William Ayot’s emotionally charged poetry has inspired leaders around the world. Email From the Soul was not written for poets but came out of a decade of Ayot’s work in boardrooms and in business schools, where he is much in demand as a speaker, facilitator and leadership coach. The poems in Email From the Soul speak directly to the challenges that leaders face, particularly at times of change, and Ayot delivers them in a deeply felt and inspirational fashion.
Ayot was employed in London’s casino industry while working on his development as a playwright and poet. He experienced a personal crisis in his thirties that led him to years of study under a series of teachers and shamans. He went on to use poetry to lead men’s groups in rehabilitation centres and prisons. As a co-director of Olivier Mythodrama, he worked for more than a decade to bring imaginative writing and poetry to organisations and business schools across the globe. He set up On the Border, a groundbreaking poetry initiative in Chepstow, which in turn led to the setting up of NaCOT, a home and centre for spoken poetry, storytelling and oratory that reaches out to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Ayot’s published work includes several volumes of poetry and the plays Bengal Lancer and Shakespeare’s Ear. This event is part of the festival’s leadership strand, which is in its second year.