Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival Returns for its Third Year

10 January 2020 - 12:16pm

Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival Returns for its Third Year

10 January 2020 - 12:16pm

The 2020 Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival is set to be the biggest yet, with 21 fantastic events over the course of this 3-day winter weekend.

The Sunday evening headline event sees Manic Street Preachers frontman James Dean Bradfield discuss his Desert Island Poems with the BBC’s Huw Stephens.

We’ll be announcing the winners of the very first Wales Poetry Award, and hosting the inaugural Meic Stephens Lecture, with Kieron Smith discussing the extraordinary career of renowned documentary maker and poet John Ormond.

Deryn Rees-Jones will be reading from her T.S. Eliot-shortlisted collection Erato, and there will be workshops with leading poets including Sandeep Parmar, Carrie Etter and the newly appointed Editor of Poetry Wales, Jonathan Edwards.

This year the Festival has relocated from Cornerstone to the Temple of Peace in Cathays Park. This art deco gem provides more dedicated spaces for workshops and events, as well as a bookshop and a bar and café situated in the impressive Marble Hall. The catering is provided by Oasis Cardiff, a charity dedicated to helping Refugees and Asylum Seekers integrate within their local community, and the menu reflects their ethos, packed with flavours from around the world.

There will be workshops for aspiring writers and events featuring film, music, art and, of course, poetry from both established and new authors. Also returning to the festival will be Lucy Smith, creator of the Talking Ink podcast. Lucy will be speaking to emerging authors throughout the festival, hosting exclusive interviews that you will be able to listen back to once the event is over.

The Festival is dedicated to presenting some of the finest poets working in Wales, the UK and beyond. With lower ticket prices than in previous years, our events are accessible for all. We’re also scheduling ‘free’ poetry readings in the café between main events.

None of this would be possible without the support of our excellent sponsors and we give special thanks to the Rhys Davies Trust who are supporting the festival and its growth for the next three years. The Trust is a registered charity first set up by Meic Stephens, with funds provided by Lewis Davies, brother of writer Rhys Davies (1901-78). Its objectives are to promote the writer’s work and foster English and Welsh writing in English, especially in the valleys of south Wales and in the genres in which Rhys Davies wrote.

Festival organiser Amy Wack says:

“Poetry is one of the major art forms. Moreover, it’s a form currently enjoying a surge in popularity, readership and participation, with widespread coverage in print, broadcast and digital platforms. Recent years have seen a burgeoning of poetry festivals, expanding from rural locations like Ledbury, Aldeburgh, and Stanza in Scotland to newer urban festivals in Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle and Bristol. As we build on the success of our two previous Festivals, and with a schedule for growth running to 2022, Cardiff can stake a claim to be a cultural centre on a par with these English cities.”

View the full programme and buy tickets at


Authors and Events include:

Vinegar Valentines, a workshop on love-gone-wrong poems with the popular Rhian Edwards.

Festival Open Mic with guest-host Mike Jenkins, and guests Eric Ngalle Charles, Ifor ap Glyn and singer Eädyth.

Poetry Book Society spring recommendation, Marvin Thompson, with a workshop on Form and Rhyme.

The uproarious Cardiff-based performance poet Peter Finch with his new collection The Machineries of Joy.

A film featuring Cardiff-based rising poet Eric Ngalle Charles.

Ailbhe Darcy hosts an evening of Irish Women Poets with jazz accompaniment in the Cardiff Poetry Experiment.

A Poetry Wales Party featuring the winners of the inaugural Wales Poetry Award.

Zoë Skoulding with her PBS Winter recommended title, Footnotes to Water, accompanied by ambient soundscapes.

Daljit Nagra reading from his collection British Museum.

Poems for the Planet with Carrie Etter, author of The Weather in Normal, 2019 Mslexia Pamphlet Prize winner Jane Lovell (This Tilting Earth) and André Mangeot with his new collection Blood Rain.

An event to remember the wonderful Welsh poet Dannie Abse with Robert Minhinnick, Lynne Hjelmgaard and those who knew him.

Plus much more…

Please, join us for a fabulous weekend of art, music, discussion, film and of course POETRY!