Welcome to NaCOT

Welcome to NaCOT – the UK’s National Centre for the Oral Tradition – for spoken poetry, storytelling, acapella singing, and public speaking of all kinds.

NaCOT’s big dream  is to create a national home for the oral tradition – a village of authentic ‘original’ buildings to celebrate, nurture and house the ancient tradition that has carried our oral culture for tens of thousands of years.

In the meantime – working from our base in Wales and across the UK, we present the best in public performance, including On the Border, our flagship poetry series which brings together great poets from either side of the Welsh border for world-class readings. We also offer arts-based education for children, adults and organisations – and provide important outreach work for the disadvantaged and the unheard.


The adventure begins right here!



“I am a radio station, broadcasting to the world”

William Ayot: An introduction to NaCOT

What’s On

Events In Preparation

Watch this space

Events Booking

Book Here For Full Price Tickets

Book Here For Group Bookings

Book Here For Beat the Bridge Tickets

Book Here For Full Price Tickets



NaCOT was set up to redress the clear loss of verbal and social skills, which is becoming apparent as we increase our dependence upon digital technologies. We don’t complain about this, we merely concentrate on preparing people for a fully interactive and socially involved future by folding the ancient skills of the storyteller, the poet and speaker back into our modern lives.


NaCOT’s guiding principles are that oracy is an essential precursor to literacy; that we need to balance new and emergent technologies by folding ancient skills back into our evolving culture; and that every child in the United Kingdom deserves to be taught public speaking as a way to fulfilling their potential, regardless of class, creed, ethnicity or background.  Read more >>

“Something important is being lost.
Our task therefore is not to shun the literary,
not to resist the coming of new technologies,
not even to question the speed of change,
but to rekindle the magic of the oral tradition,
and fold it back in to our modern lives… ”

ON THE BORDER Celebrating Spoken Poetry



“On the Border promises to re-ignite the great poetry
evenings of the past, when poets and audience come
together in celebration of poetry as utterance…
I was delighted to take part, along with Gillian Clarke, in the
very first event”.

Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate & Patron of NaCOT