INFLUENTIAL American public speaker, poet and writer Kevin Powell met local schoolchildren recently, when he visited Pembrokeshire as part of a project celebrating the life and work of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

Following his appointment to the role of International Ambassador for the Dylan Thomas Centenary, the celebrated speaker and writer visited Monkton Priory School to take part in the Developing Dylan 100 project.

The project, run in partnership with the Pembrokeshire Traveller Education Service (PTES) and supported by the Welsh Government and Literature Wales, aims to bring the magic of Thomas’ words to the children of Wales and beyond, through creative workshops, competitions, and live performances.

Mr Powell, a prominent activist for social justice in the USA who has run for US Congress three times and appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, talked to students, alongside Richard Huw Morgan, of Cardiff-based performing arts company ‘good cop bad cop’.

In the afternoon, the pupils developed a non-verbal language using Dylan Thomas’ themes and texts as a starting point.

Mr Powell said: “My experience at the Monkton School and working with the children of the travelling community was incredible.

“They were brilliant, outspoken, and strong listeners. It is certainly a population that should be engaged consistently by the people of Wales, including artists, scholars, and leaders.

“And certainly international folks like myself have much to learn from this community.”

Monkton Priory School’s PTES aims to ensure that young people in Pembrokeshire get equal access to opportunities to fulfil their potential, and that those in the Romani Gypsy Traveller community remain integrated within the education community.