Many of Literature Wales’ projects are delivered from Tŷ Newydd, introducing literature to groups and communities in Gwynedd and north Wales. Here’s a selection of projects from 2016-17.
Literature for Health and Wellbeing: Poetry and Dementia
As part of our Literature for Health and Wellbeing project partly funded by Cyngor Gwynedd, Literature Wales organised visits by poet Gwion Hallam to Seiont Newydd Care Home in Caernarfon. Gwion spent time with the residents, who are living with dementia, over a six week period, having conversations and writing poetry using the residents’ words and memories. After the project, Gwion went on to write poetry about his own experiences, and won the National Eisteddfod Crown for his work.
Literature for Health and Wellbeing: Ysgol Hafod Lon
As part of our Literature for Health and Wellbeing project partly funded by Cyngor Gwynedd, Literature Wales organised that Anni Llŷn, the Bardd Plant Cymru at the time (Children’s Poet Laureate) went to visit Ysgol Hafod Lon School in Penrhyndeudraeth over a period of six weeks. Ysgol Hafod Lon is a daily school for pupils with a range of additional needs, and has recently relocated into a beautiful new school. Nine young people and three members of staff took part in this exciting project during November and December 2016. The group wrote poetry on “Me, Myself”, examining their emotions and feelings in workshops led by Anni. Morfudd Hughes, a practitioner specialising in movement and self-expression joined in a few workshops, helping to develop skills by playing fancy dress games to imagine how different people would define themselves.
The young people came to Tŷ Newydd for a party to celebrate the end of a great project, where the entertainer Dewi Pws came to sing songs, tell jokes and read a few poems.
Literature for Health and Wellbeing: Penrhos Polish Care Home
As part of our Literature for Health and Wellbeing project partly funded by Cyngor Gwynedd, Literature Wales sent young poet Siôn Pennar, who is fluent in Polish, English and Welsh, to run poetry workshops with the residents of Penrhos Polish Care Home and Sheltered Housing. Six workshops were held early in 2017, with a small but dedicated group of residents.
Cadwyn Heddwch Project (Peace Letter Chain)
During the 2016-17 academic year, Literature Wales received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to run a project commemorating the First World War. Writers Gwion Hallam, Sian Northey and Manon Steffan Ros worked with 21 schools researching into local individuals who played a part in the First World War. The pupils wrote letters of peace in the characters’ voices, and their work was exhibited in the National Eisteddfod in Anglesey 2017.
Gwynedd and Anglesey Writing Squads
Gwynedd and Anglesey Writing Squads offers valuable opportunities for primary and secondary school aged pupils to take part in creative writing workshops run by professional authors. Many of the Squad’s past members have gone on to win literary competitions, publish books, and work in the literary scene in Wales. During the past decade, 63 writers have tutored the Writing Squad in Gwynedd and Anglesey.
Grow Wild at Tŷ Newydd Garden
Literature Wales received funding from Grow Wild, a project run by the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew and supported by the Big Lottery Fund. One morning in May 2017, a group of enthusiastic young people from GISDA came to Tŷ Newydd to help give a new lease of life to one of the gardens on site, where it was transformed from a derelict patch of land into a lively habitat full of wild plants and flowers. Grow Wild is a four year programme to encourage people to plant and grow wild native flowers. The project was ended with a song-writing workshop with Iwan Huws from the band Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog.
For more information about the Grow Wild project, click here.
During the autumn months each year, a group of readers meet at Tŷ Newydd under the guidance of writer Aled Jones Williams. Being part of a reading group offers unique experiences to each member, whether asking questions or finding answers, debating and finding common ground. This group creates a community of readers, people who are willing to share their life experiences, whether bitter or sweet, whilst reading the texts.
Literature Wales received a grant from the Gwanwyn Festival in May 2017 to organise events to celebrate creativity in older age. A literary steam train trip was organised around Llyn Padarn in the company of poet and journalist Karen Owen. During the train ride, Karen told traditional stories from Snowdonia. Following the trip, a writing workshop was organised in Porthmadog with author Meinir Pierce-Jones.
For more information about the Gwanwyn Festival, click here.
Literature Wales received a grant from AHNE Llŷn (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) to run events within the area. The storyteller Mair Tomos Ifans and artist Luned Rhys Parri visited two local schools to run workshops looking at the area’s unique heritage. Two literary bus tours were organised around Pen Llŷn with local writers, and a literary pub-crawl was organised in Pwllheli with poets Twm Morys and Gwyneth Glyn.
For more information about AHNE, click here.
Penrhos Residents’ Visit
In May 2017, eight residents from the Polish Care Home in Penrhos came to visit Tŷ Newydd to explore the wildlife with naturist Bethan Wyn Jones. A poetry workshop was organised to end the day with poet Fiona Owen.