Participants: LGBT+ 18+
Lead artist(s): Helen Sandler and Karen Gemma Brewer
Location: Aberystwyth and Carmarthen
Further info: Creative writing workshops and performance with LGBT+ writers in Aberystwyth with Helen Sandler and Carmarthen with Karen Gemma Brewer. These workshops will safely explore the voices of LGBT community, assist development of creative expression and increase engagement with the community at large. A showcase event will link to ‘Aberration’ LGBT nights in Aberystwyth.
About Karen Gemma Brewer: Karen Gemma Brewer is an award winning poet, performer and story-teller from west Wales where she lives on an isolated farm in the Grannell Valley, between Llanybydder and Aberaeron. Born of coal-mining and farm-working stock, her writing combines emotion and mundanity with a strong sense of the absurd and has been published in magazines and anthologies in the UK, Ireland and USA. Karen Gemma has performed widely at music festivals, theatres, pubs, clubs, colleges, schools, shops and in the street.
Karen says: “I am passionate about words and their creative use and I am acutely conscious of the important role literary arts play in the development, expression and understanding of identity and community. The headline issues that worry transgender and cross-dressing individuals in mid-Wales are isolation, misunderstanding, frustrated inability to express feelings and a view that their stories are being told by others.”
About Helen Sandler: Helen Sandler is a writer and editor based near Machynlleth. She has published two novels of her own, Big Deal and The Touch Typist, and edited anthologies of lesbian short stories for Diva which won Lambda Awards. With friends, she programmes and comperes ‘Aberration’, the LGBT arts nights in Aberystwyth. Helen has run writing projects in Liverpool and London and looks forward to sharing her enthusiasm with a new group in Mid Wales.
Helen says: “As one of the organisers of Aberration in Aberystwyth, I know there are a lot of LGBTQI people in the area who enjoy hearing and telling stories. So I’m delighted that with this grant from Literature Wales we’ll be able to run a creative writing project where people can write stories and poems about their own lives – and stories from their wild, queer imaginations!”