Professor John Goodby, Swansea University’s world authority on the poetry of Dylan Thomas, will be spending September visiting Tianjin University of Technology, giving a series of eight lectures on Dylan Thomas, Lynette Roberts, British writing of the Second World War and Irish poetry.

The visit is being funded by a special grant from the Chinese Government. As well as lecturing to staff and postgraduate students at TUT, Professor Goodby said he will be discussing Swansea English Department’s teaching provision and its research excellence (7= in the 2013 REF), and he is hoping to strengthen links and build exchange opportunities for the students and staff of both institutions. 

Professor Goodby said: "The title of my keynote speech to the Arts faculty at TUT is ’Dylan Thomas in China: translation and peregrination’, and alludes to the tale told by the great critic William Empson, a friend of Thomas, who was part of the exodus of staff and students from Chinese universities into the mountains of the interior in 1937, when the Japanese invaded (Empson declared later that he kept his spirits up on his harsh trek by recourse to two books, one on mathematics, the other Thomas’s Twenty-five Poems, ‘because both were inexhaustible’)."

Prof John GoodbyProfessor Goodby will also touch on recent translations of Thomas into Mandarin, and the similarities between Thomas’ style and that of classical Chinese poetry.

 At the end of October, Professor Goodby’s edition of the Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas is to be published in the USA. This will be the first edition to benefit from Swansea University’s acquisition of the newly-discovered Dylan Thomas notebook at Sotheby’s in December 2014, the centenary year, and complements Goodby’s critically acclaimed Discovering Dylan Thomas: A Companion to the Collected Poems and Notebook Poems, which appeared in April this year and was launched at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival.  

‌Professor Goodby and his COAH-funded PhD student, Ade Osbourne, were the first scholars to ever see the notebook, and they are close to completing a joint-edited facsimile edition of the text. Professor Goodby remarked: "As part of the team that successfully bid for the notebook, it gives me great pleasure to see that its exciting contents are now beginning to see the light of day." 

 

Pictured: Professor Goodby with Xiaozhou Zhou, a former MA Media Communication and PR student at Swansea University, who now teaches art and design at TUT.