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First National Poet of Wales to give masterclass on writing and mental health

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THE INAUGURAL National Poet of Wales Gwyneth Lewis will give a masterclass on writing and mental health at Aberystwyth University on Thursday (Mar 16).

The session, which is open to members of the public, has been organised at the request of students at the University’s Department of English and Creative Writing and takes place in the Old College starting at 6.30pm.

Gwyneth Lewis was appointed Wales’ first National Poet for 2005-06, and was responsible for composing the six-foot-high words on the front of the Wales Millennium Centre.

Currently 2016 Robert Frost Professor of Literature at the Breadloaf School of English, she has published six books of poetry in Welsh and English.

Her first collection in English Parables & Faxes won the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival Prize and was shortlisted for the Forward, as was her second, Chaotic Angels.

Sunbathing in the Rain: A Cheerful Book on Depression (Harper Perennial 2002), her first non-fiction book, was shortlisted for the Mind Book of the Year and has been translated into Dutch, Czech and Spanish.  Her Radio 4 adaptation won a Mental Health in the Media award.

Her second book of non-fiction, Two in a Boat: A Marital Voyage (Fourth Estate, 2005) is published in the UK and US.

Gwyneth is a member of Academi and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University and has been a Fellow at Harvard in the US.

Dr Louise Marshall, Head of the Department of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University said: “We are delighted that Gwyneth has been able to make time in her busy schedule to join us in Aberystwyth and deliver a masterclass on writing and mental health.

“Gwyneth’s extensive contributions to culture and well-being in Wales and beyond speak for themselves – she is, after all, the author of (probably) the biggest poem in the world.

“Our students are passionate about a range of issues surrounding mental health – over the past few years the English and Creative Writing Society have organised a plethora of charity events to raise funds for MIND Aberystwyth. It seems only fitting that their hard work is recognised and celebrated and we very much look forward to welcoming students, staff and the public to what will undoubtedly be a thought-provoking and inspirational event.”

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Man sentenced following Tregaron assault

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FOLLOWING a report of an assault in Tregaron on Tuesday, April 3, Dyfed-Powys Police has arrested and charged Saul Rownan Henvey, aged 42, of Chapel Street, Tregaron, with common assault.

He was arrested following the incident, for which the victim required hospital treatment.

Henvey appeared before Llanelli Magistrates’ Courts on Friday, April 6.

He received a three month sentence, suspended for 12 months. He was also given a 12 month supervisory order and ordered to undergo 30 days of rehabilitation requirements.

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Motorbike safety campaign launched across Wales

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A CAMPAIGN aimed at reducing the risk of motorcycle-related deaths and serious injuries on the roads is underway across Wales.

As the weather improves police see more bikers on the roads, taking advantage of the beautiful routes across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys.

Dyfed-Powys Police is urging motorcyclists to ride safely and warns that until October there will be an increased focus as part of the campaign, named Op Darwen.

Superintendent Huw Meredith, Head of Specialist Operations, said: “Motorcyclists have long been identified as particularly vulnerable road users and reducing the number of road deaths and casualties on the roads of Dyfed-Powys is a priority for our Roads Policing Units.

“We have always welcomed motorcyclists from outside our borders to enjoy the magnificent landscape, but they must be aware that Dyfed-Powys Police is doing all it can to ensure our roads are used safely by all, with our Roads Policing Units taking robust action to prevent fatal or serious road traffic collisions on our roads.

“Everyone must take responsibility for their own and others safety on our roads and be aware of their riding and driving manner. Action will be taken against anyone choosing to ride or drive anti-socially, recklessly or illegally on our roads.

“Our officers see far too many tragedies, many preventable. Roads Policing officers will be out in numbers throughout Dyfed-Powys using a combination of education, engagement and enforcement to prevent further tragedies.”

Officers will also be encouraging riders to improve their biking skills by taking part in BikeSafe workshops, which
offer an insight into what can be achieved with further advanced training. The workshops, run by police forces around the UK, use a mix of discussions, on-road observed rides and information videos. They are designed to enhance the skills of all riders who have already passed their tests and are suitable for all abilities, from the most seasoned rider to those returning to biking after a period of absence.

Economy and Transport Secretary Ken Skates praised the campaign: “Our roads continue to be amongst the safest in the world.

“However, the number of motorcyclists being killed or seriously injured is still too high.

“Campaigns like this are a key part of a wider range of measures aimed at making our roads safer and preventing future motorcycling casualties. This holistic approach includes ensuring motorcyclists are prioritised in our road safety funding, supporting Go Safe’s operation of speed cameras and funding local authorities to deliver Bikesafe and other motorcyclist training.”

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‘Race hate’ case will be heard at Crown Court

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A BRYNAMMAN man who allegedly called for all Muslims to be ‘forcibly sterilised and banned from preaching their ‘evil creed’ in a social media post will have his case heard at Crown Court.

It s alleged that 34-year-old Jonathan Jennings posted nine offensive or threatening comments between March and April last year.

These are said to include threatening to ‘Jo Cox’ Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, hailing a man jailed for kicking a pregnant Muslim woman in the stomach as ‘a National Hero’ and suggesting that bombing mosques and ‘putting Muslim on top of bonfires’ were ‘great ideas’.

It is alleged that he said Hitler was born 100 years too soon, and called for Gina Miller to be ‘hunted down and executed’ over her stance on Brexit.

Appearing at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court wearing a blue military greatcoat, purple shirt, and yellow striped tie, Jennings, of Heol y Gelynen, spoke only to give the court his name, age and address.

Jennings’ solicitor said that he would not be entering a plea at this stage.

The District Judge declined jurisdiction, and Jennings was released on bail until May 18 at Swansea Crown Court, on condition that he does not post or repost anything on social media, or create any new accounts.

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