Introduction for Festival President Owen Sheers

‘Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind’ – James Russell Lowell

Croeso and welcome to the second Crickhowell Literature festival, nine autumn days when this beautiful town under the hills, beside the river, becomes a hive of language, ideas, debate and entertainment. Nine days over which, I hope, many minds will be cross-pollenated with thought and feeling. 2016 has been a divisive year, a year when the lack of conversation between communities and countries has been sorely felt. One of the best counterpoints we have to such division isto come together in dialogue, empathy and enjoyment to celebrate the importance of reading and thinking beyond ourselves. The writers at the festival this year offer just that opportunity inan array of events that cover a span of ages, times and subjects, from poetry to politics, from Shakespeare to the Somme. I hope you’llenjoy the ‘bees’of their books and the ‘quickening pollen’ they bring.

Diolch yn fawr for joining us, and for being part of the celebration.

Owen Sheers