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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'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 names 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'.

Take in a talk, a screening or other events atY Drwm at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth Arts Centre,Theatr Mwldan in Cardigan or look out for events in local pubs or at other less conventional venues 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.