Gillian Clarke, the National Poet of Wales from 2008 – 2016, will judge of our Open Competition.
Awarded the Queen’s Gold medal for Poetry in 2010 and the Wilfred Owen Award in 2012, Gillian has written radio and theatre drama, and translated poetry and prose from Welsh. Picador published her Selected Poems in 2016. She has given poetry readings and lectures in Europe and the United States, and her work has been translated into ten languages.
Gillian has published numerous collections of poetry for adults and children, as well as dramatic commissions and numerous articles in a wide range of publications. She is a former editor of The Anglo-Welsh Review (1975–84) and the current president of Tŷ Newydd. Several of her books have received a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. In 1999 Gillian Clarke received the Glyndŵr Award for an “Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Wales” during the Machynlleth Festival.
Vanessa Kisuule, the Bristol City Poet for 2018 – 2020, will judge our Young Person’s category. Vanessa has won over 10 slam titles and was the recipient of The Jerwood Micro Arts Bursary in 2017 to undertake extensive dance training and also received the Leverhulme Arts Scholarship in 2017 from Bristol Old Vic.
She has performed at an array of renowned poetry events and venues such as The Royal Albert Hall, The British Library, The Bristol Old Vic, Tongue Fu and Chill Pill in London as well as many festivals including Shambala, WOMAD, Wilderness, Secret Garden Party and Glastonbury.
She has worked with the Southbank Centre, RADA, The Bristol City Council, Knee High Theatre and Warner Music and had her work featured on BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 1 and Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, The Guardian, Huffington Post, The Guilty Feminist Podcast, Gal Dem Magazine, Dazed and Confused, Blue Peter, Sky TV and TEDx in Vienna. She represented the UK in two European Slam Championships in Sweden and Belgium. Her poetry collections ‘Joyriding The Storm‘ and ‘A Recipe For Sorcery‘ are both published by Burning Eye and her work was Highly Commended in The Forward Prize Anthology 2019. Her one woman show SEXY toured with the kind support of Arts Council England, Bristol Old Vic and Camden People’s Theatre.