The Bardic Chair of Ynys Witrin
Each chaired Bard holds the post for one year and a day, before setting up a competition to elect a successor. The Chair refers to the position but, in some cases, as in Glastonbury and Bath, there is a physical ceremonial chair which is passed down from bard to bard. We also have a blue ceremonial robe and the ceremonial Silver Branch of Ynys Witrin, which are passed on with the title. Each Bardic Chair has its own Celticised name and is frequently associated with a specific location which is often, but not always, a natural or man-made mound or stone circle. Of course in Glastonbury the natural focus is the Tor.
The contest is open to Poets, Storytellers and Songwriters who compose on a given theme each year. We meet up over the third week in May to celebrate local arts & culture and share in creativity, performances & ceremony. The new Bard is Chaired at the Finals, which are held on St Dunstan’s Day (May 19th) every year.
The Institution of the Bardic Chair of Glastonbury is independent and belongs first and foremost to the people of Glastonbury, regardless of faith, background or politics. The position of Bard of Glastonbury is open to anyone who lives within walking distance of the Tor. We trust that anyone wishing to join us will be sympathetic to the Celtic Tradition from which it claims its heritage. See Rules of the Bardic Trials
Some previous years’ entries can be read in our Poetry archive.
Performers who wish to enter the contest for the Bardic Chair of Ynys Witrin this year must fill in an Official Entry Form, which is usually available from the Library of Avalon, Glastonbury High Street, Somerset. This year’s Open Gorsedh is being organised by the Gorsedh Committee of the Bardic Council of Ynys Witrin. Contact us here for further information.