Friday, 28 June 2013

Morning meadow

Swallow scythes low air
as deep morning meadow weeps;
wings whisper of you.

 (photo: RSPB, Ynys Hir)

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Poetry of power

cool white against blue,
hear the music of air currents,
feel this gentle strength
as sails turn.

Dare to catch the point,
fly up and up,
higher than the fairground wheel
- and fall then toward earth.

Glide and slide,
circle the flow, make
wide the arcs from below,
fly free at the peak.
Know the dream,
positive energy,
poetry of power.

LINK: community energy project in Cardigan:

Monday, 10 June 2013

Poet Laureate and National Poet of Wales at PENfro

Carol Ann Duffy
Some very exciting news that I announced this week -- Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and the National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke will both feature in a double-bill at this year’s PENfro Book Festival.

The literature event, now in its third year, is held at Rhosygilwen, Cilgerran, in north Pembrokeshire.
We also have top scriptwriter Lucy Gannon (Coronation Street, Eastenders, Soldier Soldier, Frankie) who will discuss her work in one of the ‘meet the writers’ sessions.

The evening with Carol Ann Duffy and Gillian Clarke, which will include readings from their work, headlines the programme on the Saturday, September 14, in the fabulous Oak Hall, Neuadd y Dderwen.

All of us on the PENfro committee are delighted about this news.
The PENfro festival is set to launch on the evening of Thursday, September 12, with a lively musical and literary evening; and runs until the Sunday afternoon, September 15.
There will be plenty going on throughout the event for people of all ages who love books.
Popular local live literature group The Cellar Bards and Friends take the stage in the Oak Hall on the Friday evening with performances and readings of a wide range of poetry and prose from guests --  and there will be an open mic session.

The winners of the first PENfro Poetry Competition will be announced at this event and the shortlisted candidates will be invited to read their work.

There is a day of workshops for writers and would-be writers on the Saturday, covering everything from poetry to fiction, to screenwriting, journalism and e-publishing.

The popular Book Fair is on the Sunday and there will be opportunities to meet several local authors at book launches as well as to attend interviews and talks by many writers.

There will be events for children on Saturday and Sunday and the winners of the
children’s short story competition will be announced during the weekend.

More news will follow over the next few weeks as the programme details are confirmed.
For updates see the website:
or follow us on Facebook -- PENfro Book Festival.

  *This project has received funding from PLANED through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007 – 2013,  which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Local Energy, Local Income

This lovely town of Cardigan here in west Wales already has a strong reputation for its home-grown community enterprise initiatives and this week I am working on the launch of a major new development – locally-owned energy generation.

The Awel Deg/Fair Wind cooperative is proposing to set up a single wind turbine on land above the Teifi estuary at Ferwig.

The aim is to provide for some of the electricity demand in the district and to create income to fund other sustainable energy projects in the area for the benefit of the whole community. The group wants the Cardigan area to become as self-reliant in energy as possible by creating a range of locally-owned renewable projects.

 At the moment about £20,000 leaves Cardigan every week in electricity bill payments – and most of that money ends up in Spain. Awel Deg’s project is the first step on putting that money back into the local economy.

And shareholders in the project, mostly local we hope, will get an excellent return on their investment.

Awel Deg  has close links with 4CG -- the community enterprise company based in Cardigan, with over 600 local shareholders -- which owns the Pwllhai centre and car parks, the former police station and the old courthouse.

The directors of 4CG fully share Awel Deg’s aims to bring maximum value to the local economy from community ownership of renewable energy schemes.

The initial proposal, now being discussed locally, is for a turbine to be installed at Bryn Farm, Ferwig, which will generate electricity for around 300 local homes over one year. The plan is for a 500kw turbine, with a height to hub of 45m; 67m to blade tip.

The organisation wants to raise the investment needed to install the turbine – about £1.25million -- from the sale of shares to local people. As well as earning a good return on their investment shareholders will have a say in which future community energy projects should be developed.

A planning application for the proposal will be made in a few weeks.

At the community wind turbine site at Bryn Farm, Ferwig, with landowner Huw Jones, right, are members of the Awel Deg/Fair Wind cooperative, including Dave Gillam, Sarah Wright, Liz Rodgers, Brian Mark and 4CG chairman Shan Williams.
Awel Deg chairman, David Gillam, said: “We hope that the Bryn Farm Ferwig Community Wind Turbine will be a small step on the road to a greener future for the Cardigan district. This area is blessed with huge potential for renewable energy generation from wind, hydro, tidal, biodigesters,  and so on. The income from our turbine could help to unlock some of that potential so that in future all our electricity needs are met locally.

“With this income Awel Deg could also support other initiatives that lead to a more robust, sustainable local economy in which we all share the benefits from renewable energy.

“But it is up to people locally, the town council, people in Ferwig, Ceredigion councillors – what do we all want to see happen here? All around the world people are saying this is the only realistic future for the planet, our children, our grandchildren so I believe we should do it here too!”

More information on the website:

see also:

and here's a link to a similar project in Scotland, that is already up and running:


Saturday, 1 June 2013

More acceptances than rejections

Well, I haven’t been posting much poetry lately, but I have been busily employed in the world of literature, and poetry in particular.

Having completed April in a heap after writing a poem a day throughout the month, here I am at the end of another month. And I have completed just one poem in the last 31 days!

However, I have been busy editing and collating all the work I did through April, together with other material already completed over the last 11 months. Submissions of single poems, small selections and even a mini-collection have been sent off far and wide; and there are more yet to send.

I have been spurred on to press that ‘send’ button as much as possible because of one or two acceptances that have come through. There will be more news on those as they are published, but for now I am pleased to say that the number of acceptances are exceeding the number of rejections – so far! It’s a small start towards wider publication, but a definite start, and a very encouraging one.

I am involved in organising a couple of local projects that are taking up a lot of my free time right now. One is working on the committee of the PENfro Book Festival, which I joined earlier in the year.
Beautiful Rhosygilwen Mansion

This is held in mid-September in the fabulous location of Rhosygilwen in Pembrokeshire (links below) We have an evening of the spoken word -- poetry and prose -- with the Cellar Bards and Friends, a day of workshops for writers (I’ll be doing one on freelance journalism and ‘Selling Your Story’); a book fair and talks and meetings with writers in all kinds of genres. And there are some very special guests headlining on the Saturday night – I am currently working on the press release to make that big announcement.

The popular Book Fair, in the Oak Hall at Rhosygilwen
There is also an Open Poetry Competition – for anyone aged 16 or over, which is being judged by award winning poet Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch. Her wonderful collection ‘Banjo’ is shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year. I am running the admin for that competition, so I hope to be very busy around the closing date of July 19. It’s the first time PENfro has run a poetry competition. If it goes well we will do more in future years, so do enter – and please get your entries in soon!!!

There is also a short story writing competition for children, which closes on June 14. Link is below.

Oh, and I am one of the PENfro Poets – the workshop group based at Rhosygilwen that grew out of last year’s PENfro Festival. We will publish a small collection of our work later this summer. And, of course, some of us will be reading our poetry at the Cellar Bards and Friends evening at PENfro 2013.

So, busy times – and much more info to post up later.

More info/links:

Entry forms and info on the PENfro Open Poetry Competition, to download from the website:

Children’s Short Story Competition:

PENfro page on Facebook:

The Cellar Bards Facebook group: