The Parthian Books and Library of Wales Award for Outstanding Impact in Culture and the Arts


Kate Spiller

College of Arts and Humanities

“Cymunedau Cystylltiedig (Connected Communities)”

Connected Communities celebrates the history of the Swansea Valley and beyond, promoting community engagement by researchers, students and professional partners through the co-creation and development of activities, research skills and outputs. The project continues to expand, designing successful projects, funding applications and strategies led by the community and researcher network (including applications to the HLF, Wren and CADW).

The project encourages collaboration with a broad range of professional partners, including local and national art galleries, museums, archives, libraries, charitable trusts and local authorities. It enables engagement by the project network with hard to reach members of the local community and the development of research and transferable skills with diverse groups from ‘Communities First’ areas, substantially strengthening the University’s reach into some of the most marginalised parts of our locality.  

Judges’ comments

“A wonderfully innovative project focused on the the history of the Swansea Valley and beyond and promotion of community engagement. It brings together researchers, students and project partners in real and exciting ways to make a difference to how communities engage with their hi(stories)”.

“There is a real legacy here”

Runners up

Prof. Daniel G. Williams, Prof. David Britton, Prof. Tudur Hallam and Dr Elizabeth Wride

College of Arts and Humanities

“Dylan Live: ‘Rediscovering Dylan’”

‘Dylan Live’ is a bilingual performance combining lecture with poetry, graphics, jazz and hip hop. It is a journey towards ‘Rediscovering Dylan’ based on collaboration between the Richard Burton Centre, Research Institute for Arts and Humanities,  Literature Wales and the UK’s Festival of the Humanities.

‘Dylan Live’ was conceptualised to engage new audiences in the Dylan Thomas legacy during the centenary year of the poet’s birth by adapting an innovative multimedia performative approach. It also had a specific educational agenda as part of the ‘Developing Dylan 100’ project funded by Literature Wales.

The performance launched with a Wales-wide tour in February 2014. In May 2014, it reached an international audience with a performance at the prestigious PEN World Voices Festival in New York City.

Judges’ comments

“Connected Swansea University’s Dylan Thomas brand to local, national and international audiences; has showcased Swansea as a UK hub for Humanities activity”


Dr Francesca Rhydderch

College of Arts and Humanities

“Award-winning new writing: from Wales to the world”

In 2014, Dr Rhydderch won the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize for her début novel The Rice Paper Diaries. In the same year, her story The Taxidermist’s Daughter was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award. The combined impact of these individual achievements has included high-circulation publication, broadcasts and translation. It has resulted in the raised profile of her publisher, Seren Books, and has significantly increased the profile of Welsh writing in English in Wales, the rest of the UK, and internationally. The work has resulted in new writing being taken from Wales to the wider world, notably through the sale of the rights of The Rice Paper Diaries to China, where audiences as yet know little of Wales and Welsh writing.

Judges’ comments

“Rydderch is building international profile for Welsh writing. Strong partnerships established with arts organisations and exciting plans to develop links with the publishing industry to benefit students”.