Thursday, 6 December 2007

Friday Night Hungarian Poet George Szirtes Glamorgan Free Twilight Lecture Series Starts 7 December 2007

Professor Tony Curtis at the University of Glamorgan English & Creative Writing courses has announced the guests lecturers for the coming term:

Here are the guest writers for this year: all are at 6.30 in Glamorgan Business Centre, located on the main University of Glamorgan campus in Treforest, Pontypridd on Fridays and are FREE -

Dec 7th, 2007 George Szirtes - poet and translator

[Pictured above: George Szirtes - Hungarian poet and translator]

George Szirtes was born in Budapest in 1948 and came to England as a refugee in 1956. He was brought up in London and studied Fine Art in London and Leeds.

His poems began appearing in national magazines in 1973 and his first book, The Slant Door, was published in 1979. It won the Faber Memorial prize the following year.

After the publication of his second book, November and May, 1982, he was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Since then he has published several books and won various other prizes including the T S Eliot Prize for Reel in 2005.

Having returned to his birthplace, Budapest, for the first time in 1984, he has also worked extensively as a translator of poems, novels, plays and essays and has won various prizes and awards in this sphere.

His own work has been translated into numerous languages.

Beside his work in poetry and translation he has written Exercise of Power, a study of the artist Ana Maria Pacheco, and, together with Penelope Lively, edited New Writing 10 published by Picador in 2001.

George Szirtes - Hungarian poet and translator

Feb 29th, 2008 Grahame Davies - poet, novelist and BBC executive

[Pictured above: Dr Grahame Davies - poet, novelist and BBC executive; photograph courtesy Mauro Philip Conti Photography London-Miami-NYC.]

"One of the clearest public poetic voices of his generation," Emyr Lewis

"An unequalled satirist,” John Gruffydd Jones.

“He sees through the deception and falseness of urban media life better than anyone, and he’s scathing in his vision of the emptiness of city existence...this poet has sufficient mastery of language to disturb and reach the roots of the soul.” Alan Llwyd.

"Poems which brilliantly describe Welsh life in the capital." Peter Finch.

“There’s a new world-view on our everyday lives here, overloaded with memorable images and phrases,” Menna Elfyn.

“He has an incredible gift of expression. There’s scarcely a poem in the volume that doesn’t contain truly original and clever phrases.” Meirion MacIntyre Huws.

Poet, editor and literary critic, born in 1964 and brought up in the former coal mining village of Coedpoeth near Wrexham in north east Wales.

After gaining a degree in English Literature at CCAT (now Anglia Ruskin University) Cambridge, he qualified as a journalist with the Thomson Organisation at Newcastle-upon-Tyne and worked on newspapers in south Wales from 1985 until 1991, since when he has worked for BBC Wales.

His career as a journalist and producer has brought him a number of Welsh and UK industry awards. He is currently Editor Broadcast development for BBC Wales.

In 1997, he was awarded a doctorate by the University of Wales for his study, written in Welsh, of the work of R.S.Thomas, Saunders Lewis, T.S. Eliot and Simone Weil, whom he identified as part of an anti-modern trend in Western culture in the 20th Century.

In 1997, his first volume of poetry, Adennill Tir, (Barddas,) a book arising from the 10 years he spent in Merthyr Tydfil in the south Wales Valleys, won the Harri Webb Memorial Prize.

In 1998, he was second to Emyr Lewis in the competition for the National Eisteddfod Crown.

In 1999, his study of Wales and the anti-modern movement, Sefyll yn y Bwlch, (University of Wales Press, 1999), the product of his doctoral research, was published. It went "straight to the front rank of criticism of our day," according to the critic Dr Dafydd Glyn Jones (Barn), and was described as “a signal book” by the critic Dr Angharad Price (New Welsh Review).

In 2000, he co-edited Oxygen, (Seren) a bilingual anthology of Welsh poets aged under 45.

In 2001, his second volume of poetry, Cadwyni Rhyddid, (Barddas) appeared . It went to a second edition within a few months of publication, won the Wales Arts Council's 2002 Book of the Year award at the Hay on Wye Festival of Literature, together with a prize of £3,000.

In 2002, Seren press published his literary anthology, The Chosen People, which details the relationship of the Welsh and the Jewish people as reflected in literature.

Also in 2002, he edited a 160-page edition of the Bulgarian literary magazine Plamak (“Flame”) dedicated to Welsh literature, the first such anthology of Welsh writing in the Balkans.

In 2002 Ffiniau/Borders appeared from Gomer press, a bilingual volume of poetry jointly with Elin ap Hywel.

In 2003, he chaired the panel of judges for the Welsh Book of the Year Awards. The first prize of £5,000 went to Jerry Hunter's Llwch Cenhedloedd.

In 2004 his first novel Rhaid i Bopeth Newid, was published by Gomer. It was longlisted for the £10,000 Book of the Year prize, 2005, and was described by Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas in Taliesin as 'the first post-national novel.'

Also in 2004, his selection of Welsh poetry in Asturian translation appeared in Spain from Kêr ar Mor press under the title Nel país del borrina (The Country of the Clouds).

In 2005, his selection of Welsh poetry in Galician translation appeared under the title of No país de la brétema from VTP Editorial.

In 2005, Seren published The Big Book of Cardiff, an anthology of contemporary writing about Cardiff, co-edited by Peter Finch and Grahame Davies.

Also in 2005, his third volume of original Welsh-language poetry appeared from Barddas, under the title Achos (Cause).

In 2006, his anthology of work by and about refugees and asylum seekers in Wales, Gwyl y Blaidd / Festival of the Wolf, appeared from Parthian/Hafan, edited jointly with Tom Cheesman and Sylvie Hoffman.

In 2007, Seren published Everything Must Change, an English-language novel based on the successful Rhaid i Bopeth Newid.

Also in 2007, Seren will be publishing Real Wrexham, a work of psychogeography in the Real series edited by Peter Finch.

He is a full member of the Welsh Academi and was the Welsh-language editor of Poetry Wales magazine for several years until 2002. He won the vers libre prize in the National Eisteddfod in 1994, the sonnet prize in 2004 and the Welsh Academi’s Stomp competition in 2001.

His work has been translated into several languages, including English, German, Latvian, Maltese, Bulgarian, Polish, Asturian and Galician, and is widely anthologised, appearing in publications as diverse as The Times, The Times Literary Supplement, Poetry London, the Literary Review in America, Orbis (#136 Spring 2006) and the Yearbook of Welsh Writing in English.

He is a frequent contributor of articles and reviews to journals such as Poetry Wales, Barn, Taliesin, Planet and New Welsh Review, and his poetry is on the syllabus for school pupils in Wales.

Dr Grahame Davies - poet, novelist and BBC executive

May 9th, 2008 Niall Griffiths - novelist.

[Pictured above: Niall Griffiths - novelist]

The BBC Wales Profile on Niall Griffiths writes that:

"Niall Griffiths was born in Liverpool and has since moved to Aberystwyth. Both towns have a strong hold on his imagination. His first two novels were set on the west coast of Wales, his third re-visited his native city."

"His novel Stump traces a trajectory of violent retribution between Liverpool and Aberystwyth, following two shell-suited gangsters on their journey from Merseyside to the seaside town to settle a score."

"There has always been a strong Welsh influence in Griffiths' life. He was born to a Toxteth family with Welsh roots, in 1966."

Niall Griffiths Official Website

Academi -- Welsh Academy of Writers

Many prestigious published and award-winning authors and poets
teach on our the University of Glamorgan English & Creative Writing , so students and colleagues can be confident they’re getting the best teaching and support.

We also use our experience to help students forge working relationships with industry professionals.

The university has an outstanding reputation for creative writing. The subject was one of 12 areas rated “Excellent” by the Government’s Teaching Quality Assessment body.

In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), English was awarded a grade 4 rating, equivalent to national excellence in all areas.

For additional info please contact Dr. Mark Leslie Woods at mwoods[at]

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