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Four Poets Accept the Challenge to Compose 100 Poems in 24 Hours

Literature Wales has presented four poets with a monumental challenge this National Poetry Day, Thursday 2 October. They have been tasked with composing a hundred original Welsh-language poems in 24 hours. 23 Sep 2014

Four Poets Accept the Challenge to Compose 100 Poems in 24 Hours

At the stroke of midnight, as National Poetry Day begins, the poets will embark on their ambitious endeavour to compose a hundred original poems, and post them on the blog www.her100cerdd.co.uk where they can be read by the public. This will be the third Her 100 Cerdd challenge to be held, with the last two teams completing the challenge with only seconds to spare.

The four poets who have accepted the challenge this year are members of the Talwrn y Beirdd team, Y Ffoaduriaid – Casia Wiliam, Gwennan Evans, Gruffudd Owen, and Llŷr Gwyn Lewis. The four currently live in Cardiff, but have moved to the capital from various areas in Wales.

Casia hails from Nefyn on the North West coast of the Llŷn Peninsula. She is a Press Officer at S4C. Ceffyl Rhyfel, her Welsh adaptation of War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, was published in 2012 by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, and Y Llew Pili Pala, her adaptation of Butterfly Lion also by the same author will be available soon. Earlier this year Y Lolfa published Casia’s first novel for children, Sgrech y Môr. To prepare for the challenge, Casia will read hundreds of poems in the search for inspiration.

Gwennan comes from Dyffryn Cothi. She is currently studying for a PHD in Creative Writing at Academi Hywel Teifi, Swansea University, and is occasionally heard announcing the travel and weather on BBC Radio Cymru. Her first novel, Bore Da, was published by Y Lolfa in 2012. Gwennan is concerned about having to stay awake for 24 hours, and not having enough time for second drafts.

Llŷr is from Caernarfon, and is a lecturer in Welsh at Academi Hywel Teifi, Swansea University. He has won Urdd Eisteddfod Chairs at Llanerchaeron (2010) and Swansea (2011). This year Llŷr has published two books - his first collection of poems, Storm ar Wyneb yr Haul, published by Cyhoeddiadau Barddas and prose book Rhyw Flodau Rhyfel, published by Y Lolfa. Llŷr is looking forward to producing a new body of work for the challenge, and is slightly concerned that he won’t be able to stop when the day ends.

Gruffudd is originally from Pwllheli, and when he’s not writing poetry, he looks after the residents of Cwmderi as the Story Editor for Pobol y Cwm, a Welsh-language soap opera on S4C. Gruff has decided on a fool-proof tactic for this challenge. He will fill two pencil cases with words – one with nouns and the other with adjectives. He hopes that choosing strange combinations of words will provide him with ample inspiration.

Gwennan said "The four of us have individual strengths in various meters and genres when it comes to the Talwrn. It will be interesting to see if the balance of the team changes for Her 100 Cerdd."

The public are encouraged to send suggestions of themes and subjects for the poems. You can do so through Twitter via the hashtag #Her100Cerdd, or by sending a message to @LlenCymru. You can also leave a comment on the Literature Wales Facebook page, or on the Her 100 Cerdd blog under the section ‘Awgrymiadau’.

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