As part of Art Across The City 2014, we have commissioned three writers and poets as part of the Dylan Thomas 100 centenary. New stories and poems from Niall Griffiths, Rhian Edwards and Rachel Trezise will appear across Swansea. Winner of Wales Book of the Year 2013, the Roland Mathias Prize for Poetry 2013, the People’s Choice 2013, as well as current winner of the John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry, Rhian Edwards’ poetry successfully bridges the gap between page and performance poetry. We caught up with Rhian as she was writing the opening lines of the Tawe Mega Poem, an ongoing, online poem to be launched Art Across The City 2014.
Who are you?
Rhian Edwards, poet and musician, just won Wales Book of the Year 2013, as well as the People’s Choice 2013 and the Roland Mathias Prize for Poetry 2013. I’ve also just had my first child, Megan, now 5 months.
Hello, how are you?
I’ve been better. I’m not all that good at juggling poetry and parenting. The former is sadly lacking.
What do you do?
Write poems and perform them. Though lately I seem to have been doing more teaching on the subject of writing and performing poems
What have you been doing recently?
I’m currently working with the BBC on a 3-part documentary, getting the community of Townhill in Swansea to re-write Under Milk Wood, based on their own lives. I’ve also been teaching a wee bit again and did my first feature length slot in Brecon for winning the Mathias Prize, which included an impromptu music duet with Richard Magraf Turley. But for the most part, I’ve been floundering my way through motherhood and venting my creativity through hand puppets and their ludicrous back stories.
What are you doing for Art Across The City in Swansea?
I have started the kernels of a poem about the history of Swansea and Dylan Thomas, which hopefully people will add to. It will be almost like a game of Consequences but where you get to see the lines that went before it. And this will hopefully get to be displayed and immortalised in Swansea.
What are your ideas behind the work?
Whenever I am asked to do location-specific work, I always delve into the history, why a place is called what it is, its geology and why it was perhaps once important to the rest of the world.
What do you think the public will make of it?
I really don’t know. It may become utter nonsense.
What are you up to next?
My second collection of poems The Universal Doodle of Birds and may be even a phd.