Poets and Authors Share the Joy of Reading at 'Junior Hay'

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Byline: By ALED BLAKE Western Mail

Leading poets and authors have been giving Welsh schoolchildren a taste of their literature. The youngsters were introduced to novels and poetry by writers from around the world at the University of Glamorgan's annual literary festival, which is held in conjunction with the Hay Festival.

Valerie Bloom, Michael Morpurgo, Michelle Paver and Lemn Sissay were among those who presented their work to more than 800 local children during the festival.

Glamlit is designed to create positive learning experiences for school children using reading and introducing them to well known authors.

Over the two days, world-famous authors were at the university to talk about the pleasures of reading and about publishing books for children and young people.

Ruth Hay, director of the Glamlit Festival, said, 'This kind of mini-festival is a way of reaching out to those who could not always attend at Hay - in particular to young people, the readers and authors of the future.'

Year 7 students heard a recitation from poet Valerie Bloom, who was described as 'a contemporary, engaging and enchanting poetry performer'.

Bloom has performed her poetry extensively throughout Britain and the Caribbean in schools, universities, theatres and festivals. Her work is described as a combination of lyrical beauty and playful patois.

Students also took part in a session with Michael Morpurgo, Children's Laureate from 2003 to 2005, and the author of more than 90 books for children.

His latest works include a number of short story collections and the beautiful I Believe in Unicorns.

'Michael has an astonishing gift for inspiring young readers, and is one of the country's greatest performers,' a spokeswoman for the university said. …