Alex Wharton is the next Children’s LaureateWales

Alex Wharton is the next Children’s LaureateWales

A “Hugely talented” poet and an “advocate for children’s creativity” with
“something to say – and a willingness to listen” is the next writer to take
on this prestigious role.
On Friday 2 June on The Hive stage at Hay Festival, Literature Wales announced that poet
Alex Wharton has been selected as the next Children’s Laureate Wales, taking the baton
from the current post-holder, Connor Allen, in September.
The Children’s Laureate Wales is a national role run by Literature Wales which aims to spark
imagination and inspire the children of Wales through literature. Founded in 2019, it is
awarded every two years to a talented and visionary Wales-based writer who is passionate
about ensuring more children and young people discover the joy and well-being benefits
of engaging with literature.

About Alex Wharton

Alex Wharton is an award-winning writer and performer of poetry for children and adults. Hi
first book of poetry for children, Daydreams and Jellybeans, was shortlisted for several
awards, and he has two books in the pipeline with Firefly Press. He has appeared in festivals
such as Hay Festival and Edinburgh International book Festival.
As Children’s Laureate Wales, Alex will invite children and young people to explore the
magic and playfulness of language, learning how this artistic and creative expression can
enhance how we live, feel, imagine, create, and communicate; making them feel understood
and inspired by the joy and freedom of writing. He is also interested in combining poetry with
other artistic disciplines; collaborate with and share the work of other Welsh writers; and
illuminate the wonders of our natural world.
Alex Wharton, Children’s Laureate Wales 2023-2025 said: “To be awarded the role of a
laureate is an incredibly special and honorary tradition. I am here to share the deep and
wonderful power of poetry with the children and young people of Wales. It’s a special
language, the art of words. And it is there for us to use. To enrich our lives and the way that
we explore our emotions, experiences, our earthly and spiritual connections and

Literature Wales has also announced that poet and playwright Nia Morais

Literature Wales has also announced that poet and playwright Nia Morais is to be the next
Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh-language Children’s Poet Laureate) for 2023-25. The news was
revealed on Thursday 1 June at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Llandovery. Both poets will start in
their two-year roles in September.

These announcements are the culmination of a recruitment process led by Literature Wales
for both roles. Writers were welcomed to apply, and a shortlist was interviewed and delivered
trial workshops for schoolchildren, who fed their opinions to the selection panels.
The selection panel for Children’s Laureate Wales included former Children’s Laureate
Wales, Eloise Williams and writer, teacher and researcher, Darren Chetty, alongside two
Literature Wales staff members. Trial workshops were held with Year 6 pupils from Tonyrefail
Community School and the children themselves shared their own thoughts on the workshop
and the poet.
Claire Furlong, Executive Director of Literature Wales said: “Being introduced to creative
writing and reading early in life can instil a life-long passion for literature. The Children’s
Laureate Wales and Bardd Plant Cymru projects introduce children and young people to
exciting, talented, and inspiring writers at the top of their game. Alex and Nia both have a
clear vision for their tenure, and we look forward to seeing them make these roles their own.
Not only are they fantastic role models, they also gift children the tools to express
themselves creatively and immerse themselves in the joyfulness words can provide.”

Former Children’s Laureate Wales, and Selection Panel Member, Eloise Williams said:

“Being the inaugural Children’s Laureate Wales was an enormous honour and I’m delighted
that Alex Wharton will now be taking up the role, following the excellent work of Connor
Allen. The young people of Wales deserve to be recognised and celebrated, and I know that
Alex will raise their voices, enabling them to be an integral part of the literature of Wales.”
Selection Panel Member, Darren Chetty, said: “Alex Wharton is hugely talented as a
wordsmith, an educator and an advocate for children’s creativity. He has something to say –
and a willingness to listen. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with as Children
Laureate Wales!”

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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