Fans of Kingsley Amis will be familiar with his love of Swansea. The celebrated novelist spent twelve years at Swansea University as a lecturer in the English department. While Amis is well known as a satirist and his words could be cutting, he wrote of his adopted home with great warmth. “The Old Devils”, the Booker Prize winner that crowned Amis’s career, offered a view of Swansea bathed in Autumn sunshine. It’s a fine example of a visitor settling in the city, falling in love with it and telling their version of its story with affection and appreciation.

Carl Gough has been a 21st century champion of Swansea’s storytelling tradition, demonstrating the potency and charm of the spoken word. Carl breathes life into Welsh myths and legends for audiences of all ages, but his eyes are firmly fixed on Swansea’s future, not just its past.

Starting next month Carl will host You’re the Voice, a series of events encouraging others to share their tales of Swansea. Whether celebrating local business success stories, environmental initiatives or creative accomplishments, speakers will shine a light on aspects of city life that give them pleasure and pride. Some will be natives, born and bred in this part of the world. Others from farther afield will follow in the footsteps of Kingsley Amis and share their optimism and affection for a place they came to as outsiders but quickly learned to call their home.

The best leaders inspire others to become leaders, not followers. The best storytellers inspire others to find their voice, not just listen. In sharing his talent, Carl Gough is helping to bring out the talent in others. The first You’re the Voice storytelling showcase takes place at the Elysium Gallery at 210 High Street on Tuesday, March 24th. You can make your case for a ten minute speaking slot here, taking your pick from an inviting range of subjects. If you’re not ready to speak just yet, come along on the 24th and draw inspiration from what others have to say. Admission is free and all are welcome.

It’s a new decade, and it’s time to set the tone for Swansea in the 2020s. It’s your time to find your voice among friends. Join us at the Elysium on March 24th and have your say.

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