Lecture Programme and Other Events

Newport & Gwent Literary Club
2017-2018 season

September 2017   Catherine Fisher: Forgeries, Fantasies and Downright Lies
October 2017         Rob Gittins: Writing for TV Soaps
November 2017    Valerie Bloom: Island Voices…. poetry from Jamaica
December 2017     Christmas Lunch
January 2018          Sophie McKeand: the Children’s Laureate for Wales
February 2018       Owen Sheers: Writing About Wars
March 2018            John Harrison: Forgotten Footprints… writing about the Antarctic
April 2018              The Editor of the Argus
May 2018                The Annual General Meeting

To book places at the Club’s events,  please contact Pat Wells-West on
01633 265660 by the Sunday before the event. To contact other Club officers, visit the Contacts page of this site. Non-members very welcome.  Cost to non-members: £25 to include dinner.  Advance booking essential.  Venue is the Holiday Inn,  Coldra,  Newport and begin at 6.30pm.

You might also like to visit our Facebook page and like us there…..
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Newport-Gwent-Literary-Club/362974210500650
or, on Twitter: Bob Mole @newportgwentlit

The programme for the 2017-2018 season of Newport & Gwent Literary Club:

We are pleased to present our 71st season of lectures…. fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry, children’s writing, fantasy, fact, war and travel……

Wednesday 27th September 2017
Catherine Fisher starts our new season with  Forgeries, Fantasies and Downright Lies …. an entertaining journey through some of the most notorious hoaxes of the literary world featuring lost manuscripts, forgotten plays and memoirs that never were.

Catherine Fisher’s latest novel is The Speed of Darkness. Her forthcoming story,  Crystabel, is the tale of a forged manuscript and its deadly consequences. Her pamphlet, Machen’s Gwent was recently published in a limited edition by Three Imposters Press.

Catherine Fisher Quotes
This event is supported by Literature Wales:
http://www.literaturewales.org/
http://www.llenyddiaethcymru.org/hafan/

Holiday Inn, Coldra, Newport
6.30pm
Advance booking essential – see contact page

 

Wednesday 31st October 2017
Rob Gittins: Writing for TV Soaps.
Rob has written for almost every top-rated UK television drama across the past thirty years. These include Casualty, The Bill, EastEnders, Emmerdale, Heartbeat, Soldier Soldier and The Story of Tracey Beaker. For S4C he has storylined over two thousand episodes of Pobol y Cwm as well as co-creating the drama series Halen yn y Gwaed. For radio he has written twenty original radio plays and over a hundred episodes of The Archers.

His account of the last days of Dylan Thomas was based on a documentary, The Far Ago Land, which he initiated for television and which won the Documentary Prize at the Celtic and San Francisco Film Festivals.

It is extraordinary that his name is largely unfamiliar despite his work being watched and heard by countless millions of viewers and radio listeners across three decades. It’ll be fascinating to hear how it all came about… even if his grandad didn’t think it was any kind of job for a grownup.  Rob is based in Carmarthenshire.

Image result for rob gittins images

This event is supported by Literature Wales:
http://www.literaturewales.org/
http://www.llenyddiaethcymru.org/hafan/

Holiday Inn, Coldra, Newport
6.30pm
Advance booking essential -see Contact page


Wednesday 29th November 2017
Valerie Bloom MBE discusses Island Voices- poetry from Jamaica

Valerie was born in Clarendon Parish, Jamaica, the eldest girl in a family of nine,  and was awarded an MBE in 2008.  At primary school she had a poem published in the national newspaper and her poem Mek Ah Ketch Har [Let me catch her] won a bronze medal in the national festival.  The spark was lit. After school Valerie worked as a teacher and came to England in the 1970s. Won a degree from the University of Kent, taught steel pans and worked as an Arts Officer for a while before becoming a full-time writer. Her work in schools quickly became legendary and I’ve had the great privilege of watching her work with children. She writes poetry both in English and in Jamaican patois and many of her performances include a crash course in patois for audience members.

Her first collection for adults was Touch Mi! Tell Mi! [Bogle-Ouverture] followed by a children’s collection Duppy Jamboree [Cambridge University Press]. Her first children’s novel Surprising Joy deals with the story of a young girl coming from the Caribbean to live in England. The Tribe follows Maruka, a Taino girl, living in the islands at the time of the first European contact.  Valerie’s work is widely anthologised and is included by the Guardian in one of their 50-Best lists.  We are honoured to have Valerie Bloom at this evening’s meeting.

The British Council says: In volumes like The World is Sweet (2000), Hot like Fire (2002), and Ackee, Breadfruit, Callaloo: An Edible Alphabet (1999), Bloom skilfully combines modified Caribbean dialect with Standard English to create verse and rhymes which are at once sensuous, exuberant and vital. Her poems deal with a vast array of issues relevant to children: going to school, the fear of ghosts, playing games, learning to swim, and of course, the workings of language itself. Often deploying a riddle format which will be familiar to West Indian readers, as well as drawing on Jamaican oral and cultural traditions, her works speak to Britain’s Caribbean community while having a more universal appeal.

Smiling to the crowd

This event is supported by Literature Wales:
http://www.literaturewales.org/
http://www.llenyddiaethcymru.org/hafan/

Holiday Inn, Coldra, Newport
6.30pm
Advance booking essential -see Contact page

Wednesday 31st January 2018
Sophie McKeand: The Young Peoples Laureate for Wales

The Young People’s Laureate initiative aims to inspire and increase literacy and communication skills in young people. By using a wide range of disciplines, the project has been developed to engage the next generation in new and innovative ways. The initiative was launched in October 2011 with Catherine Fisher appointed as the first Laureate. The initiative was further developed by poet and performer Martin Daws and now Sophie McKeand is the current Young People’s Laureate for 2016-2018.

The Young People’s Laureate encourages reading, writing, conversation and communication within the young communities of Wales. Unique not just to Wales but to the UK as a whole, the Laureate works positively with teenagers and young people, particularly those from hard-to-reach and disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Laureate’s taks is to re-engage young people with reading and writing and by doing so empower them with a sense of belonging. All young people are writers and tellers of stories, but they may not always have someone to read or to listen to them. Some write on paper, others text and blog, many social network and some write on walls – the Young People’s Laureate aims to bring together words and technology for the digital generation.

Sophie McKeand is a poet and educator from north Wales. She won the Out Spoken Innovation in Poetry Award in 2015, was longlisted for the Poetry Society‘s National Poetry Competition in 2014, and was the Poet-in-Residence at Focus Wales Festival in 2016. Sophie has performed at numerous festivals and events, and in November 2015, she embarked on a Wales-wide tour to coincide with the publication of her second poetry pamphlet, Hanes.

She is a writer and producer for various National Theatre Wales TEAM projects, and regularly facilitates workshops for Literature Wales as well as organisations such as Arts Council of Wales, Age Cymru and Oriel Wrecsam. She is also a Creative Practitioner for Arts Council Wales’ Lead Creative Schools scheme.

In her new role, Sophie will figurehead some of Literature Wales’ flagship projects for young people, including Slam Cymru, Wales’ first bilingual slam competition.

Image result for sophie mckeand images

This event is supported by Literature Wales:
http://www.literaturewales.org/
http://www.llenyddiaethcymru.org/hafan/

Holiday Inn, Coldra, Newport
6.30pm
Advance booking essential – see Contact page


Wed
nesday 28th February 2018
Owen Sheers: Writing About Wars

Owen Sheers has played Wilfred Owen on stage; his novel Resistance imagines that the D-Day landings failed and that Wales has been occupied by the Nazis. Unicorns, almost is a one-man play about World War Two poet Keith Douglas and was performed by Joseph Fiennes;  Red Mist tells the story of three young men deployed to Afghanistan. It’s hard to think of another writer with quite such an overview of the wars of the past hundred years. Are they all the same to write about? How would they differ?

Owen was born in Fiji, grew up in Abergavenny, played county level rugby and then Modern Pentathloned for Oxford University. Vogue Young Writers Award, Wales Books of the Year, Somerset Maugham Award.

Wales Book of the Year: Owen Sheers wins top prize, July 2014
Owen Sheers has won Wales Book of the Year at a ceremony in Caernarfon for his work about three young soldiers. Pink Mist also took the Roland Mathias poetry award.

Sheers told BBC Radio Wales it was a “fantastic surprise” to win. “It’s a book that started with around 30 interviews I did with recently wounded service personnel and their families,” he said. “I actually did those interviews for a stage project called The Two Worlds of Charlie F, but when that finished I found that I still had so much more that I wanted to say and there were so many stories I hadn’t been able to tell on stage, so that’s when Pink Mist was born.”

 

Image result for owen sheers

 

This event is supported by Literature Wales:
http://www.literaturewales.org/
http://www.llenyddiaethcymru.org/hafan/

Holiday Inn, Coldra, Newport
6.30pm
Advance booking essential -see Contact page


Wednesday 28th March 2018
John Harrison: Forgotten Footprints – writing about Antarctica

John Harrison is an award-winning travel, history and fiction writer and an experienced voyager who made his fiftieth trip to Antarctica at the end of 2014. He has rounded Cape Horn fifteen times. His other key area of interest is South America. Cloud Road: A Journey Through the Inca Heartland was the 2011 Wales Book of the Year. Forgotten Footprints won the British Guild of Travel Writers best narrative guide book award of 2014.

A mix of history, geography, myth, and personal truth, this book explores the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands, and the Weddell Sea—the most visited places in Antarctica. Filled with beautiful photographs by the author from his travels, this record offers a selection of anecdotal accounts of the merchantmen, navy men, sealers, whalers, and aviators who, along with scientists and adventurers, drew the first ghostly maps of the white continent. It delves into the heads and hearts of those who were driven to discover the unknown land and is ideal for the armchair traveler who wants to explore the continent’s past and present.

This event is supported by Literature Wales:
http://www.literaturewales.org/
http://www.llenyddiaethcymru.org/hafan/

Holiday Inn, Coldra, Newport
6.30pm
Advance booking essential -see Contact page


We
dnesday 25th April
The Editor of the Argus talks about the Argus in the 21st
Century

This lecture is still to be confirmed but we hope to re-connect with the South Wales Argus, the paper which we Newport folk all grew up with and which was centrally connected with the formation of our Club over seventy years ago. Newspapers in the 21st century must adapt – we all must – to new times and the pressures of the internet and our changing attitudes to news and how we receive news…. and whether we believe it.

Holiday Inn, Coldra, Newport
6.30pm
Advance booking essential -see Contact page

 

May 2017
The Club’s AGM will include guests who will help us celebrate the end of the season.
Holiday Inn, Coldra, Newport
6.30pm
Advance booking essential -see Contact page

Previous guests:
In 2009-10 we had talks from Dr John Davies, Deborah Kay Davies, Dr Katie Gramich, Jeanette Massochi, Mark Crick, Dannie Abse, Catherine Fisher, Margaret Isaac, Geraint Lewis.

In 2010-11 our speakers were Horatio Clare, Gillian Clarke, Mererid Hopwood, Margaret Isaac, Ben Kane, Geraint Lewis, Rohan McCullough.

In 2011-12 we heard Adrian Metcalfe and Rhodri Miles, Tom Anderson, Professor Tony Curtis, Canon Arthur J Edwards, Catherine Fisher, Alison Neil and Geoffrey Brangham.

In 2012-13, speakers were Professor Dai Smith, Dr Juliette Wood, Simon Brett, Derek Richards, Morag Law, Anne Harvey, Nigel Jarrett, John Sheen and Julie McGowan

In 2013-14, speakers were Damian Walford Davies, Andrew Martin, Anne Cluysenaar,  Mererid Hopwood, Kevin Myers, Matthew [M.R.] Hall, Chris Barber and Rhian Edwards

In 2014-15, speakers were Alison Lingham, Jonathan Edwards, Peter Florence,           CJ Daugherty, Justin Albert, Yvette Roblin, Ifor ap Glyn, Vale of Glamorgan Writing Squad

In 2015-16, speakers were: Gillian Clarke, Neil Badmington, Catherine Fisher, William Ayot, Dr Alyce von Rothkirch, Carolyn Hitt and Professor Carl Plas

In 2016-17, speakers were: Dr Daniel G Williams, Dr Dmitra Fimi, Siwan Rosser, Ian McMIllan, Dr Irene Morra, MJ Trow, Monty & Tom Dart

 

 

 

 

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