Mar 2, 2009

Following the footsteps of Dylan Thomas



Washington Meets Wales 18-24 March 2009


Some of the best young Welsh writers will be performing their work in Washington DC in March 2009, alongside local writers, as part of a week-long celebration of contemporary Welsh literature in the US capital.

Wales Meets Washington is part of the wider Wales Smithsonian Cymru 2009 programme of activities and events, which includes Wales as a guest nation at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in June 2009.

As a taster to the festival, Academi, the Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency and Society for Authors, with support from the Welsh Assembly Government, has organised a series of literary activities around Washington DC.

Tom Anderson, Catrin Dafydd, Fflur Dafydd, Eurig Salisbury and Owen Sheers will perform and discuss their work. Venues include Busboys and Poets, Marymount University Campus Café and The Writers’ Center in Bethesda. Workshops and discussions will be held at George Washington University, American University and the British School of Washington. The writers will combine poetry, prose and music and there will also be an opportunity to hear some of the work read in Welsh as well as English. They will be joined by DC writers Rose Solari, Adele Steiner, Fred Joiner and Kyle G Dargan.

Academi Chief Executive Peter Finch says: “The links between Wales and the U.S. have a long history. Academi is delighted to have a role in creating new connections today. Following in the footsteps of Dylan Thomas, five young Welsh writers will cross the Atlantic for a week of workshops, readings, exchange and debate. What better time to glance at the state of these two nations and their literatures. The inheritors of Dylan Thomas have a lot to live up to but, being Welsh, they’ll do it with ease.”


For a full timetable and to download a brochure:

www.academi.org/washington-meets-wales/

For further details, contact Academi on:

(00 44) 29 2047 2266 post@academi.org

Academi, Chief Executive: Peter Finch, Mount Stuart Square, Mount Stuart Street, Cardiff CF10 5FQ, Wales, UK


Academi


The Academi is the Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency and Society for Authors, and represents literature in all the languages of Wales. The Academi runs events, competitions, conferences, international exchanges, events for schools, lectures and festivals. Academi is also responsible for the National Poet of Wales project and the Encyclopaedia of Wales. The Academi works with the support of the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government. Academi is the recipient of an Arts Council of Wales Beacon Company Award 2008 - 2010.


Smithsonian Folklife Festival


The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an annual, cultural festival run by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, a research and educational unit of the Smithsonian Institution. Wales is a guest nation in 2009. The Festival takes place outdoors on what is known as the National Mall in Washington DC, an area of open parkland that is flanked by Capitol Hill, the Washington Monument and many of the Smithsonian’s national museums. In summer 2009 the Festival will run from 24 – 28 June and 1 – 5 July. The Festival offers a significant opportunity from which to raise the profile and awareness of Wales with a largely U.S. audience. Over one hundred individual practitioners, performers and presenters from Wales will participate in the Festival. For further information visit: www.wales.com/smithsonian


The Writers


Tom Anderson


Tom Anderson was led into a writing career through journeys taken as a surfer. He studied at the University of Glamorgan, south Wales and was the recipient of an Academi writer’s bursary for 2007 for his next book, a travelogue set in the USA. His book Riding the Magic Carpet: A Surfer’s Odyssey to Find the Perfect Wave (Summersdale Publishers Ltd) was published in 2006.


Catrin Dafydd


Bilingual author, dramatist, poet, political campaigner, performer and musician. She won the 2005 Literature Medal at the Urdd Eisteddfod, Cardiff and has won 2nd and 3rd places in the Crown, Chair and Drama Prize competitions 11 times in five years. Catrin won an Academi bursary in 2004 to work on her first novel, entitled Pili Pala (Gomer, 2006). Her first novel in English, Random Deaths and Custard (Gomer, 2007), has been shortlisted for the ‘Books to be talked about 2009’ award by the World Book Day team.


Fflur Dafydd


Novelist and singer-songwriter Fflur Dafydd is a graduate of the University of East Anglia’s Creative Writing MA course. Fflur has a PhD on the poetry of R.S. Thomas and currently lectures in Creative Writing at Swansea University, south Wales. Fflur was awarded the Prose Medal at the National Eisteddfod in 2006. She is the author of two Welsh language novels and one English novel, Twenty Thousand Saints (Alcemi, 2008).


Eurig Salisbury


Eurig Salisbury is currently a Research Fellow on the poetry of Guto’r Glyn at the Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies in Aberystwyth and is an expert on the ancient, but still popular, Welsh verse form cynghanedd. He won the Chair at the National Urdd Eisteddfod in 2006, and has come second in the Chair competition at the National Eisteddfod of Wales on three consecutive occasions. His first collection of poems in Welsh is Llyfr Glas Eurig (Barddas, 2008).


Owen Sheers


Poet, author and playwright Owen Sheers was the winner of an Eric Gregory Award and the 1999 Vogue Young Writer’s Award. His first collection of poetry, The Blue Book (Seren, 2000) was short-listed for the Wales Book of the Year and the Forward Prize Best 1st Collection 2001. His debut prose work The Dust Diaries (Faber 2004) won the Wales Book of the Year 2005. His first novel, Resistance (Faber, 2008) has been translated into nine languages. Owen was a 2007 Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library. He currently divides his time between New York and Wales.



For a full timetable and to download a brochure:

www.academi.org/washington-meets-wales/

For further details, contact Academi on:

(00 44) 29 2047 2266       post@academi.org       www.academi.org


Academi, Chief Executive: Peter Finch, Mount Stuart Square, Mount Stuart Street, Cardiff CF10 5FQ, Wales, UK

Academi is the Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency and Society for Authors. Academi is funded by the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government.












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