A few days ago, I learned of a forthcoming contest to decide who will replace the gifted Mantie Lister as the new Bard of Exeter. I’ve had a great fondness for poetry ever since being introduced to this art form by one of my aunties in the 1960s, while my fascination with verse has only increased since that time, so I shall be taking part in the contest this coming Monday at the Bikeshed Theatre in Exeter.
As I understand it, each contestant must first present their manifesto, making clear what they intend to do if they’re appointed Bard for a year and a day, then we each have seven minutes to present our own verse, after which the audience vote in a secret ballot. I’m told there are four other challengers besides myself, so I’m proceeding on the assumption that they are all gifted writers, which means I must prepare as best I possibly can in an attempt to impress all those who will be judging us.
I’ve not had time to properly research this matter, but I understand that this chair is also known as the Gorsedd of Caer Wyse, thanks to a tradition said to date back around two centuries. I’ve enjoyed taking part in public performances of one kind or another for decades, so for this reason alone, I’m looking forward to making my presentation on the night; I’d love to add being enthroned as a Bard to my list of achievements and to make some real use of this honour, but we shall just have to see what the night holds for us all.