Annie takes over from Sara Goodwins who held the position over the past year. Previous Bards have included Jon 'Dog' Callister and Stacey Astill.
The Bard is a cultural initiative sponsored by the Arts Council and endorsed by Culture Vannin and Manx Litfest. The winning poet is selected by a panel of judges based on their poems, performance, and bringing innovation to the role.
As part of the prize, the Bard attends events on and off island throughout the year to promote Manx culture which is something not unfamiliar to the new Bard who is already highly involved in the Manx cultural and artistic scene.
Brilliant poet, fluent Manx speaker, scholar of Manx literature, musician, choir director, prolific song writer and arranger - we don't need to be shy in saying that we were delighted when her name was announced at The Manx Bard inauguration at Moorhouse Farm IOM yesterday.
Annie Kissack sitting in her Manx Bard robes at Moorhouse Farm on Sunday (26th).
The Manx Bard is an exciting initiative sponsored by the Isle of Man Arts Council and endorsed by Manx Litfest and Culture Vannin. The concept is the brainchild of Bridget Carter, who is chairman of the Manx Bard committee, supported by Hazel Teare and Di Benson.
Each year the Island’s most worthy poet is appointed as Manx Bard via an annual competition. In recognition of our proud poetic heritage, the title of First Manx Bard was awarded posthumously in 2014 to our national poet T.E. Brown.
The Manx Bard competition is held every year and is open to anyone aged 18 or over who lives full-time in the Isle of Man. Entrants are judged on the quality of poetry, their performance and on the initiative they can bring to this high profile role. They need to have some understanding of Manx heritage and the Celtic tradition from which the role originates. Poetic skill, creativity and an ability to engage the community in poetry are all crucial elements of The Bard’s function. The successful candidate will also attend selected events off-Island, helping to highlight our unique culture. The role carries a stipend and expenses.
Thanks to the kind support of the Isle of Man Arts Council, we are proud to have our very own Bardic Chair. Created by wood artist Graham Hall, with hand-carved lettering by Simon Capelan, the chair is a work of art in its own right. We are delighted and honoured that the Bardic Chair has a permanent home in the Legislative Buildings in Douglas.
It is made from beautiful white sycamore and bears a quote selected from T.E. Brown’s poem Spes Altera. Each new Manx Bard is inaugurated in the chair, wearing Bardic robes designed by Linda Davies and bearing the staff created by Simon Capelan.
Bridge Carter, chairman of the Manx Bard Committee, in the Bardic Chair
Former President of Tynwald, the Hon Clare Christian, said: ‘The chair is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and artwork which will come, in time, to be widely recognised as representing what is best of another aspect of our culture, our poetry.'