Her 100 Cerdd: Four Poets, 24 Hours, 100 Poems

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Literature Wales is pleased to announce the return of Her 100 Cerdd as part of its National Poetry Day celebrations.

Now in its sixth year, the Her 100 Cerdd is a challenge for a team of four Welsh-language poets to compose a hundred original poems within twenty-four hours.  The brave poets who have accepted this year’s challenge are Manon Awst (pictured), Caryl Bryn, Morgan Owen and Osian Owen.

Each poet will need to compose at least one poem every hour in order to complete the challenge in time. Past teams have reached the deadline with only seconds to spare. Will this year’s fabulous four follow suite and finish as the clock strikes twelve?

The challenge will begin at 12.00 noon on Thursday 4 October, and the final poem must be written and published by 12.00 noon on Friday 5 October. All 100 poems will be published as and when they’re written on literaturewales and shared on social media. The challenge is part of National Poetry Day – an annual celebration of poetry and its power to bring people together.  The public are invited to join the Challenge by suggesting topics and sending words of wisdom during the twenty-four hours.

The challenge was first introduced in 2012. Over the years it has offered a poetic snapshot of present-day Wales – our politics, interests, news and culture. Some of the 500 poems composed over the past 5 years have included romantic or humorous songs; poetical odes to pork pies and a certain brand of beer; good luck messages for new homes, marriages and half marathons; and even an epic poem depicting a fight between country music duo, John ac Alun, with sibling TV presenters, Y Brodyr Gregory.

Manon Awst is an artist and researcher. Originally from Anglesey, she studied Architecture at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and Artistic Research studies at the royal College of Art, London. She currently works from her studio in Caernarfon developing art installations and commissions as well as studying part-time for a PhD at Bangor University – researching the significance of purpose-based art work in Wales. Since attending the Cynganeddu Course at Tŷ Newydd in 2017, Manon has continued to develop her poetry and regularly performs with Cywion Cranogwen, a collective group of young female poets, authors, musicians and performers.

Caryl Bryn hails from Amlwch, Anglesey, but now lives in Llanberis near Caernarfon. She graduated from Bangor University in 2017 and is currently undertaking an MA in Creative Writing. Her first volume of poetry will be published in early 2019 by Cyhoeddiadau’r Stamp. Caryl will also be competing with her Talwrn team this year.

Morgan Owen is a poet from Merthyr Tydfil. He studied for a BA and MA in Welsh at Cardiff University before moving to Bangor University to study a PhD in September 2018. In 2017 and 2018 he won the D Gwyn Evans award and took part in the Writers at Work Scheme at the 2018 Hay Festival before taking part in the Architecture Exhibition at the Lle Celf, Cardiff National Eisteddfod 2018 as a resident poet.

Osian Wyn Owen hails from Y Felinheli, but has lived in Bangor for three years whilst studying for a degree in Welsh. He’s currently studying for a MA in Creative Writing at Bangor University. Osian’s been a keen prose writer for many years but has recently turned to poetry. He won the double at the Intercollegiate Eisteddfod in 2017, taking home both the Crown and Chair, and went on to win the Chair at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in 2018. He’s one of those responsible for establishing a Literary Society at Bangor University – Cymdeithas John Gwilym Jones, as well as forming a new Talwrn team with his fellow students.

Join in with Her 100 Cerdd by sending requests for specific poems or messages of support using the hashtag #Her100Cerdd on Twitter, by messaging Literature Wales on Facebook or emailing post@literaturewales.org. A link to all poems will be posted on the Literature Wales website, the @LlenCymru twitter account and Facebook page.


Photo: Arts Council of Wales

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