Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Literary Ceredigion

Discover a cultural treasure trove of spoken and written heritage that spans centuries in Ceredigion - the place to explore language and the crafting of words for fun, pleasure and polemic. Ancient legends, early poetry, contemporary novels, plays and children’s tales and both Welsh and Anglo Welsh literature.

 

Ceredigion - an inspiring place for writers

Get away from it all for a while - to the coast or countryside of Ceredigion - enjoy the peace and quiet, draw inspiration from the landscape and heritage, or contemplate humanity and the universe as you watch the waves along the shore...

Ceredigion is home to several nationally celebrated poets​ and authors - an almost impossibly high ratio per head of population - writing in English and Welsh and their work is translated into several other languages too. Ceredigion is the chosen home of contributors to the walking, nature and travel writing pages of well known magazines and newspapers, who often write about their locality as well as destinations around the world.

If you want to hone your writing skills, try a new style of writing, or take the plunge into writing with some guidance, there are new courses to join in Ceredigion - and experienced tutors to guide you through the creative process - based at UWTSD campus at Lampeter.

There are weekends inspired by Dylan Thomas, nature writing and even a ghost story writing course - perfect for Halloween! For details see the Humanities workshops programme.  

The Dylan Thomas International Summer School, established in 2014 to celebrate his centenary  takes place in June.

There are longer Creative writing courses available, including scriptwriting and non fiction with Aberystwyth Univeristy's Lifelong Learning​ department. 

Ceredigion's literary heritage

The Book of Taliesin is one of the most famous Welsh manuscripts,dating from the first half of the fourteenth century, but recording poems from as early as the 6th century. The manuscript, which is held at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, includes poems such as 'Armes Prydein Fawr', 'Preiddeu Annwfn' (which refers to Arthur and his warriors sailing across the sea to win a spear and a cauldron), and elegies to Cunedda and Dylan eil Ton, as well as the earliest mention in any western vernacular of the feats of Hercules and Alexander​.Taliesin was a 6th century bard, whose elegy to the men of Gododdin is one of the earliest poems in Welsh. The battle took place in'The Old North' between the men of Gododdin (present day Lothian) and invading Angles. ​

Near Talybont there is an ancient cairn known as Bedd Taliesin (Taliesin's grave).  As well as Taliesin the 6th century bard of the Gododdin there is also Taliesin ​the mythical character who had magical, shapeshifting powers.  

Dylan Thomas may have been named after Dylan Eildon, King of the Sea.  Dylan Thomas loved Ceredigion. He found respite from the pressured life of London and New York at a New Quay bungalow overlooking the sea, wandering the lanes of the Aeron Valley and enjoying swapping banter and tales with mariners and farmers at inns and taverns across the county. Almost 100 years since his birth, people still have interesting tales to tell of Dylan Thomas, and may even whisper the story behind some of places and characters he drew inspiration from to create his famous play for voices, 'Under Milk Wood'.

Literary events in Ceredigion

Take in a talk, a screening or other events at Y Drwm at the National Library of Wales, and talks and screening of Royal Schakespeare Company or National Theatre Live performances at  Aberystwyth Arts Centre . Check out the programmes of  Theatr Mwldan, Small World Theatre and Cardigan Castle in Cardigan or look out for events in local libraries or at other less conventional venues, including pubs,  to meet and hear contemporary Ceredigion and other writers present their work.

Experience an eisteddfod – a competitive festival of music and literature, or visit the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth to explore the wealth of literature written in Wales and about Wales and other Celtic cultures.

Explore our literary heritage and discover some really good reading for your holiday by Ceredigion authors.