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the Rhys Davies Trust

Five brand new Client Partners for the Rhys Davies Trust

25th February, 2020

Over the next three years Welsh writing in English will receive a significant boost following financial intervention by the Rhys Davies Trust.  The Trust was established in 1991 with funds provided by Lewis Davies, the brother of the author.  It seeks to foster Welsh writing in English, especially in the valleys of South Wales, and in the genres in which Rhys Davies wrote.

This year four new Client Partners will assist the Trust achieve its aims.  The organisations, all established Welsh-based operations with proven track records, will collectively provide a dynamic and innovative series of creative initiatives designed to celebrate  the past of Wales’ long tradition of literary achievement through the medium of English and build towards its future.

The new Rhys Davies Trust Client Partners are: Parthian Books, the Seren Poetry Festival, DylanED, the educational arm of the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize, the South Wales Miners’ Library, and Literature Wales.

Parthian Books, the Cardigan-based publisher, will produce two titles annually in their Modern Wales series.  These titles will interpret the Welsh condition, people, place and history, and include, among other studies, new biographies of Minnie Pallister and Gwyn Thomas.  Parthian will also publish Winter Sparrows,  a brand new selection of the work of Rhys Davies, Wales’ pre-eminent short story writer of the twentieth century, and twelve three-minute video introductions to key writers from Wales.

Seren, the Bridgend-based publisher, has already established itself as the organiser of Wales’ most important annual live-poetry celebration with February’s Seren Poetry Festival. This long-weekend event will, from 2020, be based at the Temple of Peace.  With the Trust’s input we can expect to hear some of the best world poetry presented by  a range of international poets bringing back to the capital a literary experience of a kind not seen since the Commonwealth Poetry Festival of 1965.  Festival Director Amy Wack will take poetry lovers to places they have not been before. The festival will include the new annual Meic Stephens Lecture on poetry.

Literature Wales, the national company for the development of literature, will introduce the  Rhys Davies Fiction Prize to the annual Wales Book of the Year event. This award will celebrate Wales’  outstanding literary talent in English-language fiction.  Trust support will be for a ten year period.   In addition the Trust intend to fund Literature Wales’ Rhys Davies Emerging Writers Course at the Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre and support South Wales valley school visits to the centre.  

DylanED, the education arm of the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize, will engage with a series of significant new ventures and provisions.  Through a programme of activities in line with the new curriculum in Wales they will focus on the use of language, literacy and communication for Key Stages 2 and 3.  They intend to establish new student ambassadors for literature and creativity, provide a focus on human rights education and offer story-telling exchanges between young people from Communities First areas in South Wales and others in the UK.  They will inaugurate an annual Rhys Davies Lecture at the South Wales Miners’ Library, relaunch the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition, and introduce a new Children’s Literature Family Festival at the Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea. 

The South Wales Miners' Library, a rich archival resource, will be the base for a Rhys Davies Research Fellowship.  This will involve close study of the intellectual, social and cultural milieu of mid-twentieth century Wales (including mining institutes and libraries), which nurtured an exceptional cohort of creative writers whose work subsequently gave rise to widespread perceptions of South Wales and an influential historiography. The Principal Investigator of this Research Project from 2020 to the end of 2022 will be Professor John Spurr of the College Of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University.  The Research Fellow appointed will be Dr. Daryl Leeworthy whose remit will include publications and public engagement.

The creation of Rhys Davies Trust Client Partners represents the culmination of the Trust’s work over the past three decades. The work of Rhys Davies as well as his influence and interests will live on. 

For more information on the initiatives and programmes detailed above get in touch directly with the Trust’s Client Partners at:

https://www.serenbooks.com/
https://www.parthianbooks.com/
https://www.literaturewales.org/
https://www.swansea.ac.uk/dylan-thomas-prize/dylaned/
https://www.swansea.ac.uk/library/south-wales-miners-library/

 

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