The Centenary Lecture Series

The Centenary Lecture Series curated and introduced by Owen Sheers, will bring leading UK and international figures from business, politics, sports, culture and the arts to the University's stunning state of the art Great Hall venue which is located on its Bay Campus.

The Centenary Lecture Series are sponsored by Swansea Building Society. 

Autumn 2017- Literature Centenary Lectures
The Great Hall, Bay Campus, Swansea University


Thursday 23rd November 7:30 pm

Simon Armitage & Daljit Nagra: An evening of poetry

Join us for this rare dynamic double-bill of two award-winning poets writing at the height of their powers. As well as being two of the most exciting and relevant poets in the UK today Simon Armitage, Oxford Professor of Poetry, and Daljit Nagra, Poet in Residence for Radio 4, are also experienced broadcasters whose work is widely studied in schools. Daljit Nagra will read from his new collection British Museum - a book that asks profound questions of our ethics and responsibilities at a time of great challenge to our sense of national identity. Simon Armitage will read from his latest collection The Unaccompanied, which documents a world on the brink.

A discussion and Q&A will follow the reading after which both poets will sign copies of their books. 

Simon Armitage 140x90Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire and is a poet who also writes extensively for television, radio and theatre. His new collection of poetry The Unaccompanied documents a world on the brink. Armitage has won numerous awards and accolades, including the 2017 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for his work on the medieval elegy Pearl and a prestigious Ivor Novello Award for his song lyrics in the television film Feltham Sings. He is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds and was elected Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford in 2015. He was awarded the CBE for services to poetry in 2010.

Daljit Nagra 140x90Daljit Nagra was born and raised in West London, then Sheffield. He currently lives in Harrow with his wife and daughters. In 2004 his poem ‘Look We Have Coming to Dover!’ won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem, and his first collection of the same name won the 2007 Forward Prize for Best First Collection, was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award and won the 2008 South Bank Show/Arts Council Decibel Award. Tippoo Sultan's Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger Toy-Machine!!! (2011) and the Ramayana (2013) were both shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. He teaches at Brunel University London and is currently Poet-in-Residence at BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra. 
His most recent collection is British Museum (2017).

Being Human LogoThis is a *FREE EVENT in association with Being Human: A Festival of the Humanities - The festival, now in its fourth year, is led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. This partnership draws together the three major bodies dedicated to supporting and promoting humanities research in the UK and internationally.


Book Online:

Tel: 01792 60 49 00 / 60 49 99 

‌(Simon Armitage Photo Credit: Paul Wolfgang Webster)


Thursday 26th October 7:30 pm

Xiaolu Guo - 'Once upon a time in the East'

Once upon a time in the EastAfter a decade in Europe award winning author and film maker Xiaolu Guo will share passages from her extraordinary memoir ‘Once Upon a Time in the East’ (Chatto & Windus). Described as a 'Wild Swans' for a new generation, the BBC4 Book of the Week which details the author’s incredible life journey, is a handbook of life lessons - from beginnings in a state of malnutrition living in a fishing village on the East China Sea to film school in a burgeoning Beijing and a scholarship to Britain, her now adopted home. This rebellious and moving piece provides the perfect backdrop for an evening of insightful discussion on the themes of migration, literature and Xiaolu’s creative life as writer and film maker.

Xiaolu Guo is a novelist, essayist and filmmaker. She was born in China in 1973 and moved to the UK in 2002. Her novel, in English translation, Village of Stone, was shortlisted for the 2005 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the 2006 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. It was followed by her first novel written in English, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers (shortlisted for the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction). Once Upon A Time in the East is her latest book. In 2013, she was named a Granta’s Best of Young British Novelist.

Her award-winning films include She, a Chinese (2009, Golden Leopard Award in Locarno Film Festival) and UFO In Her Eyes (2011). Her documentaries include Once Upon A Time Proletarian (2009), We Went to Wonderland (2008), How Is Your Fish Today? (2006) andThe Concrete Revolution (2004), which was awarded the Grand Prix in the 2005 International Human Rights Film Festival. Late At Night is her latest documentary essay on Britain’s underclass society, premiered at BFI London Film Festival and has toured around the world. She is currently a guest lecturer in Visual Anthropology at UCL.

Tickets: £8.00    Students/Schools  £5.00

Book Online:

Tel: 01792 60 49 00 / 60 49 99 


SPECIAL OFFER - If you book also to see She, A Chinese(18), Xiaolu Guo's award winning 2009 film adaptation of her own novel (screening on Friday 27 October at Taliesin Arts Centre), you will receive a 20% discount on the combined ticket price.