The University of Wales and Y Babell Lên

Posted on 6 July 2011
eisteddfod1

The University of Wales's Eisteddfod stand

The University of Wales is once again pleased to sponsor Y Babell Lên (the Literature Pavilion) at this year’s National Eisteddfod.

As part of its mission, the University is committed to supporting and encouraging Welsh language and culture, and much of this work relates to the written word. The University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies (CAWCS) undertakes world-leading research into Celtic languages, literature and history; the University Press publishes more than 60 titles of research and academic writing each year, while the University’s study and conference centre, Gregynog Hall, has recently made available to the public its historic collection of books and journals relating to Welsh history, literature and culture.

Sponsorship of the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize – a £30,000 annual award open to young emerging authors from across the world – helps to promote Wales’s literary reputation in the English language. It is therefore most fitting that the University matches this commitment by sponsoring Welsh literary culture at what many consider the jewel in the crown of the Eisteddfod.

This year the University is increasing its own contribution to the programme in the Literature Pavilion. In addition to the annual University Lecture, a series of ‘Literary Conversations’ will be presented, similar to those held at the Hay Festival. Hosting these will be Catrin Beard , a literary critic, television presenter and Eisteddfod literature panel member.

First to join Catrin on stage (Monday 1 August at 12.45pm) will be Fflur Dafydd, the award winning novelist, singer-songwriter and musician. Fflur will be talking about ‘Islands, librarians and locusts – images of Wales in the work of Fflur Dafydd’.

Poet Mererid Hopwood, the first woman ever to have won the Chair at the National Eisteddfod, will be the guest on Tuesday 2 August at 3.45pm, when the subject for discussion will be ‘Medicine for the mind: the healing effect of poems on wounds’.

Discussing his new novel ‘Y Storiwr (The Storyteller)’ (Wednesday 3 August at 1.45pm) will be well-known author and broadcaster Jon Gower, while the publisher Simon Thirsk (Bloodaxe Books) will also be providing an insight into his novel, ‘Not Quite White’ which, though written in English, is interlaced with Welsh dialogue (Thursday 4 August at 10.00am).

The lively and diverse material for debate in these exciting sessions is proof that Welsh literature is alive and well; the standard of work produced by these splendidly different writers is an example to the world of a small nation whose literary influence continues to reach well beyond its borders.

*Friday's speaker (5 August) will be announced soon - watch this space! 

/Ends

For all media enquiries concerning the University of Wales, contact Tomas Llewellyn Barrett in the Communications Office t.barrett@wales.ac.uk

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