Literary residency in Brussels for Nerys Williams

10 April 2017 - 10:09am

Literary residency in Brussels for Nerys Williams

10 April 2017 - 10:09am

Poet Nerys Williams, whose collection Sound Archive (Seren, 2011) won the Irish ‘Strong’ first volume prize (2012) and was nominated for a Forward first volume prize, has been announced as the writer who will undertake a literary residency in Brussels this May.

The residency forms part of Barddoniaeth Colled | Poetry of Loss, a wider project commemorating the First World War. The project is delivered by Literature Wales in partnership with the Welsh Government’s Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918 First World War Centenary Programme and the Government of Flanders.

Describing her vision for the residency, Nerys said: “My focus during the residency is to complete a long poem ‘Pontio’ (Bridging) that centres on an imagined meeting between Welsh poet Hedd Wyn and Irish poet Francis Ledwidge. Both died at Pilckem Ridge on 31st July 1917. The complexity of their situations– one as Welsh speaking conscript and the other opting to fight for Britain at a time when Ireland was seeking independence – prompts relevant questions regarding: nationalism, Europeanism, linguistic inventiveness, as well as the challenge of modernity upon traditional verse forms. The poem asks whether a culture of militarism has grown in post devolutionary Wales and how do I, as a female, bilingual, non-combatant poet, engage with a history of warfare? It will also enable me to dedicate time to writing two proposed radio projects and visit the area surrounding Artillery Wood, where both Hedd Wyn and Francis Ledwidge are buried.”