. You can email to sign up in advance, or put your name down on the night. 

To watch the live stream, join our Facebook event here

For those joining us at Chapter, entry will be £3.00 on the door (cash only). £2 of the ticket price will be redeemable against any Seren book bought at the event. 

Please note: We will only be able to take CASH payments for copies of The Language of Bees. Our card reader can also be temperamental! We apologise for any inconvenience caused. 



Please consider taking a lateral flow test before attending this event. Do not attend in person if you have symptoms of Coronavirus or have been in close contact with someone with Covid-19 in the 5 days before the event. Mask wearing is encouraged.

Please contact with any questions or access requirements.


Our next First Thursday reading will be on the 9th June, which is the second Thursday of the month (to avoid the bank holiday) and we will be back on Zoom. We are committed to keeping our events as accessible as possible so from now on, First Thursday events will alternate between in person/streamed readings and Zoom events.