2021: Event 3

(3) The Meic Stephens Lecture:
The History of Wales in
Twelve Poems

Prof. M. Wynn Thomas hosted by Gwyneth Lewis

Thursday 15th April | 6-6:45pm | Free

M. Wynn Thomas discusses his forthcoming book with the distinguished poet Gwyneth Lewis. For 1,500 years poetry has afforded the Welsh people a voice and offered them direction. This book, intended for the popular market, shows they can continue to connect our present with our past. The poems feature the savage brevity of Aneirin‘s utterance and the molten metal of Gwenallt‘s poetry of outrage. They range from the unforgettable lament of the Ynad Coch for the loss of his world to Dylan Thomas‘s haunting lament for the disappearance of his. A mother‘s lullaby sits alongside Ann Griffiths‘s ecstatic hymn, Gillian Clarke‘s Blodeuwedd is neighbour to Menna Elfyn‘s celebration of contemporary multiform Wales. In total these poems represent female as well as male experience, and testify to the restless and fluid character of Welsh identity.

Sign Language interpretation provided

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The Festival is organising the bookselling in partnership with bookshop.org. There’s an expanded range of Festival titles for each event available from our bookshop.org affiliate shop. Take a look at them here. If you buy from our shop, you are supporting the Festival, the writers, the publishers, and, thanks to the way bookshop.org operates, independent booksellers generally.

M. Wynn Thomas speaking on stage.

M. Wynn Thomas

M. Wynn Thomas is Professor of English and Emyr Humphreys Chair of Welsh Writing in English, Swansea University. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, was founding Vice-President of the Learned Society of Wales and sometime Visiting Professor at Harvard University, and is currently Chair of the Welsh Books Council. Of the more than two dozen books on American poetry and the literatures of Wales that he has published, All That is Wales won a Wales Book of the Year Prize in 2018. His latest publication is Eutopia: Studies in Cultural Euro-Welshness, 1850-1980.

M. Wynn Thomas – The History of Wales in Twelve Poems
ISBN-13: 9781786837660

M. Wynn Thomas – Studies in Cultural Euro-Welshness, 1850–1980
ISBN-13: 9781786836144

All That Is Wales: The Collected Essays of M. Wynn Thomas
ISBN-13: 9781786830890

Gwyneth Lewis smiling into the camera.

Gwyneth Lewis

Gwyneth Lewis was Wales‘s National Poet from 2005-06. She wrote the six-foot high words on the front of the Wales Millennium Centre, now an icon for Wales. She’s published nine books of poetry in Welsh and English and two of non-fiction. Her most recent publication is a translation, with Rowan Williams, of The Book of Taliesin (Penguin Classics, 2019). She’s freelance and has written plays for stage and radio. Her first television screenplay won the BAFTA Wales Best Drama Award. She’s a faculty member of the Bread Loaf School of English in Middlebury, Vermont, where she was 2016 Robert Frost Chair of Literature.

Gwyneth Lewis – Treiglo
Cyhoeddiadau Barddas
ISBN-13: 9781906396947

Cathryn McShane-Kouyaté

Cathryn McShane-Kouyaté is a British Sign Language/ Welsh/English interpreter with 15 years experience of working in a wide range of settings including theatre, education, and community work.  In the last year Cathryn has become a familiar face from her interpreting work for the Welsh Government and the regular COVID-19 ministerial press briefings broadcast live across news channels in Wales.