Owen Sheers

This article is from 2010.

Owen Sheers

Covering the poetic landscape of Britain

One of those infuriating people whose expansive CV (poet, novelist, playwright, actor, television presenter) is matched only by their down to earth charm, Wales’ Owen Sheers will be presenting two very different projects at the Book Festival. The first is A Poet’s Guide to Britain, which he presented for BBC4 and will be launching in DVD format here. ‘We chose a single poem about a very specific place in the UK,’ he says, ‘and then used that poem as a doorway into the story behind the writing of it and into the place itself. It really covers the whole landscape of the country, from towns and cities to mountains to the sea, and was effectively a chance to take a soil sample of different parts of the nation.’

Among those poets whose work was explored in the series are George Mackay Brown, Sylvia Plath, Wordsworth and Keats, and Sheers particularly recommends their work as ‘not just a guide to the external landscape of the places they explore, but to the internal one as well.’ Sheers will also be presenting his new novel White Ravens alongside Russell Celyn Jones’ The Ninth Wave, both books in a series reimagining the Welsh Mabinogion folk tales. ‘These won’t require prior knowledge of the Mabinogion,’ says Sheers. ‘Our brief was more to find a contemporary resonance at the heart of the original material and run with it.’

21 Aug (with Russell Celyn Jones), 10.15am; 4pm (solo event), £10 (£8).

Owen Sheers: A Poet's Guide to Britain

As part of a documentary series for BBC Four, Owen Sheers travelled across Britain from Dover to Orkney to explore six unforgettable landscape poems. In a new book Sheers expands upon the theme, bringing together a collection of poems by writers from Keats and Wordsworth to Alice Oswald and Jen Hadfield. In doing so, he…

Russell Celyn Jones & Owen Sheers

The eleven medieval Welsh folk tales published under the title The Mabinogion have given rise to timeless figures such as Arthur and Merlin. Noted Welsh authors Russell Celyn Jones and Owen Sheers have written the first two novels in a project to reimagine these classic stories for the 21st century. Striking new…

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