Swansea & District Writers Circle (SDWC)

A group of people from all walks of life and backgrounds, who are passionate about writing.

3rd March 2021: Professor John Goodby

Wednesday 3rd March 2021

Our guest speaker in March was poet, Professor John Goodby, Professor of Arts and Culture at Sheffield Hallam University and formerly a lecturer in creative writing at Swansea University.

He describes himself as a persona non grata from Birmingham, who is both an expert in Irish poetry and Dylan Thomas. He is the author of The Poetry of Dylan Thomas: Under the Spelling Wall (2013) and editor of the centenary edition of Dylan Thomas's Collected Poems (2014).

A winner of many poetry prizes, his work has been described as “mischievous” and “faithfully subversive”.

He asked the members to chose one of five poems for him to read at the meeting. Members chose 'The Uncles', which John said was by far his most successful poem, winning the Cardiff International poetry competition in 2006, being featured in many anthologies and becoming a set text for AS level English Literature.

 

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3 February 2021: Niall Griffiths

Niall Griffiths was born in Liverpool to a Welsh/Irish/Romany lineage. He's been a labourer, a barman, a server of fish and chips, a burglar, a farmhand, a tree feller, a factory worker and many other things too tedious to relate. Now, he's a full-time writer, living at the foot of a mountain in mid-Wales, with seven novels published, several works of non-fiction and more short stories and radio plays and travel pieces and reviews than he cares to, or possibly even can, count.

He has won the Wales book of the year award twice: in 2004 for his fourth novel, 'Stump', and again in 2020 for his latest work, 'Broken Ghost'. A film adaptation of his third novel, Kelly+Victor, won a BAFTA, and he's now working on the screenplay for his sixth novel, 'Wreckage'.

To find out more, see Niall's website at: www.niallgriffiths.com

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7 October 2020: Colin R Parsons

Fantasy fiction for children and young adults

Colin R Parsons was born in the Rhondda Valley, where he still lives, and started writing when still a child. He took up his pen again later in life and his first book, "Wizards' Kingdom", was featured at the launch of the Borders book store in Llantrisant in 2006. Colin gave two talks and sold 100 books over the weekend, which is where his journey as a writer began.

He now writes fantasy, steampunk, supernatural and sci-fi novels for children and adults, influenced mainly by the works of Tolkien, CS Lewis and HG Wells. In addition to the the popular "Wizards' Kingdom" series, Colin has written "The Curious World" series of fantasy children's books, several novels for young adults and a YA fantasy short story collection, "The Black Shoebox and Other Strange Stories", due to be published in 2020. He also writes children's picture books in collaboration with Clare Thomas, as well as adult crime novels under his pseudonym, Jake Ridge.

Colin runs the Rhondda Book Fair and has done for the past six years. It's a free event for the public to attend, with many authors in attendance and a special guest talk in the afternoon.

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2 December: Richard Lewis Davies

Richard Lewis Davies is one of the founding partners of Parthian. It was established in 1993 to publish his first novel, "Work, Sex and Rugby", and has since developed into a leading independent publisher based in Wales. Parthian's focus is on Welsh writers working in English, while also assembling a carnival of voices from many languages and cultures. Richard has been involved in the literary scene in Wales since 1990 and is the current commercial director of Parthian and the Library of Wales series.

In addition to publishing, Richard has a parallel career as a creative writer. His novels include "Tree of Crows" and "My Piece of Happiness", and he has also published a selection of literary essays "As I Was a Boy Fishing" and a critically acclaimed selection of stories "Love and Other Possibilities".

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Jen Wilson. September 2nd 2020

Writing: Is it All That Jazz?

Jen Wilson founded Jazz Heritage Wales in 1986 after the miners' strike. She will be talking to the Circle about her book, FREEDOM MUSIC: Wales, Emancipation and Jazz 1850-1950, which was published in 2019 by the University of Wales Press.

Jen took a circuitous route into the academic world. She left school in 1960 with RSAs in shorthand and typing, but was encouraged back into education by Ursula Masson MA after the miners’ strike. Jen gained an MSc (Econ) in Women’s Studies in 1996 while a Tutor in Performing Arts at DACE Swansea University. She left DACE for the voluntary and community sector, where she developed and delivered community arts projects: Women's Big Band, touring Exhibitions, a schools touring performance Before Freedom, while continuing to write. Her first published piece was Zen And The Art of Thelonius Monk, Honno Press 1989.

Jen has given academic papers in Ohio, West Virginia, New York, and has a paper accepted for Univ. of Austin Texas in July 2020. Jazz Heritage Wales moved into UWTSD in 2009, where Jen was made Hon. Professor of Practice in 2016. She received the Welsh Government’s St. David Award for Culture 2017.

Her publications can be seen at www.jenwilsonjazzpiano.com  Log in to see the presentation and meeting video.

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