To mark three decades of the IWA’s role in making Wales better, we decided to look forward to ‘the next thirty years’ by introducing some of the people who will be shaping ‘the Welsh agenda’ as the future unfolds. We have teamed up with PricewaterhouseCoopers and their #GreatWales campaign, which celebrates the ideas and people who contribute to the Wales of the future.
Rhian Elizabeth, 28, is a Writer
from Rhondda, based in Whitchurch, Cardiff
I am a writer of prose and more recently, poetry. I wrote a book a few years ago called Six Pounds Eight Ounces (published by Seren in 2014 and shortlisted for The International Rubery Book Award) that was loosely based around my experiences of growing up in the Rhondda Valley and what a grimly wonderful time that was.
Words are a form of protest, expression and freedom and now more than ever I believe it’s vital to support the arts in Wales and to invest and make sure money is put into the appropriate places. Art is something no one can take away from you… the ability to write a song, a play, a book, or to simply scribble a message on a piece of cardboard and hold it up to the world. It’s even more important in a world where the people whose voices need to be heard are the voices actually being muted out.
And that’s what I do and hope to do. Not through the medium of felt tip on pieces of cardboard but through poetry. I am too tattooed and too fond of swear words to ever get into politics. On a personal level, I was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and these poems are my own protest against the disease. I am writing a collection all about getting sick and I am trying to make something positive out of it and maybe even help others who are going through the same thing. Poems are my banners and I hold them up, hopefully.
Each day, throughout the month of June, we are celebrating the exceptional people on the Next 30 list by publishing a short pen portrait here on Click on Wales, as well as raising their profile on Twitter using #IWAnext30 and #GreatWales to highlight the exciting contributions these people are making to Wales’ future.
While you’re here, we’ve got something to ask you: will you join us?
We’re working every day to bring the right people together and generate the ideas to make Wales a world-leading force.
We’re independent of government and political parties. We provide a much-needed space for open, transparent debate about the ideas that can make Wales better.
To continue to do this, we need people like you to join us.
Join us today and you’ll be supporting vital work that’s making our country better than ever.