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Historic manuscripts inspire contemporary climate change poetry in Aberystwyth

By Bobby Kelly, Independent Journalist. Last edited: 10:10am 19/10/2021.


Three poets from Aberystwyth University have penned a collection of poems in response to old manuscripts from the National Library of Wales dealing with the weather and climate change.

A spokesperson for Aberystwyth University said: “The poems for this ‘Words and Windows’ project have been composed by Professor Mererid Hopwood and Eurig Salisbury from the University’s Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies, and Professor Matthew Jarvis from the Department of English and Creative Writing.

Mererid Hopwood’s englyn (short Welsh-language verse in strict metre) is a response to a medieval ode by Dafydd ap Gwilym about the roebuck, which is now extinct in Wales.

Eurig Salisbury’s englyn focuses on the legendary drowning of Cantre’r Gwaelod which features in the The Black Book of Carmarthen.

A weather prediction from the Almanac of October 1721 three hundred years ago provides the inspiration for Matthew Jarvis’s poem.”

You can find the ‘Words and Windows’ exhibition on display from 18-31 October 2021 in the windows of the old gas showrooms, as well as on the University’s digital platforms.

A poetry stomp based on the weather – ‘Talwrn y Tywydd’ – will also be broadcast on BBC Radio Cymru on Wednesday 27 October, with a team of current staff from the University competing against former students.

The University’s free Festival of Research takes place from the 18th until the 22nd of October and focuses on climate change issues in the weeks leading up to the UN COP26 Conference.

Aberystwyth University Festival of Research link: Aber research festival

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From left to right: Aberystwyth University academics Eurig Salisbury, Professor Matthew Jarvis and Professor Mererid Hopwood outside the old gasworks in the town.

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