The special guest at the next Cellar Bards spoken word event in Cardigan this Friday, 14 July is Ceredigion-based writer Mari Ellis Dunning.

She will read a selection of her work at the Cellar Bar, Quay Street. Doors and the bar open at 7.30pm. Open mic spots are available – just sign up on the door by 8pm.

Mari’s debut poetry collection, Salacia, was shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year 2019. She has since been placed second in both the Lucent Dreaming Short Story Competition and the Sylvia Plath Poetry Prize.

She is a PhD candidate at Aberystwyth University, where she is writing a historic novel set in sixteenth-century Wales, exploring the relationship between accusations of witchcraft, the female body and reproduction.

Her second poetry collection, Pearl and Bone (Parthian), was selected as Wales Arts Review’s Number One of 2022.

Pearl and Bone explores the complexities of becoming a new mother amidst a global pandemic, with the stories of other mothers interwoven amongst the author’s intimate moments, from pregnancy to childbirth and beyond. These poems showcase the lost voices of women through history – in the throes of labour, Mary paces the stable; in a dim Soho studio, Christine Keeler poses for the infamous Lewis Morley photographs; while above us, the moon laments the number of feet that have stormed her surface.

Mari lives on the west coast with her husband, their two sons and their poochon. She is the founder of Pay for Poets, a free resource to help writers earn a living through their work.

The Cellar Bards welcome writers of poetry, short stories, micro-fiction and novels to the open mic (maximum five minutes each). People who want to read can put their names down at the door on the night. Or go along to listen to Mari plus a variety of spoken word performances from the talented regulars.

See The Cellar Bards Facebook page for more information.