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A Look Back at Wrexham’s 2023 Carnival of Words

by Love Wrexham Magazine
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A Look Back at Wrexham’s 2023 Carnival of Words

Audiences were treated to an array of well-known authors, poets, and literary events, entertaining them across venues and libraries as part of Wrexham’s 2023 Carnival of Words, held between the 22nd and 29th of April.

Crime Thrillers

Conrad Jones
Conrad Jones

This year’s highlights of the week-long festival provided fans of crime thrillers with a chance to see Tim Weaver, Conrad Jones and Jenny Blackhurst. In contrast, Glenda Young provided a traditional cosy crime approach with her Seaview Hotel series of books. Meanwhile, Bernard Cornwell, author of The Last Kingdom series – recently adapted into a televised drama – made an exclusive pre-recorded interview. Shown as part of Historical Fiction Night, featuring Matthew Harffy and Angus Donald.

However, this literary festival is also for Wrexham’s very own writers. Local favourite Peter Read shared his memories of supporting Wrexham football club. There was Storytelling For Families, during which poets Rachel Harris and Paul Clifton, with children’s author Jude Lennon, engaged with younger audience members by getting them involved in a Poetry Is Cool session.

In an interactive session for younger audiences, Krishnapriya Ramamoorthy also used Bharatanatyam storytelling. It combines spoken word, dance, hand gestures, facial expressions, mime, and action.

Paul Clifton, Dylan Hughes and
Conrad Jones (l-r)
Paul Clifton, Dylan Hughes and
Conrad Jones (l-r)

Creative Writing

Creative writing workshops were held with Elen Cadelcot and the Welsh character Magi Ann told a few Welsh stories at various Wrexham libraries. Renowned local poet Aled Lewis Evans shared readings from his latest two collections Harvest Tide and After Glow. The ever-popular Viva Voce open mic events joined with Voicebox, providing additional poetry at Lle Hapus on Eagles Meadow. The National Poet of Wales, Hanan Issa, rounded off the poetry scene towards the end of the festival.

Local history was also a focus for this year, as the Carnival of Words published its first book, Wrexham Revealed (see last month’s issue for our review), and hosted a launch event. The pocket-sized book delves deep into Wrexham’s rich historical roots and acts as a self-guided 20-stop tour through Wrexham’s city centre. Plus bonus stops with lengthy but beautiful walks around Erddig and Acton, among others.

Wrexham Revealed

Wrexham Revealed was written by local author David Ebsworth and photographers Nick Roe and Sophia Evans took the beautiful snapshots. It is available to buy and is handy for visitors or those wanting to stand in front of a Wrexham landmark and imagine what life was like all those years ago while reading about its history.

Sophia Evans, David Ebsworth
and Nick Roe (l-r)
Sophia Evans, David Ebsworth
and Nick Roe (l-r)

The sell-out Murder Mystery Night turned Wrexham Library into a manor house for a masterpiece whodunit. The audience became the sleuths. Ann Cleves wrote the script and actors took on the various character roles. For next year’s script, organisers are planning to hold a script-writing competition. The winning entry will be performed at the 2024 Wrexham Carnival of Words. The 2023 Carnival of Words was certainly a huge success and next year will be the 10th anniversary! We wait to see what wonderful delights they will have in store for us.

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