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National Poet's New Alliance | 28-Oct-08

National Poet's New Alliance

Since taking over as National Poet of Wales in April this year, Gillian Clarke has shared stages - and pub floors -with some of the best Welsh and British poets.  In a special evening in her local pub in Talgarreg, Ceredigion, eminent Welsh poets Dic Jones, Menna Elfyn and Eurig Salisbury read their translations of Gillian Clarke's newest works.  On the main stage in Cardiff's Wales Millennium Centre, Gillian read alongside other greats such as Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage and John Agard to a wowed audience of 1500 school children.

This week, Gillian Clarke visits Glasgow University for the Scottish leg of her tour as National Poet.  In a special event on Thursday 30 October, chaired by Professor Michael Schmidt, Gillian Clarke will read alongside Professor Robert Crawford, the renowned Scottish poet and author.

Gillian's visit to the university - the first since being named National Poet - provides an opportunity to hear her some of her more recent work as well as her and Professor Crawford's opinions on nationhood and the role of poetry within this.

Gillian Clarke was born in Cardiff and now lives in Ceredigion. She is a poet, playwright, editor and translator. She is a freelance tutor of creative writing and her poetry is studied by students throughout Britain. She has travelled extensively giving poetry readings and lectures, and her work has been translated into ten languages. Her latest publication is At the Source (Carcanet).

Professor Robert Crawford, originally from Belshill near Glasgow, is a graduate of the University of Glasgow. He is currently Professor of Modern Scottish Literature at St Andrews where he has taught since 1989. He is an outstanding critic and a noted anthologist. His writings on Scottish literary culture have helped to redefine the sense of Scotland's poetic landscape, legacy and promise.

The discussion will be hosted by the University of Glasgow's Professor Michael Schmidt, Convenor of the Creative Writing Programme of the Department of English Literature.

Peter Finch, Academi Chief Executive said: "Gillian Clarke is one of Wales' best known exports.  She travels the UK and, indeed, the world, in promulgating the poetry of our nation and brining her unique brand of  verse to hundreds of admirers.  That she is now sharing the stage with the stage with one of Scotland?s finest makes a perfect event for our times."

Professor Schmidt said: "Poets often provide us with a unique insight into the issues of our time as well as casting light on our personal experiences. We are incredibly privileged to bring together these two leading poets of Wales and Scotland for what promises to be a fascinating and though-provoking event with particular relevance in Scotland just now."

The National Poet of Wales project is managed by Academi and supported by the Arts Council of Wales.

Language Nation and Poet will begin at 6.30 pm in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre, in the main building of the University of Glasgow. All are welcome to attend this free event. A collection for the Glasgow University Creative Writing Programme Scholarship Fund will be taken after the event.

For more information contact Academi:
029 2047 2266 or /

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