Aberystwyth WritersDialogue Centre RWIF Pilot Project Case Study
Aberystwyth has a rich and varied literary history. Hundreds of authors, poets and playwrights have close connections with the seaside town and over the years, the area has inspired all genres of writing. Building on underpinning bibliographic research work on the history of literary production in Aberystwyth already undertaken by the Department of Welsh & Celtic Studies, this project set out to identify 24 Aberystwyth-affiliated writers who collectively reflect the location’s literary history and significance. In addition to raising awareness and producing learning resource packs for schools, the project’s aims included supporting the area’s tourist trade and the development of Aberystwyth’s bid to become a future member UNESCO’s City of Literature network.
Ceri Wyn Jones, an acclaimed Welsh-language poet and alumnus of the University’s Department of English, was appointed as the project’s Research Assistant.
A working group was established – Matt Jarvis, Mererid Hopwood and Ceri Wyn Jones – to agree criteria for choosing the 24 writers from a 300-strong database.
A long-shortlist was drawn up, which divided the potential names into gender, period and genre that, collectively, would give the reader a sense of the breadth of significance of Aberystwyth as a ’city of literature’.
The final 24 names were then selected and in line with the project’s aims a series of high-quality, supporting materials were produced on 12 of the featured writers, including:
- 3 learning resource packs for teachers working in pre-16 educational settings to support the new Curriculum for Wales
- materials for a travelling exhibition exploring and promoting the literary history of Aberystwyth to enhance understanding of the town as a community of literature
- a promotional leaflet in both Welsh and English to support literary tourism, illustrating the town’s history of writers.