I’ve recently been able to announce that, in agreement with Cardiff Harbour Authority, I am now Writer in Residence at Cardiff Wetlands.
This is a non-contractual role which I am undertaking for my own inspiration and development.
Why Wetlands, though? some of you have asked….
Well, previously, I was Writer in Residence at the National Botanic Garden of Wales; so, this new, nature-based position seems like a perfect follow on from that.
However, unlike the National Botanic Garden, this little fringe of mud, moisture, and metre-high wild grasses isn’t well known to many, remaining a mystery even to Cardiff-born city slickers such as myself.
I first found out about the Wetlands earlier this year when my friend Steve Andrews told me about it and we came here after a poetry reading to take a look around.
I was instantly captivated by that most poetic of influences, which are abundantly apparent here – nature’s beauty.
The Wetlands are utterly, awe-inspiringly gorgeous. Go past Techniquest, turn left at the roundabout, and then right again – and suddenly you see a magical-looking, estuary-edged area over the top of the wall. Keep walking, and the wall gives way to paths which lead you down into a world of birds busily nesting and feedings amongst the reeds; bugs of every element, e.g. dragonflies, cinnabar moths, and water scorpions; and views out over inky, rippling waters to the Barrage, Penarth and, further across, to the mysterious, misty islands of Flatholm and Steepholm.
It’s so lovely, I was instantly captivated, and knew then that, when I moved back to Cardiff (I was living in Ceredigion at the time and looking to return to the city), this was the place I wanted to live near.
And, I got my wish.
And, now, this. I’m terribly pleased and excited by the Writer in Residence role, because
I look out at the Wetlands every single day and feel words pooling and gathering inside me, ready to be released. This role will provide purpose and structure to that process, and whatever I pen then will, hopefully, incite interest and give more people an awareness of this amazing former salt marsh.