Waterstones Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho to visit Denbigh Library as part of campaign championing local libraries

Denbighshire Libraries are delighted to be welcoming Waterstones Children’s Laureate (2022-2024) Joseph Coelho to Denbigh Library as part of his nationwide ‘Library Marathon’ mission.

The award-winning performance poet, playwright, and children’s author is on a mission to join a library in every local authority in the UK – more than 200 libraries in total – with the aim of encouraging people, young and old, to join their local library.

The tour in Wales starts in Caerphilly and concludes in Flintshire where Coelho’s nine-day journey will see the UK Children’s Laureate participate in a series of school and library visits organised by BookTrust and Literature Wales.

The tour will include a special event at Denbigh Library on Wednesday, September 13th, where Coelho will become a member of Denbighshire Libraries, borrow a book, and read and perform his works for pupils of Ysgol Pendref.

Coelho is championing local libraries and the vital role they play within the community and inspiring a love of reading in young people.

Joseph Coelho, Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2022–2024, said: “I am thrilled to bring my Library Marathon tour to Wales. I look forward to visiting 22 libraries across this beautiful country, and joining fellow poet and newly announced Children’s Laureate Wales, Alex Wharton.

“Libraries made me a writer and make communities thrive. They have been a vital part of my life: from living on estates where I had a library next door, to my first Saturday job, to working at the British Library whilst studying at UCL, to touring theatre shows designed to be performed in libraries.

“I’m immensely grateful to libraries and the services they provide, so I want to use my platform as the Waterstones Children’s Laureate to champion these essential launchpads of learning. I want to hug every library, these miraculous institutions where new horizons line the shelves, where minds go to grow.”

Claire Furlong, Literature Wales’ Executive Director said: “What a treat for children in Wales to have Joseph Coelho touring libraries across the length and breadth of Wales as part of his Library Marathon tour.

“At Literature Wales, we’re passionate about the benefits of introducing the joys of creative writing to the next generation. Libraries are essential in this endeavour, as is providing as many opportunities as possible for children to meet and be inspired by writers.

“I know that Joseph, alongside our very own Children’s Laureate Wales Alex Wharton, will inspire every child they meet in Wales to love their local library and leaving them brimming with enthusiasm for creating reading and writing. We can’t wait to give Joseph the warmest Croeso i Gymru this September.”

Diana Gerald, Chief Executive of BookTrust added: “Libraries are essential community hubs for children and families and with the current cost of living crisis, can offer a safe and warm space, packed full of fabulous books that will inspire children of all ages on their reading journeys. Sharing stories and reading together with children has been proven to bring children wide-ranging benefits that can positively affect their lives.

“If Joseph’s Library Marathon has inspired you to visit your own local library, talk to the librarians – they are experts and can support you to find books and stories that you and your child will enjoy reading together.”

Cllr Emrys Wynne, Denbighshire County Council’s Lead Member for Welsh Language, Culture & Heritage, said: “We were delighted to hear the news that Joseph Coelho’s Library Marathon would be coming to Denbighshire and are pleased that pupils of Ysgol Pendref will be treated to a special event at Denbigh Library to promote the importance of our local libraries.