Tag Archives: Cymru

Peace of Writing workshop

Cymraeg >>

Saturday 27 July 11am to 3pm Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth: Creative writing workshop hosted by Sian Howys of Academi Heddwch Cymru, with historian Norena Shopland and Aberration’s own Jane Hoy, inspired by the Welsh Women’s Peace Petition of 1923-24. Scroll down for details and booking link.

You may have heard of the Welsh Women’s Peace Petition, which was signed by nearly 400,000 women from across the country, sent in a huge chest to the USA a century ago; and has recently returned to Cymru. But who were the women who signed this petition? We will hear the stories behind some of these women, and have the opportunity to write our own stories, poems or other writing in response to their lives.

Images of some of the women who signed, provided by their relatives


Welsh Women’s Peace Appeal 1923/24
Peace of Writing Creative Workshop – free of charge!

Education Room, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
Saturday July 27 11 am – 3 pm

Refreshments: Tea and coffee will be provided and Pendinas cafe will be open for light refreshments.

With Norena Shopland (Women and LGBTQ+ Historian) and Jane Hoy (Queer Tales from Wales and Aberration). You will be guided to produce short pieces of creative writing – poems, stories or other –  inspired by the hidden histories of the women who signed the Welsh Women’s Peace Petition 1923/24.

Four women with petition
M.G. (Gladys) Thomas; Mary Elizabeth Ellis; Annie Jane Hughes-Griffiths; Elined Prys
(Gwefan Llyfrgell Genedlaethol / National Library of Wales website)

You can present your work in Welsh or English. With your permission, the Petitioning Peace project would like to consider including any finalised pieces within the project’s collection of creative work.  

To receive further information about the workshop and to book your free place please email: post@academiheddwch.cymru

Event Calendar


Friday 26 July 6pm Amgueddfa Ceredigion Museum
Exhibition visit, artist talks, film and discussion around the exhibition ‘For the Curious and Interested’, led by Voices from the Edge. With Rose Thorn and Abid Hussain. Read more >>

and the next day…
Saturday 27 July 11am to 3pm Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / National Library of Wales
‘Peace of Writing’ – Creative writing workshop led by historian Norena Shopland and our own Jane Hoy, inspired by the Welsh Women’s Peace Petition of 1923-24. Details >>

Saturday 3 August Plas Newydd, Llangollen
Queer Tales from Wales present ‘An Extraordinary Female Affection: The life and love of the Ladies of Llangollen’. An entertaining promenade performance in the grounds of the very house where the ladies lived two hundred years ago. With afternoon tea! Details >>

Friday 16 August Aberystwyth South Beach
Picnic after work – bring your own food and drink to this fun social event. Don’t forget a rug or folding chair to sit on too.

September: We’re taking a break – no event.

Wed 16 October Aberystwyth Arts Centre
A new operetta marks the centenary of Edward Prosser Rhys winning the Crown at the National Eisteddfod with his poem ‘Atgof’. And Aberration will host an intervention that turns a queer gaze on the poet and his circle.

Thurs 14 November Surprise event at Bank Vault!

Details of all above events to be announced soon on our website and socials!

www.aberration.org.uk @aberrationcymru


We are grateful to Prifysgol Aberystwyth University for financial support for Aberration.

See you soon! Edrych ymlaen!


Ladies of Llangollen at Mach Pride

[Past event 17/5/24]

Friday 17 May 7pm at Wynnstay Hotel (in Old Pizzeria), Machynlleth, as part of Balchder Mach PrideAn Extraordinary Female Affection: The Life and Love of the Ladies of Llangollen – see an intriguing pair of women from 1778 brought back to life by Queer Tales from Wales. 

Gay Gardeners’ Question Time

Aberration presents GAY! Gardeners’ Question Time at Bank Vault Bar, Aberystwyth on Thursday 25 April at 7pm. Doors open 6pm. Suggested payment on the door: £7 / £5 (but no one turned away for lack of funds, see below).

We bring you our very own Aberration tribute to the long-running Radio 4 show Gardeners’ Question Time ­­– with a queer twist! Our panel are three highly knowledgeable local gardeners, who also have a sense of fun. They are ready and willing to answer your questions about your own gardening, as well as telling us why they love getting down in the dirt. Whether you have a garden, an allotment, or just a straggly houseplant, you will enjoy this very special evening, which adds an LGBTQ+ slant to the world of horticulture. And non-gardeners are of course very welcome!


It would be great if you could email questions to aberrationcymru@gmail.com in advance, but there is also the option to bring them on the night. The panel will answer a selection.

The Panel

Alys Fowler is a well-known horticulturist who lives in Aberystwyth. A former presenter of Gardeners’ World on BBC2, Alys writes a regular column for the Guardian. Her popular books include The Thrifty Gardener, The Edible Garden (to accompany her TV series of the same name), and Hidden Nature. Alys is a regular attendee at Aberration and we are delighted that she will be chairing our “Gay Gardeners’ Question Time” panel. (Photo: Francesca Jones / Guardian)

Colin Audigé-Soutter (otherwise known as the gay gardener) is a self-taught gardener and landscaper working in and around the Dyfi Valley. He is happiest with a pair of secateurs in his hand and his head in a bush! Colin is originally from Conwy and was given his first plant, a Venus Flytrap, at the age of six. He learnt how to keep cacti and orchids from his grandmother in his teens. Since moving to Machynlleth in 2018, he has started the Houseplant Hospice and Cacti Against Covid; as well as working on market gardens and with the Mach Vegbox scheme, which supplies seasonal local produce. Since 2020 Colin has been running his own garden maintenance and landscaping business in the area.

Preds Tomos has been gardening in the Dyfi Valley all his life, first at his parents’ farm and subsequently in Machynlleth. For the past 13 years he has tended the garden of the old house near Darowen where he lives with his partner Mike. This special place was inherited from their dear old friends Reg and George, who were together more than 60 years. Preds’ sense of place – and of being the custodian of the land – drives all of his planting and design ideas, and inspires much of his artwork too.


After a run of subsidised, free Aberration events at the Bank Vault, we now need to start asking for your contributions to cover costs, including paying our speakers and artists. Please contribute on the door if you can afford it. Suggested payments: £7 waged, £5 concession / low waged. Cards or cash accepted. If you don’t have funds right now, just say ‘Not today thank you’ on the door!


Aberration will still collect for our favourite campaign, All Out, by passing the bucket round, so please bring cash to donate if you can. Or you can give to AllOut direct on their website >>

The All Out movement works with activists around the world to mobilise efforts to shut down hateful bigots, change anti-LGBT+ laws, and provide life-saving support to LGBT+ people facing emergencies.


Bank Vault is a lovely bar where we are made very welcome. They serve a fantastic range of craft beers, ciders, wine, and soft drinks. Please support them by buying drinks.


This is a friendly LGBTQIA+ themed night, and all open-minded folk are welcome. Trans and non-binary people are of course very much part of our rainbow at Aberration. And just to be clear, straight allies are welcome too!


Aberration is grateful to Prifysgol Aberystwyth University for its generous support. Diolch yn fawr.


Aberration x Queer Diary

13 July 2023, Bank Vault bar, Aberystwyth. 6pm doors, 7pm start

The popular Queer Diary night from ‘That London’ is on tour – and they’re coming to Aberystwyth especially for Aberration! People, get ready!

Ad for Queer Diary reads: Live teenage diary readings from live grown-up queers plus cringey poetry, GCSE artwork, thirsty fanfic and throwback soundtrack.

Would You Read Your Teenage Diary Aloud To A Room Full Of People?

A brave group of LGBTQIA+ folk are doing just that at Queer Diary – the night where queers share our teen angst (and joy, dreams, follies, and fabulousness). We can’t promise to reunite you with your first crush, but we do aim to reignite that rush of adrenaline you got when they first noticed you.  

In here the goths, the punks, the emos, the nerds, the glee-clubbers (and maybe a few populars?) come together as grown-ups, to escape cis-het-normativity by sharing our younger selves’ innermost thoughts via old diary entries, fanfiction stories, tumblr posts, and possibly the odd bit of cringey poetry!

Quick links:

Mae croeso i chi ddarllen yn Gymraeg – rhowch wybod i ni pan fyddwch yn cofrestru, a chrynhowch yn Saesneg ar ddechrau neu ddiwedd eich darlleniad os yn bosibl plis.

If your contribution is not in English – whether it’s in Welsh or another language – please let us know when signing up so we can facilitate your reading. It would be great if you could summarise in English if possible at the start or end of your reading.

Note: If you have registered to read then you don’t need to book a ticket. If you incur expenses you can claim them back from Queer Diary.

Don’t want to read? Come and listen!
We need an audience!

Please book if you possibly can, so that the fabulous Queer Diary presenter and producer, Beth and Josie, can share details with you!

TICKETS: Pay what you can – between zilch and £12 depending on your circumstances. Book via OutSavvy here >>

Poster for Queer Diary at Aberration featuring image of Beth Watson as host.

ACCESS: Ground floor bar. Wheelchair access by side door which bar staff will need to open for you. Let us know if you would like us to meet you outside at a specific time to make this easier. (Email aberrationcymru@gmail.com) There are two unisex toilets. We are sorry but the toilets are not accessible by wheelchair.


This is an LGBTQIA+ themed night, and all open-minded folk are welcome. Trans and non-binary people are of course very much part of our rainbow at both Aberration and Queer Diary. Straight allies are welcome in the audience too.

Please note this event is themed around memories of teenage years gone by, and is aimed at adult audiences.

See you there! Edrych ymlaen!


Aberration goes to town with Mike Parker

Reading and telling tales from his books and his colourful past!

Thurs 29 June 2023 Doors open 6pm for bar and chat, onstage around 7pm

Venue: Bank Vault bar, 1 New Street, Aberystwyth

Mike Parker by Ming de Nasty

Writer, broadcaster and friend of Aberration, Mike Parker, will read from his new book All the Wide Border – in which he walks the borderlands between Cymru and England. Mike also has some tales up his sleeve especially for the Aberration audience. Would you like to hear about when Mike met Lily Savage, when he kissed Dana International (the first trans Eurovision winner), when he admired the Cerne Abbas Giant (giant by name and giant by endowment), or just how he got his very gay house? Mike will entertain us with as many of these encounters as he has time for!

Mike is a fascinating and entertaining speaker, a witty wanderer who has queered travel writing and psycho-geography for the 21st century.

He is also an activist for Welsh independence and LGBTQ+ rights. In his previous book, On the Red Hill, Mike rewrote the history of the past 50 years via the heritage of his own house and the gay couple who lived there before. And before that, he stood for parliament and wrote about it in The Greasy Poll.

Mike previously co-wrote the first edition of The Rough Guide, came out as a Map Addict, and sailed round Wales in the TV series Coast to Coast (by boat) and Great Welsh Roads (by van).

About the night

Everyone is welcome at this edition of Aberration yn y Dre / Aberration Goes to Town. Just turn up on the night at the Bank Vault bar (1 New Street, Aberystwyth). We have an LGBTQ+ ethos, with trans people very much included. But you don’t have to be queer to be here – straight and cisgender people are welcome too. Just bring an open mind.

Come early from 6pm to get a good seat and have a drink and a chat. Free entry but please buy drinks to support our lovely venue – and bring some cash to get a personally signed copy of the book for yourself or a friend. Plus donation box for AllOut charity.

ACCESS: Ground floor bar. Wheelchair access by side door which bar staff will need to open for you. Let us know if you would like us to meet you outside at a specific time to make this easier. (Email aberrationcymru@gmail.com) There are two unisex toilets. We are sorry but the toilets are not accessible by wheelchair.


Aberration Goes to Town with VG Lee

16/5/23 Bank Vault, Aberystwyth

Cyffrous! Aberration yn y Dre efo VG Lee!


The author and comedian VG Lee is coming to town for Aberration on 16 May at the Bank Vault bar!

The brilliant novelist and short story writer VG Lee is coming all the way from Hastings to entertain us. Venue: Bank Vault bar, 1 New Street, Aberystwyth.

This event is FREE. No booking. Arrive from 6pm when the Bank Vault bar opens for a great range of craft beers, wine, spirits and superior soft drinks!

Please support this lovely venue by buying drinks ???????????????? And please bring cash too, to buy signed books from our special guest. She will be onstage around 7pm.



VG Lee (aka Val) is an author and comedian. She’s written five novels and two collections of short stories, the latest being Oh You Pretty Thing (Tollington, 2019).

Past books are: The Comedienne, The Woman in Beige, Diary of a Provincial Lesbian, As You Step Outside, Always You Edina, and Mr Oliver’s Object of Desire – runner up for the YLVA Publishing Literary Prize for Fiction 2017. Val was long-listed for the BBC National Short Story Award 2022. She is a judge for both the Polari Book Prize and The Hastings Book Festival Short Story Prize.

VG Lee also writes for newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, Diva and The Lady. She embarked on a stand-up comedy career just when other people might be planning their retirement – and made it to the finals of Hackney Empire’s New Act of the Year.

VG Lee is an old friend of the Aberration organisers and we are absolutely delighted she is coming to Aberystwyth especially for our fabulous audience. Be there! Edrych ymlaen!

Website: https://www.vg-lee.com/

Next events

Also in our Aberration Goes to Town series: 29 June Mike Parker, 13 July Queer Diary.


‘A Home for My Heart’ film


2.30pm Sunday 26 March, Aberystwyth Arts Centre: WOW Film Festival matinee

Come and watch A Home for My Heart, a sensitive documentary portrait of Suvana Sudeb, an Indian trans woman – her life with her family, friends, lover and fellow activists. Hour-long film directed by Sankhajit Biswas. Plus short.

After the film, Helen Sandler of Aberration will be chairing a Q&A in which the star and director will beam in from India to answer your questions!

Find out more and book your tickets at Aberystwyth Arts Centre >>

Full festival programme >>


History Month ’23 Calendar

Events in Cymru for ‘Long LGBTQ+ History Month’ involving Aberration or Queer Tales from Wales

March 2023 – Book now!

Tuesday 7 March, 5pm, National Library, Aberystwyth.
Queer Tales from Wales present ‘A Moral Amazon: The Story of Miss Amy Dillwyn’. A novelist, industrialist and cigar smoker, Miss Dillwyn also loved her friend Olive with all her heart. ? https://www.library.wales/visit/things-to-do/events

Sun 26 March, 2.30pm, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberration will be part of a screening at WOW Festival of A Home for My Heart. This kind and moving documentary follows Suvana Sudeb, an Indian trans woman, through the ups and downs of life with family, friends, lover and comrades. With Q&A.

February 2023 (past events)

Sun 12 Feb, 12 noon, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff.
LezDiff celebrates History Month with films, talks and performances. Queer Tales appear with both ‘Queen of the Lake’ and ‘A Moral Amazon: The Story of Miss Amy Dillwyn’. Also on the bill are our friends Behind the Lines and Norena Shopland.

Sat 18 Feb, 2.30pm, Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
Aberration presents: Proud Writing Workshop with Norena Shopland – writing from history. Book early, limited to 15 places.

Sat 18 Feb, 7pm, Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
Aberration presents Dreaming Up the Past: Exciting evening of film, art, music and drama. With Cerys Hafana, Amy Daniel, Sarah-Joy Ford, Lost Knitters + Cranogwen.

Thurs 23 Feb, 6pm, Conwy Museums & Archives.
Queer Tales from Wales present ‘Two Welshmen in Rome’ – the dramatised story of renowned sculptor John Gibson & his special friend Penry Williams. https://conwylibraries.com/events/out-and-about-lgbtq-history-month-celebration-event

Dreaming Up The Past

Bringing LGBTQ+ histories to life

Our tenth LGBTQ+ History Month! At Aberystwyth Arts Centre on 18 February 2023. Workshop, cafe, and evening event.

Supported by Aberystwyth University & National Library of Wales


Please note: Proud Writing Workshop with Norena Shopland at 2pm has now sold out.


5.30 to 6.30pm: All welcome to eat together in the Aberystwyth Arts Centre Café – pay as you go. Let us know if you want us to reserve a place in our space by emailing aberrationcymru@gmail.com

Dreaming Up the Past – The main event!

Tocynnau >> Tickets >> £10 / £8

Take your seats from 6.45pm with a welcome at 7pm from your host Helen Sandler.

Cerys Hafana – live music

Cerys Hafana (by Heledd Wynn)

Cerys Hafana is top of the bill! Cerys is a composer and multi-instrumentalist from Machynlleth who mangles, mutates, and transforms traditional music. She explores the creative possibilities and unique qualities of the triple harp, and is also interested in found sounds, archive materials and electronic processing. Her latest release, Edyf, was Folk Album of the Month in the Guardian.

Especially for Aberration, Cerys has created ‘Queer as Folk’, by interviewing other LGBTQ+ musicians from around the UK and will be playing clips from these interviews as well as singing and playing live for us. A work in progress that has never been heard before!

“Cerys Hafana’s sound is simultaneously ancient in feel and yet impossibly, intriguingly modern. It is also in a field of its own; there is nothing else quite like this” – folkradio.co.uk

“Raw power” – Songlines

“A master of the Welsh triple harp… Hafana also sings movingly, her high voice like an indie-pop soprano shorn of its sweetness.” – Guardian

Behind the Lens – film and Q&A


Screening of Ysbrydion (Spirits) (Welsh with English subtitles), a stunning new short documentary by award-winning film director Amy Daniel. The film features four people sharing their experiences of growing up LGBTQ+ in rural Wales, imaginatively projected into the landscape. Followed by a panel discussion with Amy and participants.

Beloved – lesbian art

Sarah-Joy Ford

Sarah-Joy Ford will talk about her 2022 solo show Beloved: Crafting Intimacies with the Ladies of Llangollen at Plas Newydd. Created after a period of residency, the site-specific embroidered intervention was inspired by the deep and lifelong intimate relationship between the Ladies and the extraordinary home that they created together from 1780.

Sarah-Joy Ford is an artist researcher working with textiles to explore the complexities and pleasures of queer communities, histories and archives.

Tocynnau >> Tickets >>

The Lost Knitters of Tregaron – live theatre

Ruth Fowler as Cranogwen

The Lost Knitters take time out from their hard lives gathering wool, spinning and knitting to tell the story of their lives. Times are changing and they gossip about two local girls who cross-dress and have been immortalised in the street-corner ballad ‘Wel Lanciau’. 

Then Sarah-Jane Rees – often known by her bardic name Cranogwen – visits to answer their questions. Wondering what to do with your life? Cranogwen has the answer!

Cranogwen (1839-1916) was a writer, sailor, lecturer, and editor of the women’s magazine Y Frythones. Her relationships with women sustained and inspired her. She comes back to life this evening for your edification and delight.


Please bring cash for donations to AllOut, the international campaigning network that supports LGBTQ+ people wherever their rights and safety are threatened.

Croeso cynnes

All welcome. The evening is suitable for adults and young people interested in LGBTQ+ lives and history. Aberration is a trans-positive space. Event partly in English, partly in Welsh with English subtitles. The venue has good disabled access.

Book now!

Tickets >>

Tocynnau >>

Cefnogir gan / Supported by