My Year as Manx Bard


Written by Sara Goodwins

The highs and lows of being Manx Bard.

Then there was the Bardic event arranged with the manager of a Manx attraction who left without telling me and without telling his staff about the event. Fortunately, I contacted the venue to ask about last-minute arrangements only to be told that they hadn’t a clue what I was talking about. At least I hadn’t turned up with robes and staff!

My Year as Manx Bard, Page 65

As regular readers of the Loaghtan Books free online newsletter know, the junior partner was appointed Fourth Manx Bard in August 2017.

Historically bards are very old but they largely died out at the end of the middle ages. The concept of the Manx Bard as a post to promote the Isle of Man through poetry was the brainchild of Bridge Carter and supported by Culture Vannin. Performance poetry is very popular on the Isle of Man and a Manx Bard seemed an excellent way of turning that enthusiasm into a way of celebrating all things Manx. The Manx Bard is an annual appointment; the fifth bard took over in August 2018.

The post is very much what the Bard makes it and each Bard brings something different. For Loaghtan Books' junior partner the year passed in a blur of presentation and poetry. Highlights included talking to the audience from the stage of the island's premier theatre and writing a song to raise money for Ramsey pier's restoration work. Audience sizes varied from over 300 to four! Much was enjoyable, some was not, all was a new experience.

Originally Loaghtan Books had not intended to publish a book describing the year as we weren't sure there would be enough commercial interest. It seems we were wrong! So, by popular demand, My Year as Manx Bard does exactly what it says on the cover and describes the highs and lows of the Fourth Manx Bard's momentous year.

From the Author

You'd be wrong to think verse boring
Spurning it for wasting time;
Verse expands ideas, exploring
Everywhere by means of rhyme.

But the Bard's job's more than writing
Shaping text to rhyme and scan,
Its promoting and highlighting
All that makes the Isle of Man.

If you want more information
On the Manx Bard, take a look
There's no need for speculation
As it's all here, in this book...

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