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Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Wales Smithsonian Cymru

Poetry and Storytelling

Featured Participants

David Ambrose, Wick
Ambrose serves as director of St. Donats Arts Centre and co-director of Beyond the Border, an organization that promotes understanding of oral traditions and hosts the Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival. Recently, he has worked on an exciting storytelling project, Speaking Volumes, in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Gillian Clarke, Llandysul
Clarke, a writer, playwright, translator, and tutor in creative writing, currently holds the post of National Poet of Wales. Her poetic style and subject matter reflect Welsh culture and traditions. Recent works include A Recipe for Water, her ninth collection of poems, and At the Source, a collection of essays and journal entries.

Gwyneth Glyn, Cardiff
A native Welsh-language singer-songwriter, poet and writer, Glyn graduated from Oxford University in philosophy and theology. She draws inspiration from her beloved Welsh landscape, from Welsh folk heritage, and from her American icons, musicians Gillian Welch and Gram Parsons. Accompanied by her guitar, Glyn brings together these great musical traditions.

Ifor ap Glyn, Caernarfon
Ap Glyn grew up in the Welsh-speaking community in London, where his family has lived for more than one hundred years. He now resides in Caernarfon where he works as a television producer. In 1999, he composed the Crown-winning poem at the National Eisteddfod, and in 2008-2009, he served as Children's Poet Laureate of Wales.

Jon Gower, Cardiff
Gower has worked as a journalist and documentary filmmaker for twenty-five years and was BBC Wales's first arts and media correspondent. He has written or edited ten books, including an account of a disappearing island in Chesapeake Bay. He has just published his first Welsh-language novel which links the cities of Buenos Aires, Oakland, and Cardiff.

Esyllt Harker, Llandovery
Harker, a versatile singer and storyteller, draws primarily on her strong Welsh roots. She is known for her deft interweaving of spoken and sung material in the Welsh and English languages. She has performed frequently at the Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival and in varied venues, including theaters, schools, castles, and cliff-tops.

Ceri Wyn Jones, Cardigan
Jones won Wales's most coveted poetry prize, the Chair, at the 1997 National Eisteddfod. His first collection, Dauwynebog, was short-listed for the Wales Book of the Year Award in 2008, and his poetry is studied throughout Wales. In 2003-04, Jones was the Children's Poet Laureate of Wales, and he continues to organize enriching poetry workshops around the country.

Mab Jones, Cardiff
Jones is a darkly witty performance poet. She won the John Tripp Audience Award for Spoken Poetry and was a semi-finalist in the Radio 4 National Poetry Slam and Funny Women competitions. Jones has teamed with well-known poets and comedians, performed at the Edinburgh and Leicester comedy festivals, and worked as a writer with the Welsh National Opera.

Aneirin Karadog, Pontyberem
The son of a Welsh father and a Breton mother, Karadog speaks five languages, writes poetry in Cynghanedd (strict Welsh meter), and raps multilingually with hip-hop groups Y Diwygiad and Genod Droog. His other accomplishments include winning the National Urdd Eisteddfod Chair in 2005 and writing a story for Scriture Giovanni, a project that connects young authors across Europe.

Daniel Morden, Abergavenny
Morden has told traditional tales for a living since 1989. His work takes him all over the world, from the Arctic to the Pacific, and he regularly performs at the National Theatre, the Barbican Centre, and major literature festivals in Britain. In 2007, his book Dark Tales from the Woods won a Tir na n-Og Award.

Sharon Morgan, Cardiff
Morgan has been a familiar presence on stage, screen, and radio for almost forty years, performing in both Welsh and English. In 1998, she won a BAFTA Best Actress Award. She has written a trilogy on women's identity, and her translated rendition of The Vagina Monologues won the Theatre-Wales Best Production award in 2004.

Clare Potter, Pontypridd
Raised in Blackwood, South Wales, Potter moved to the United States and earned a master's in Afro-Caribbean literature. Afterwards, the experiences of Hurricane Katrina and living in New Orleans for eight years sparked her collection of poems, Spilling Histories (2006). Recipient of the 2004 John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry, Potter is writing a memoir and a play about story-telling.