Event 20

Remembering Dannie Abse

Dannie Abse

Sunday 16 February 2020

Temple of Peace


Cardiff-born Dannie Abse, CBE (1923-2014) was widely regarded as one of the premier poets of his generation. He also published novels, plays, diaries and autobiography. In this event we gather family, poets, and friends to celebrate his life and work. His Daughter Keren Abse will say a few words and read one of Abse’s poems, as will Seren Director Cary Archard and Managing Editor Mick Felton. Poet Robert Minhinnick will read a selection from one of his essays that features Abse, poet Lynne Hjelmgaard will read some of her poems, tender elegies that recall the few, final years she spent with Dannie. This event features Violin from WCMD-tutor Christopher Horner who will play selections of classical violin music.

£7, or £5 with concessions

Authors and Artists

Lynne Hjelmgaard

Lynne Hjelmgaard was born in New York City and lives in London. She taught Creative Art for children in various schools and institutions before she started writing poetry. She left the States in 1990 for the second time and has been living permanently in the UK since 2011.

As a result of crossing the Atlantic in a sailboat with her husband she wrote the poems that were collected in Manhattan Sonnets (Redbeck Press, 2003) and was later released in CD format. After her husband died in 2006, she received a residency grant for the Danish Academy in Rome where she wrote poems that later appeared in her second collection The Ring (Shearsman Books, 2011).

Her third poetry collection, A Boat Called Annalise, was published by Seren in 2016 and accounts for the journey Lynne took with her husband by boat across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and Europe. Her new collection A Second Whisper is available now.

Robert Minhinnick

Robert Minhinnick is the prize-winning author of four volumes of essays, more than a dozen volumes of poetry, and four works of fiction. He has also edited a book on the environment in Wales, written for television, and provided columns for The Western Mail and Planet.

He is the co-founder of the environmental organisation Sustainable Wales, and was formerly the editor of Poetry Wales. His first novel Sea Holly (2007) was shortlisted for the 2008 Ondaatje Prize. His new novel Nia is available now. He has been nominated for numerous prizes and has won the English-language Wales Book of the Year award a record three times.

Cary Archard

Cary Archard was born in south Wales, close to Aberdare, Alun Lewis’s home town. The editor of Poetry Wales from 1980-86, and founder of Poetry Wales Press, he is the general editor of the uniform edition of Alun Lewis’s works. Until recently he taught English and Philosophy in Bridgend.

Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis wrote the Writers of Wales book on Dannie Abse and read in this country and abroad with Dannie on many occasions. Dannie became a friend and mentor to Tony whose Selected Poems includes two poems celebrating the older poet. Tony will read from and talk about the anthologies that Dannie and Joan Abse produced.

Christopher Horner

London born violinist Christopher Horner is based in Cardiff. He has performed throughout the UK, Europe, South Africa and more recently, India. He has recorded a CD of music by the Lithuanian composer, Juozas Gruodis for the Discovery label with pianist John Lenehan. His violin is a copy of the 1744 “Ole Bull” Guarnerius del Gesù by the Barcelona luthier David Bagué i Soler.