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Paul Dodgson on his experience of learning Welsh as a second language and how it’s changed his appreciation of his mother tongue.
'The Mabinogion, then, has some fantastical and imaginative tales, and I’m especially drawn to the way it deals with loss and with grief, which I sometimes think that literature, in all its desire to preserve and record, is always really about. '
When I think of life-changing literature, I think of writing which didn’t change me at all, but made me more who I am. Growing up in the South Wales Valleys, and coming from a working-class background, I thought writing was done by other people in other places.
'When my mum went to visit you in hospital a few weeks before you died, no more than a year into retirement, you said you felt cheated, that you’d never done anything on this earth you wanted to. I want to tell you, you did everything Mrs B.'

Gwyneth Lewis speaks with John Greening about being the first national poet of Wales, attempting to sail from Cardiff to Brazil, her experience of severe depression, the joy and challenge of finding out what you mean in both poetry and prose and her desire always to be trying new techniques in her writing.


Gwyneth Lewis speaks with John Greening about the unpredictable inspiration of a self-described ‘odd mind’, the attraction of sequences and the importance of fun as a motivator, writing about her astronaut cousin and the influence of Joseph Brodsky.

'I found myself trying to get into a prison, past a guard who looked me up on Wikipedia to check that I was really a poet. Inside, I read poems about growing up in the Welsh Valleys, translated into Italian for an audience of grinning prisoners.'
'I would move to a new story each week, regardless what shape a piece was in. Ultimately, I coached myself, I can make it better later. The goal was to generate acceptable drafts of twelve stories by Christmas. Stay positive, keep the work rate up. '
Clare Morgan shares how Virginia Woolf’s work helped her find her literary voice and how, by exploring Woolf’s letters and diaries, she found echoes of her own family story that inspired a novel of her own.

Penny Boxall seeks inspiration at Laurence Sterne’s Shandy Hall, wondering how to move forward as a writer after the loss of her mother and her previous creative rituals.

Jonathan Edwards considers the poet WH Davies, whose extensive body of work forms a bridge between two worlds - the natural beauty of South Wales, and the gritty reality of early 20th century London and its poverty.

Ruth Dugdall visits some famous writing spaces – from J. K. Rowling’s Edinburgh café to Dylan Thomas’s shed – and asks what a writer’s chosen workplace can reveal about their life and art.
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