Seamus Heaney and Owen Sheers: Connections, Contexts, Interpretations

Click on the link above to watch poet Owen Sheers, critic Richard Robinson and writer Francesca Rhydderch discuss Skirrid Hill and Field Work in an event for schools recorded on 21 April 2021. The panel explore the thematic connections, the Welsh and Irish cultural contexts out of which the writing emerges, and wider interpretations and comparisons between the two collections and answer questions submitted by schools.

Also available is a podcast by Owen Sheers on Skirrid Hill recorded in association with Swansea University in June 2020.

Please complete a short feedback form to tell us what you thought of this recording and to tell us what other events or topics you would like to see from Swansea University's Department of English Literature and Creative Writing in future.

(Suitable for students studying the WJEC AS/A-Level and those thinking about taking English Literature at University)


A photo of poet Owen Sheers

Owen Sheers is a novelist, poet and playwright and also Professor in Creativity at Swansea University. He has published two poetry collections, The Blue Book and Skirrid Hill which won a Somerset Maugham Award, and he was the 2018 recipient of the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award. His BAFTA and Grierson nominated film-poem, The Green Hollow has recently been published by Faber, who also published his BBC film-poem to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, To Provide All People.

His one man play Unicorns, almost, about the life and poetry of WWII poet Keith Douglas, will be produced by The Story of Books in Hay-on-Wye during this year’s Hay Festival of Literature in May. ‘I Saw A Man’ was published by Faber in June 2015. He is Professor in Creativity at Swansea University. A stage version of Owen’s verse drama Pink Mist premiered at Bristol Old Vic in July 2015. For more on Owen Sheers and his work see: 

Photo of Dr Richard Robinson

Dr Richard Robinson is Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing at Swansea University. He works in twentieth-century and contemporary writing, with a particular interest in modernism and late modernism, Irish Studies, border studies (specifically, representations of Central Europe), and aspects of Italian film and fiction. He is the author of Narratives of the European Border: A History of Nowhere (Palgrave, 2007) and John McGahern and Modernism (Bloomsbury, 2017) and has published widely on writers such as James Joyce, Kazuo Ishiguro, John McGahern, Italo Svevo, Rebecca West, Ian McEwan and Edward St Aubyn.

Richard is currently developing a collaborative project on style, considered as a perennially elusive concept in literary criticism, theory and philosophy. He is co-editing a forthcoming special issue of Textual Practice on ‘The Contemporary Problem of Style’, in which he considers the theory and practice of style in the introduction and for which he has also written an article on style, dialect and world literature in relation to Elena Ferrante. Most recently in Irish Studies, he will be delivering his paper ‘The Unnamables: Anna Burns’s Milkman’ for the forthcoming IASIL conference (International Association for the Study of Irish Literature) in Lodz this summer.

Photo of Dr Francesca Rhydderch

Dr Francesca Rhydderch is a novelist and Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing at Swansea University. In 2014, her debut novel The Rice Paper Diaries was longlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and won the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines and broadcast on Radio 4 and Radio Wales. She was the recipient of a BBC/Tŷ Newydd bursary in 2010, and in 2014 she was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award.

She worked as editor of New Welsh Review for several years, and continues to edit anthologies and special re-issues which highlight and celebrate some of the best writing from Wales. Most recently, she co-edited Seren Books’ fiction anthology New Welsh Short Stories with Penny Thomas, and wrote an introduction to Leonora Brito’s Dat's Love and Other Stories (Parthian). [Photo Credit - Jake Morley]