Devolved Voices at #AberAAA

There was a Devolved Voices presence at the Aberystwyth University ‘Access All Areas’ day this last Saturday, with two of the team – Peter Barry and Matthew Jarvis – staffing the stall for the Department of English & Creative Writing.

Prof. Peter Barry, ready and waiting before #AberAAA got going…

Prof. Peter Barry, ready and waiting before #AberAAA got going…

We had a busy afternoon, talking to people of primary school age and upwards. The activity that we’d arranged was a sort of poetry game – specifically a ‘cloze procedure’ task, in which words have been taken out of a poem so that participants have to decide which words should be chosen to fill the gaps. (The two poems that we used were by Jonathan Edwards, from his Costa Poetry Prize-winning collection My Family and Other Superheroes.) It was fascinating to see quite how much this gave us a chance to explore a whole range of ideas around meanings, rhythm, and register. And it was great to see people engaging so enthusiastically with poetry.

Our thanks go to the Department of English & Creative Writing for asking us to be their representatives. And to Aberystwyth University themselves…who very helpfully put us just across the room from the chocolate fountain, which kept a steady flow of people coming past our own stall. Chocolate then poetry – what’s not to like?!

Public lecture on the poetry of Nerys Williams

I will be giving my next Devolved Voices public lecture on Friday 3rd July, at 6.30pm, in the Gas Gallery, Aberystwyth. My subject in this session is the poetry of Nerys Williams, whose debut volume Sound Archive was published by Seren in 2011 and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in the same year.

Full details of the event can be found here (and also, as a Facebook event, here). Please do come along – entry is free


Extracts of ongoing studies of Welsh poets available on our website

Some extracts of work by Dr Matthew Jarvis are now available on our website. The first, an extract looking at Jonathan Edwards’s poetry of place, comes from Dr Matthew Jarvis’s recent lecture on the Costa Prize-winning poet’s My Family and Other Superheroes. The second, looking at the work of Dai George – ‘Poetry and the 99%’ – comes from ‘Devolutionary complexities: reading three new poets’ which is planned to appear in the volume Matthew Jarvis, ed., Devolutionary Readings: English-Language Poetry and Contemporary Wales, to be published by Peter Lang in 2016, as part of their Modern Poetry Series. The book will bring together a dozen essays, by a range of scholars, about post-1997 English-language poetry in Wales. Alongside Matthew’s book, I will be editing, in the same Modern Poetry Series, a selection of interviews with post-1997 poets under our Devolved Voices focus, which will also appear next year.

PDFs of the extracts are provided at the bottom of their web pages.


‘Family and Community: The Poetry of Jonathan Edwards’

Dr Matthew Jarvis delivered a lecture on the poetry of Jonathan Edwards at The Bookshop, Aberystwyth Arts Centre on 28 May 2015. The lecture, entitled ‘Family and Community: The Poetry of Jonathan Edwards’, can be found at this link on Soundcloud or at this link on YouTube. The event also included Jonathan reading from a selection of his work beforehand. With thanks to Simon Williams for the recording.