Haverfordwest Library has been part of a prestigious Poet Laureate Library Tour.

Pembrokeshire County Council Chairman Cllr Thomas Tudor extended a special welcome to the winners of the recent library poetry competition along with guest of honour Poet Laureate Simon Armitage and his guests Owen Sheers and Bethany Handley.

The poetry began with writer, poet and disabled activist, Bethany Handley. Bethany’s first poem was heartfelt and humorous about her experience of visiting a beach in her wheelchair. Her final poem also drew on her experiences, being a compilation poem of many well-intentioned, yet impractical or inappropriate, advice that she has received as a wheelchair user.

Owen Sheers is an award winning Welsh poet, author and playwright. Owen read an extract from his BAFTA Cymru award-winning film poem, the Green Hollow, bringing the horror of the Aberfan disaster to life. He also read poems about parenthood and his experiences as a son and as a father.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. Simon launched into a poem about humanity, the universe and working as one. He said that he’d even written a poem inspired by a Velux window and read a beautiful poem about laying in a hammock watching a pair of newly-weds sail overhead in a hot air balloon. His performances were engaging, humorous and moving and he brought the words to life.

Simon also spoke warmly about the importance of libraries as a child but also as an adult travelling about the country, with libraries always offering a warm welcome.

President of the National Library of Wales Ashok Ahir thanked the three poets and introduced the new exhibition in the gallery, Dylan: The Lyrical Life of Dylan Thomas. The exhibition is open to the public until September 14, 2024. 

The event drew to a close as Cllr Tudor issued the prizes to the winners of the recent poetry eisteddfod competition. The poems will be on display at Haverfordwest Library until the end of the Easter Holidays.