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Set sail with the Coleridge in Wales Festival this weekend




On board the Matthew: Rick Wakeham, Lloyd Houston, Tom Margett & Richard Parry​

The Matthew of Bristol, representing the ship of the Ancient Mariner​.

The Coleridge in Wales Festival will launch the first day of an 80 day summer adventure this Sunday 15th May, with a series of community and symbolic events around Cardiff Bay.

The morning will open at 10:45 with a celebration of Coleridge's famous poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The public are invited to join recitals of music and poetry across Cardiff Bay – at the Norwegian Church, the World of Boats Café (next to Dr Who Experience), the Senedd steps and the Wales Millennium Centre.

The Matthew of Bristol, representing the ship of the Ancient Mariner, will be dressed by Illustration students from Cardiff Metropolitan University, and will depart from Penarth Marina at 12pm whilst a group of 20 young people representing the 200 sailors who die in the poem, will walk across Cardiff Barrage to Mermaid Quay to join the ship.

The Ancient Mariner figure will be represented by Cardiff School of Art and Design student Lloyd Houston, who will skateboard across the barrage to Cardiff Bay to join a wedding celebration at the Norwegian Church.  In the Cardiff Bay celebrations, the wedding groom's party will be represented by members of The Sanctuary project from Newport. The bride will be represented by Cornish bard, Welsh singer and artist Ani Saunders and friends.

Celebrations will continue with a public party at the Wales Milennium Centre and a trip to the National Museum of Wales to view the newly displayed engravings of The​ Rime of the Ancient Mariner by renowned artist David Jones.

The varied events on Sunday open a celebratory 'festival of fragments' which will continue with a full programme throughout the summer. The 80 day cultural exploration of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his connections to Wales, aims to bring together individuals interested in the buried legacy of Coleridge in informal settings to celebrate and explore his life and work.

Chris Glynn, Senior lecturer in Illustration at Cardiff School of Art & Design, is a co-facilitator of the international Coleridge in Wales 2016 festival. He said: "National institutions, universities, schools, communities and individuals are taking part in this cultural adventure.  It's a big invitation to think and act in new ways. We are keen to emphasise the festival's focus on public participation and would like people from all walks of life to join and shape the events. This is an opportunity for people to explore both their imaginations and their capacity to host each other in public settings.

"We are very grateful to Cardiff Metropolitan University and our other sponsors for their support and are keen for as many people as possible to get involved. The sailing of the full-sized Ancient Mariner's medieval ghost ship in Cardiff Bay on Sunday will be a spectacular event, and the mix of events will bring to light, the role of community and landscape in tackling the environmental crisis.

"This summer's 80 day cultural festival will continue to tour the routes taken by Coleridge when he explored Wales. Coleridge's genius has never been fully celebrated, and this new festival is taking the lead. We would urge anybody who is interested or just curious to join us and add to the conversation."

Cardiff School of Education are also supporting the Coleridge in Wales Festival and will host a round table event at the Wales Millennium Centre on Tuesday 17th May. The event, entitled 'In Conversation with Coleridge, will be led by Dr Carmen Casaliggi of Cardiff Met. It aims to bring together academics, undergraduate and postgraduate students, and the general public interested in the work of Coleridge in an informal, sociable setting. Discussions will pay particular attention to The Rime of The Ancient Mariner. For further information and to book a place, click here: http://coleridgefestival.org/event/81/in-conversation-with-coleridge 

For a full listing of events, please click here: