Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Siriol McAvoy on Lynette Roberts

Canolfan Richard Burton * Academi Rhodri Morgan * CREW
Seminar Series / Cyfres Seminarau 2017 - 18

Welsh Europeanisms

Ewropaethau Cymreig

Literature. Politics. History
Llenyddiaeth. Gwleidyddiaeth. Hanes

4pm, Monday, October 30, Keir Hardie Building. Room 115
4yh, Dydd Llun, Hydref 30, Adeilad Keir Hardie, Ystafell 115

Siriol McAvoy, Research Fellow, CREW

"I felt like running off to France and selling my British status”: Lynette Roberts, Welsh modernism, and the call of Europe

Argentinian-Welsh poet Lynette Roberts tends to be identified with a ‘localist’ strand of modernism, rooted in her ‘milltir sgwâr’ of Llanybri, Carmarthenshire. But she can also be seen as an ‘international-regionalist’, for her writing seeks continuously to open up the borders of Wales to other times and spaces. In this paper, I address Roberts’s engagement with the cultures of Europe, suggesting that this illuminates her own fluid, multifarious sense of belonging as a ‘colonial’ (and Welsh) woman writer.
Firstly I excavate Roberts's internationalism and solidarity with Europe in the context of the socio-political developments that marked the 1930s and 40s, including the rise of Fascism. Summarising the importance of her ‘continental migrations to Europe’ around this time, I turn to consider her engagement with the European avant-garde (Symbolist theatre, Surrealism, modernist design including Bauhaus and Le Corbusier). The third part of the paper will examine Roberts's interest in (what she sees as a) trans-European folk culture. Presenting her support for 'peasant' peoples and the rural dispossessed as indicative of her feminist and culturalist vision, I suggest that she fuses Welsh and European folk culture with avant-garde aesthetics in order to construct a new form of ‘naive modernism’ that champions a cultural rootedness without borders.

Friday, 6 October 2017


Swansea University

A Richard Burton Centre Lecture in collaboration with Academi Hywel Teifi

Ian Rowlands

Twenty years since the night that Wales voted to bring itself into being, playwright Ian Rowlands has come to realise the seizmic effect Devolution has had upon his work. In this lecture, Rowlands will both contextualise and read excerpts of his work that mark him out as a Devolutionary writer.

Speaker's Biography
Ian Rowlands was born in the Rhondda. He has been called “the theatrical conscience of modern Wales” and his talent described as “a fusion of Dylan Thomas and The Manic Street Preachers”. As a theatre director, he has been at the helm of four Welsh theatre companies and his film 'A Light in the Valley' (director: Michael Bogdanov) won a Royal TV Society award in 2000. The author of fifteen plays, including Blink (which toured Wales, ran Off-Broadway and was adapted for Radio Cymru) and Desire Lines (Sherman Cymru). Radio credits include Gwennie (Radio 4) and several Radio Cymru and Radio Wales commissions. The recipient of two Creative Wales Awards, Ian recently realised Y Gadair Wag - a multi-media staged lecture with the National Poet of Wales Ifor ap Glyn. He is currently developing Aurora Borealis, a Welsh / Icelandic project.

Wednesday 11 October 2017:  6 p.m.

Location: Callaghan Lecture Theatre, Callaghan Building, Singleton Park Campus, Swansea University

Free admission. All welcome.
Lecture will be given in English.

Enquiries: Professor Daniel Williams (daniel.g.williams@swansea.ac.uk)