Voices on the Bridge: poetry and Ponty

Poetry readings and an open-mic night in the heart of Pontypridd

Memorial to Evan James and James James in Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd. The statues represent Music (left) and Poetry (right).

Pontypridd is looking forward to a night of poetry readings in local bar, Globetrotters, on 15 November.

The event, “Voices on the Bridge” celebrates Welsh talent and heritage.

Though it was previously held at the town museum, on this occasion, it will take place at the equally historic Globetrotters bar.

Folk music, poetry, and cocktails may not sit well together in the modern idea of a great night out, but if there is anywhere they can be bedfellows, it is in a converted 19th century hayloft which still retains many of its original beams and stonework.

Globetrotters’ owner, Dan Jones, certainly thinks the elements can come together.  He says, “The event itself harks back to a more traditional form of entertainment with folk music, poetry and storytelling. There aren’t many venues left where this sort of thing is put on so much these days which I personally feel is a shame, so we hope to make it a permanent feature to our calendar.”

Pontypridd is a town known for its cultural contributions and, as well as featuring the work of local artists, the evening is open-mic and invites the audience to participate and share their stories.

The bar is famous locally for its live music and talent. Credit: Jethro Chaplin

Rob Cullen, organiser of Voices on the Bridge, says, “The impetus was to bring top performers into Pontypridd.”

He has certainly done this. The line-up includes bilingual musician, Cara Gwen, and Ailbhe Darcy who has been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize.

He hopes the change of venue will bring in a wider audience, but the event already attracts a crowd.

“Poetry is hard to sell and people have very strong views,” says Rob, who has been writing poetry for 50 years. “But rap is poetry. It comes from the same tradition.”

The evening is free to attend and starts at 7pm on 15 November.

Flyer for the event. Credit: Daniel Jones