It was a chilly Easter Saturday morning as I and the Husband headed off to Pontypool railway station in order to make the trip to Colwyn Bay. The reason for this, the launch of ‘Out of Sight’, an anthology of work produced by Disability Arts Cymru, in which one of my poems was to feature.
Due to the kindness of an Accessibility Officer at Arriva Trains, travel passes had been secured for us and for a fellow writer Des (pictured below) and his son Will, also a veteran of poetry events. After some initial confusion in which the Husband attempted to evict our new friends from their seats, we settled down and the three hour journey passed speedily and socially.
Colwyn Bay greeted us with a cold grey sea and biting wind, so the two of us headed off to a warm cafe whilst our travelling companions braved the sea front. We met again later at the cultural centre where we were welcomed warmly by Denni Turp, the organiser of the event, who presented me with a beautifully bound copy of the anthology. We then found some seats amongst the gathered crowd of guests, in which the each poet was recognisable by the shiny new book clasped in their hands.
After a welcome and introduction by Denni and Mark Isherwooed AM, the poets took to the floor. There followed a diverse range of words, ranging from personal accounts of depression and autism, via reflections upon caring for someone with dementia and culminating with some hard hitting commentary about the effects of funding cuts upon people with mental illness. After a brief break for refreshments and networking, an open invitation was issued for people to read more of their work, which led to the sharing of yet more interesting and entertaining poems.
The event came to a close, and our party of four headed back to the station via the chip shop opposite the centre (highly recommended). Once on board our carriage, the movement of the train and the effect of our full bellies lulled us into semi-consciousness and we were soon home. All in all, a good day.
Above left: The anthology “Out of Sight”. DAC is arranging for at least one copy to be available in each library in Wales.
Above right: Our travelling companion Des Mannay entertains with his poetry.