Kimwei McCarthy
becomes Bard of Exeter 

Kimwei McCarthy, 33, became Bard of Exeter on April 30th, winning the “Chair” in a competition against 6 other solo performers at The Phonix Arts Centre. The event was overseen by Exeter’s Grand Bard Jackie Juno (TEDx, The Invisible Opera Company of Tibet, multiple poetry slam winner) and outgoing Bard Chris White.
Jackie welcomed Kimwei into the role, which she describes as follows: “The Bard speaks for the people and is also spiritually connected to the land."
Kimwei (Sky Arts, BBC Radio Devon) is a unique performer with passion for the Bardic arts. As well as being a singer-songwriter, he has composed and performed soundtracks for local storytellers and taken part in poetry slams. For the last decade, Kimwei has been involved in the Exeter performance scene and organised spoken word, music and mixed discipline events. With a broad foundation in both music and words Kimwei is an ideal choice for Bard. “I am here to listen to the city - both the people and the land,” he says of the role "What I do will be 100% guided by that listening."
Just two days in, Kimwei has already set up and appeared on BBC Radio Devon (Pippa Quelch) to speak about the Bardship and perform a spoken piece inspired by the city. He says “This is a 200 year old tradition and it’s important to honour the spirit of it, whilst inventing it anew in modern times.” Stay tuned to see how the year unfolds.