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Martin Daws - Young People's Laureate for Wales. | 16-Apr-13

Performance poet Martin Daws announced as new Young People's Laureate for Wales.

Publicity material for this announcement says:

Literature Wales is delighted to announce the appointment of award-winning live performer and poet Martin Daws as the new Young People's Laureate for Wales, 2013-2015.

The Young People's Laureate Initiative gives youth communities across Wales an important platform from which to develop their own creative voices and discuss the issues relevant to young people today. Martin will use a wide range of disciplines, from sonnets to sound-scapes, and beat-boxing to broadcasting, to engage the next generation with literature like never before. Forthcoming projects will include working with young people to create their own poetic manifestos, a summer day school for writers and youth leaders on delivering accessible literature activities, and a pop-up poetry tour of Wales' more rural communities.

The two year appointment recognises Martin's many years of experience in delivering issue-based education through creative techniques. To date over 17,000 people have participated in his workshops in all kinds of environments including classrooms, theatres, woodlands, festivals, universities, museums and even bus stops.
Martin Daws said: 'I am very pleased to be given the role, and relish the opportunity to celebrate our poetic traditions in the best way I know how - by nurturing the next generation of young Welsh poets. It is my belief that there is a poem for everyone, and a poem in everyone, and as Young People's Laureate for Wales I'm excited to offer every young person in Wales an opportunity to find those poems.'

'I am absolutely thrilled at Martin's appointment as Young People's Laureate' said Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales. 'His energy both as a performer and workshop facilitator will make literature a vibrant, appealing and relevant artform for young people in Wales today. Creative writing is a vital expressive tool - and through Martin's encouragement, many more young people will gain the confidence to make themselves heard.'

Tracey Thompson, Youth Worker at Gwersyllt Night Project in Wrexham said: 'Working with Martin on the Eat My Words project was a positive experience for both the staff and the young people from the Gwersyllt Project group. It introduced the group to new things, took them out of their comfort zone, gave them new skills and increased their confidence ... this project has altered their perception of poetry and inspired them to write more.'

Bestselling novelist and Young People's Laureate for Wales 2011-2013, Catherine Fisher, said 'I would like to wish Martin Daws every success as the new Young People's Laureate for Wales. I am sure his enthusiasm and energy will encourage many more young readers to engage with the exciting world of books and poetry.'

Martin will be tweeting daily via the Young People's Laureate Twitter account, @YPLWales, giving young people and adults alike the opportunity to converse with him and take part in an interactive twitter-poem which will grow in multiple directions each day.

He will be offering a number of workshops in May, both in person and online, as part of the Young People's Manifesto project. These workshops, aimed at youth groups, young writers' groups and secondary schools are available by application through Literature Wales, with a deadline of Tuesday 30 April 2013.

Martin, in his role as Young People's Laureate, joins the new Bardd Plant Cymru who will be announced at the Urdd Eisteddfod on 28 May. The Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh-language Children's Poet Laureate) works closely with children all over Wales to inspire and promote a love of literature in the Welsh language.

Visit www.youngpeopleslaureate.org for more information and to take part, or contact Literature Wales.

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