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Next children’s laureates of Wales announced

19 June 2023

Alumna Nia Morais becomes the latest Bardd Plant Cymru, Welsh-language children’s poet laureate, alongside Alex Wharton as children’s laureate Wales.

The new bards were announced at Hay Festival and the Urdd Eisteddfod earlier this month by Literature Wales.

Each national ambassadorial role is aimed at inspiring and empowering children and young people across Wales through literature.

Laureateship is awarded every two years to a talented and visionary Wales-based writer who is passionate about ensuring more children and young people discover the joy and benefits of engaging with literature.

Welsh Cape Verdean writer and playwright Nia Morais (Creative Writing, MA 2020) writes for children and adults, and her work often focuses on self-image, mental health and magic.

She is currently writer in residence at Sherman Theatre and her first full play Imrie, co-produced by Frân Wen and Sherman Theatre, is touring Wales over the summer of 2023.

Cardiff-based Nia said: “I’m so proud to be Bardd Plant Cymru and I can’t wait to start. I feel very excited to return to the world of poetry after some time away, and grateful to be able to share my time with the young people of Wales. 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.”

Alex Wharton is an award-winning writer and performer of poetry for children and adults. His first book of poetry for children, Daydreams and Jellybeans, was shortlisted for several awards, and he has two more books in the pipeline with Firefly Press.

Claire Furlong, executive director of Literature Wales, said: “Being introduced to creative writing and reading early in life can instil a life-long passion for literature. The Children’s Laureate Wales and Bardd Plant Cymru projects introduce children and young people to exciting, talented, and inspiring writers at the top of their game.

“Alex and Nia both have a clear vision for their tenure, and we look forward to seeing them make these roles their own. Not only are they fantastic role-models, they also gift children the tools to express themselves creatively and immerse themselves in the joyfulness words can provide.”

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