Celebration of Swansea poet raises money for Harry’s Fund
A poetry and performance event celebrating the work of a contemporary local poet is set to take place in a Swansea gallery bar this week, raising money to support bereaved parents and children.
The event will showcase the poetry of David Hughes and will be performed by actors from the stage and screen, Christian Patterson, Sophie Melville, Lisa Zahra, Richard Mylan and Lee Mengo.
David Hughes centres his poetry in the heart of Swansea, its people and language. With his poetry collections and monologues he explores character, memory and Welsh identity.
Since the former social worker turned to poetry, he has released two poetry collections, Tidy Boy (1998) and Working Out (2021), as well as creating a series of historical monologues as part of ‘Catch the Echoes’ which can be heard at Margam Park and along parts of the River Tawe.
Taking place at the Elysium on High Street, the event is the brainchild of actor Lee Mengo who is an acting tutor at Bridgend college and collaborates with Swansea’s Grand Ambition.
Lee said: “I’ve always loved his work and often use it when working with young actors. To have that connection with modern material written about where they’re from is gold dust and they always bond with it much better than other poetry.
“Last year I performed his well known poem Swonzee Boy See at the 125th anniversary for Swansea Grand. It had such a great response that I knew I wanted to do something with more with his work.”
The proceeds of the night will go to support Harry’s Fund which was set up in memory of Harry Patterson, the son of Michelle McTernan and Christian Patterson, who died tragically when he was just 5yrs old.
In the years following Harry’s death, the fund has helped build a vibrant park in his name at the heart of Alltwen where he lived and each year, a Christmas tree donated and planted in his memory becomes the focal point of community celebrations.
Lee said: “The money raised will go straight to them to support bereaved parents and children, along with the other work they do.
“On the day Michelle McTernan will be speaking about an art project she has planned that will bring together parents who have lost a child.
“I’ve managed to get a bunch of amazing actors together who all grew up in Swansea and have gone on to have fantastic career in theatre film and TV. I would really love people to come along and hear David’s brilliant words and maybe have a laugh too as many of the poems really do reflect Swansea people and the lives we live.”
The event, which will last about an hour, will be at the Elysium, 4 February at 4pm. It’s pay what you can but please reserve a ticket at [email protected] as places are limited.
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