two children’s winners for Wales

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Casi Wyn and Connor Allen. Images Literature Wales

It has been a busy time for poetry in Wales as two new children’s winners have been announced by Literature Wales.

Casi Wyn from Bangor took over from Bardd Plant, the role in Welsh and Connor Allen from Newport took the job in English.

The Children’s Poet Laureate project is managed by Literature Wales with support from the Welsh Government, S4C, Welsh Books Council and Urdd Gobaith Cymru.

Casi and Connor were appointed to the posts following an open call in May 2021 and the news was announced on National Poetry Day, October 7, which is an “annual celebration of poetry and all. which is poetic ”.

The announcement was made on the Literature Wales website, explaining that the two projects will run side by side by 2023 and that the poets are expected to work with children ages 5 to 13, inspiring and nurturing “A generation of more creative, diverse and healthy writers and readers”.

Introducing young poets, Literature Wales said: “Casi Wyn is a familiar face in Wales and beyond as a singer and songwriter. Many of his songs are regularly played on radio stations across the UK. Casi is also one of the founders of Codi Pais, a magazine and independent publisher that puts forward new and diverse voices. In 2021, she publishes two musical books for children, Tonnau Cariad and Dawns y Ceirw. His short animation, Dawns y Ceirw was broadcast on S4C on Christmas Eve 2020. ”

Casi said: “There is no force that can rival that of literature and music, it is what unites us as human beings. Bardd Plant Cymru’s role is incredibly wide, and I look forward to meeting Wales children across the country and hearing their unique and diverse voices.

The world is changing at a rate we’ve never seen before – our goal is to be open to new ideas and ways to process our experiences. Children can guide me in this area. I am excited to begin !

Connor Allen is a multidisciplinary poet and artist from Newport. Connor’s work is heavily inspired by elements of his own life such as grief, love, masculinity, identity, and ethnicity.

He has written for BBC Wales, Sherman Theater, BBC Radio 4 and Dirty Protest, and received funding from the Arts Council of Wales for the production of his first play Working Not Begging – a play by a woman on the homelessness and mourning.

He won the Literature Wales and Firefly Press Rising Star Wales Award 2021 and was a recipient of the Jerwood Live Work Fund in 2021. He is currently working on his autobiographical solo show, a collection of poetry and a theatrical adaptation.

Connor said: “I grew up on a municipal estate in Newport, and poetry and the arts have always been seen as a great giant mammoth above us… The opportunity to demystify poetry and present it as a simple expression of what you feel is one of them. the main reasons I wanted to be a winner of the Wales Children’s Prize.

Inspire

Lleucu Siencyn, Managing Director of Literature Wales, said: “When children have the opportunity to meet an author, whether in class, at a festival or on Zoom, they are introduced to a world of creativity, which offers a wealth of personal knowledge. advantages. As well as being excellent writers, Connor Allen and Casi Wyn are both natural performers, and I am sure they will draw on their many talents to inspire children and young people in Wales to explore their creative voices. Our younger generations have so much to say, and I, for one, look forward to hearing them.

Deputy Arts and Sports Minister Dawn Bowden said: “I am delighted that Connor Allen and Casi Wyn have been appointed to these influential positions. Every child deserves to have their voice heard and their experiences reflected in the cultural figures of Wales. Engaging in creative writing and reading activities can transform lives, unleash children’s potential and open new doors – and it is very exciting to see how they will share their stories and find confidence in their voices. inspiration from Connor and Casi.


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