The Crowd Gathers by Hanan Issa | Video of the Week

The Crowd Gathers by Hanan Issa | Video of the Week

This is Video of the Week from Wales Arts Review. We’ll be showcasing some of the best art in Wales with a new video shared every week. From music to drama and everything in between, videos will not be limited by medium. For this week’s video we take a look at Hanan Issa’s reading from ‘her poem The Crowd Gathers’, the official poem of the Gŵyl Cymru Festival.

The National Poet of Wales, Hanan Issa, was commissioned by FAW and Literature Wales to write ‘The Crowd Gathers’; the official poem for Gŵyl Cymru Festival. The poem has been translated by Grug Muse into Welsh, under the title ‘Mae’r Dorf yn Ymgynnull’. Both Hanan Issa and Grug Muse feature in ‘The Crowd Gathers’ official poem video, citing lines from the poem in English, Welsh and Arabic, accompanied by music from Welsh artist, Sage Todz.

Speaking about the poem, Hanan Issa described how “football has the power to transform a crowd of individuals into a cohesive group, united in support of their team. It’s exciting to think of Cymru in an international spotlight and I wanted to express that infectious sense of hope the country is experiencing right now.” The poem was released as part of the launch of the Festival programme.


The poem epitomises the aim of the Festival, which aims to unify and amplify the wealth of arts, music and events being created for Cymru’s historic World Cup journey and introduce new audiences to Welsh arts, culture and language – ensuring a cultural legacy to the FIFA World Cup 2022, brought by the smallest qualifying country to take part.

Full details of the Festival and listings for all of the events taking place can be found on the Gŵyl Cymru Festival website. You can follow news from the Festival on social media, using #GŵylCymru.