Owen Sheers: World Maps


At the Alan Garner Centre, Wolverhampton, February

The translation of pain into language gives remarkable energy to  piece of writing. Literature that draws from the suffering of another, or of oneself, is crucially honest, and while most writings are ‘not equipped for life in a world where people actually die’, some master the articulation. The brutal honesty of this kind of writing (I can think of Janos Pilinszky’s Fable, Homer’s Odyssey, Poe’sConqueror Worm) sustain the inevitable erosion that time’s passing impedes, and in their learned immortality, inherit a bleaker strength that somehow outlasts – and furthermore defines – what we (should) consider to be ‘long-standing literature’.

This idea – that things must make their mark – seems to have deeply embedded itself within the anatomy of Owen Sheers’ work.  It occurs again and again, whether in writings of contemporary war, the beauty of the Welsh landscape, or ‘the victory of human spirit’.  This is a good sign – both the writer and his work are developing in synchrony. And the integral subject of the writing (that infinitely gentle, infinitely suffering thing) seems to be revealing itself…

Continue reading – Wales Arts Review Issue 10

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Cheltenham Poetry Festival

On the 25th of April (exactly twenty-four days from now) I’ll be reading at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival with support from Helen Harvey, and Joy Amy Wigman. Three beautiful poets, in a beautiful month.

girls say yes

My first collection (Perdika Press) is out very soon this year – but I won’t be reading from that. Instead I’d like to introduce some new material, gathered over the last six months or so.

There’s been a period of absence since October – though this doesn’t mean I haven’t been working. The long hours spent ‘half-at-write’ as TH put it, seems to have paid off. Things are finally starting to fall into place, creatively. And I’d like to share the results.

This new material will be grouped under the heading North Light  – currently unpublished and unread. For those interested, ‘north light’ refers to the consistent light necessary for any artist at work, preferably from a north facing window.

For tickets to The Smart Move Spoken Word Cabaret, please visit the Cheltenham Poetry Festival website, or click the link above.

Chiow x