(Please note that “context” is not an assessed element of this component of the WJEC GCSE in English Literature.)
Owen Sheers was born in Fiji in 1974, but was brought up near Abergavenny where he lived and attended school before gaining a place to study at the University of Oxford. Sheers is a prolific and highly successful writer and broadcaster and is also Professor of Creativity at Swansea University.
Sheers’ first collection of poetry, The Blue Book, was published in 2000 and included poems which explored the themes of love, childhood, family and rural life. His second poetry collection, Skirrid Hill, was published in 2005. Sheers is also the author of a number of prose works, including the non-fiction narrative, The Dust Diaries (2004), the prize-winning novels Resistance (2007) and I Saw a Man (2015), the novella White Ravens (2009) and the immersive theatre production Mametz (2014). In addition, Sheers has worked on a number of film, radio and theatre scripts and has also worked as a writer in residence for the Welsh Rugby Union.
In interviews Owen Sheers has acknowledged the influence other Welsh writers have had on his work, including R. S. Thomas, whom he credits with having ‘introduced me to the beauty of economy’.
Owen Sheers, ‘How R. S. Thomas Inspired Me’, The Telegraph, 2012, available HERE!