A new Bard has been appointed in Glastonbury following the town’s annual contest for the ‘Bardic Chair’ on Tuesday 19th May 2015. Wes White – one of the local Library Assistants – won out after a contest featuring five finalists in total. To win the title, contestants are required to impress a panel of judges with a performance of their own original written work. The theme for the contest is chosen by the outgoing Bard, and this year that was Therèse Liddy, who chose the theme ‘Twilight of the Gods’. She was assisted in hosting the night by Glastonbury’s first Chaired Bard, Tim Hawthorn.
Several other awards are traditionally made by the town’s Bardic College on the same night. The ‘Crown’ is the runners-up award and this year went to Lisa Ceneri. A ‘Fool’s Hat’ is awarded to the most ‘foolish’ performance, foolishness being a much-valued quality amongst the bards. For the fourth year running it went to local artist and poet Richard JG Field for a typically madcap and entertaining act. Who will ever be foolish enough to beat him?
In a double-whammy for the Library, Wes’s fellow Library Assistant, Steve Leighton, was awarded the Tim Sebastian Memorial Trophy on the same night. This trophy is awarded by the judges to a member of the community nominated by audience members for ‘elevation of the word’. Steve is a prize winner in multiple short story competitions and his latest short story collection, ‘The Heart of the Sun’, is available now.
The other finalists who captivated the Assembly Rooms were Annabelle Markwick and Lin Hennessy. The contest was judged by performer and actor Nick White; filmmaker Kevin Redpath; local businessman and Hemp crusader Free Cannabis; and by two former winners of the Chair (known as ‘Elder Bards’), Tony Atkinson and Gerry Barnett.
At the end of the evening, the assembly was joined by a contingent from the Town Hall as Glastonbury’s newly inaugurated Mayor and Deputy Mayor arrived, and an honorary bardship was awarded to the Reverend Sister Diana Greenfield.
Wes’ winning piece can be found on his own blog at http://
Hail the Bard!