Swansea University creative writing staff at Hay 2015

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Leading creative writing staff from Swansea University’s College of Arts and Humanities (COAH) will join writers from around the world at this year’s Hay Festival.

Dr Francesca Rhydderch; Dr Jasmine Donahaye, Jon Gower, Professor Owen Sheers, Dr Fflur Dafydd and Gillian Clarke will feature in a variety of events, (21-31 May 2015) at the Brecon Beacons National Park to help ensure the success of the world famous story-telling festival, now in its twenty-seventh year.

On 23 May at 8.30pm on the Good Energy Stage, creative writing tutor Jon Gower will participate in an evening to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Welsh passage to Argentina aboard the Mimosa. Gower sets the scene with his Gwalia Patagonia – a tale of legendary giants and Andean condors, devil spirits and chapel-worshippers.

Jon Gower, will also convene with Dennis Lehane, cult thriller writer of The Wire, author of Gone, Baby, Gone and Mystic River to discuss his work and his new novel, World Gone By in an event on 24 May at 1pm at the Good Energy Stage.

Associate Professor, short story writer and novelist, Dr Francesca Rhydderch, will talk to Senior Lecturer and poet Dr Jasmine Donahaye on 25 May at 8.30pm at the Elmley Foundation Cube venue in an event entitled ‘Finding her Place’ to discuss her forthcoming books, the first, a biography of Lily Tobias, a courageous, idealistic Welsh woman who wrote compellingly about Jewish life and experience in the twentieth century; and a memoir, Losing Israel which reflects a chance conversation with her mother, a kibbutznik, where upon Donahaye stumbled upon the collusion of her family in the displacement of Palestinians in 1948.

Francesca Rhydderch has collaborated with award-winning travel writer and adventurer, John Harrison on his latest book: 1519: A Journey to the End of Timewhich follows the exploits of sixteenth century explorer Hernán Cortés. Dr Rhydderch will discuss the book with the author, in an event at the Oxfam Moot venue at 4pm on 25 May.

Award-winning poet, dramatist and novelist Professor Owen Sheers joined the COAH team at the start of this month as Professor in Creativity. As English Language Chair of Wales PEN Cymru, he is organising daily events between 6-6.30pm from 23 to 30 May in Booth Bookshop cafe called ‘Ten with PEN’. At each event, a Wales PEN Cymru member will be joined by an international author and both will have ten minutes to respond to the aims and ethos of PEN: freedom of expression; access to literature; imprisoned writers. The response will take forms such as songs, readings and talks. The Ten with PEN events will all end with a ten minute Q&A session.

Situated in a city renowned for its literary prowess, the Creative Writing programme at Swansea is in the top rank of British writing programmes. Led by a team of acclaimed writers, it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in an exceptionally broad spectrum of writing genres and skills.

Creative Writing at Swansea University is part of the Department of English Language and Literature, which has been ranked 7th in the UK by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 and is in the top 200 in QS World Rankings for 2014.