Newly instated Bardd Plant Cymru gets straight to work
Literature Wales has announced that author and playwright Nia Morais has stepped into the role of Bardd Plant Cymru (Children’s Laureate) and is wasting no time getting her teeth into the role.
Bardd Plant Cymru is a national role which aims to spark imagination and inspire the children of Wales through poetry.
Nia Morais is a writer and playwright from Cardiff. Her work often focuses on self image, mental health and magic. In 2020, she released her first audio play, Crafangau, as part of Sherman Theatre’s Heart of Cardiff project.
Nia is currently Writer in Residence at Sherman Theatre and her first full play Imrie, co-produced by Frân Wen and Sherman Theatre, toured Wales over the summer of 2023.
Nia has made several media appearances on television programs such as Heno and Prynhawn da since stepping into the role, as well as featuring on radio shows with Aled Hughes and Ffion Dafis. Furthermore, Nia has published two poems as Bardd Plant Cymru: “Tymor yr Afalau” and “FelMerch” – a poem commissioned by Urdd Gobaith Cymru to celebrate their national conference FelMerch back in the autumn.
Nia has also been working with children inside and outside the classroom across Wales from Carmarthenshire to Flintshire.
As part of the T. Llew Jones Day celebrations on October 11th, Nia visited Yr Egin to work with pupils from comprehensive schools in Carmarthenshire and has recently returned from visiting primary schools in Flintshire and Denbighshire as part of celebrating Gwyl Gerallt in Caerwys at the end of November. She also worked with children from Adran yr Urdd Grangetown to write a poem about their local area.
Nia will continue to visit schools in the lead-up to Christmas and is looking forward to the new year, where she will be taking part in Criw Creu, a Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru project, a poetry project with schools across Wales; and activities in the Eisteddfod yr Urdd in Powys and the National Eisteddfod in Rhondda Cynon Taf next year.
Nia said: “I’m so proud to be Bardd Plant Cymru and it’s been such a joy getting started. I feel very excited to return to the world of poetry after some time away, and very grateful to be able to share my time with the young people of Wales.
“I was eager to get the role because I love working with young people – it’s very satisfying and I get a lot of inspiration from seeing what interests them. I love writing poetry and hope to be able to create great work with the young people of Wales.”
It was established in 2000, and 17 poets have undertaken the role since. The role is awarded every two years to a Welsh poet who is passionate about ensuring that more children and young people discover the thrill and power of literature through the medium of Welsh.
Every Bardd Plant Cymru is committed to expanding children’s and young people’s access to Welsh literature; improving the mental and physical health and well-being of children and young people through literature; increasing children and young people’s enjoyment of literature empowering children and young people through creativity,
Discussing Nia’s appointment, Ciarán Eynon, Principal Poet of the Urdd Eisteddfod 2022 said: “Many congratulations to Nia on being appointed Bardd Plant Cymru 2023-2025. This is an exciting appointment, and I was convinced during the appointment process by her vision to place enormous importance on the self-image, self-confidence and expression of children and young people (as her creative work also testifies) following such a volatile and uncertain period.
“But more than that, there is no doubt that Nia has that innate ability to hold the attention of a class of young people in the palm of her hand. As part of the trial workshop, Nia made writing and words an infectious experience for young people and we wish her the best of luck as she shapes the course of her time stewarding this important role.”
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