Poet laureate to judge poetry competition on climate change
Carol Ann Duffy and the Welsh poet and translator Elin ap Hywel are to judge the entries submitted to a bilingual poetry completion on the theme of climate change.
The contest is being organised by the energy charity Awel Aman Tawe, the body behind the development of a community wind farm on Mynydd y Gwrhyd in the upper Swansea Valley.
The wind farm project has been many years in the offing but the charity says there are just a few more planning hoops to jump through before it is able to start generating green energy.
The original mission statement of the development was that all profits from the sale of wind energy would be transferred back into the community and would help fund environmental ventures.
The charity has an active arts arm which regularly hosts events to get local people thinking about greater environmental issues.
This is the second annual poetry competition it has hosted. Last year the competition was judged by National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke and the award-winning Welsh language poet Menna Elfyn.
It attracted 350 entries from adults and children and Awel Aman Tawe published a book of the best entries called Heno, Wrth Gysgu and launched it at the prize giving night at Pontardawe Arts Centre.
Organiser Emily Hinshelwood said: "I talk with people all the time about climate change and there's a terrible feeling of powerlessness in the face of ever worsening scenarios for the earth.
"Whether it's the diminishing sparrow populations in their own gardens, or the flooding of entire islands, most people have a personal response to the subject.
"We want them to capture that feeling in poetry.
"The place where poetry happens," she says, reflecting on her own poetry, "is that creative place within us - the same place where we improvise, and play.
"And sometimes unexpectedly we come across solutions to problems that have been bugging us for years."
AAT manager, Dan McCallum, said: "It's only by involving people that we can build something sustainable."
Duffy was asked to be a judge because of her own interest in the subject of climate change. Her poem "Atlas" examines the fragility of the planet and the theme is one she has been returning to with frequency in recent poems.
Adults and children are welcome to contribute to the competition, which has a closing date of 31 March 2012.
Carol Ann Duffy will judge the English entries while Elin ap Hywel will judge the Welsh entries.
First prize for adults is £500, £100 for second place and £50 for third place.
For children the first prize is £50; second is £30; while third is £20.
Entry fees do apply. Visit awelamantawe.co.uk for more details.