Press Releases 2014-2015

Poetic Project Recommended for Prestigious Ted Hughes Prize


University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) researcher Dr Catriona Ryan and video artist Kylie Boon have been recommended for the prestigious Ted Hughes Poetry Award for their research work which has resulted in an innovative Dylan Thomas-themed exhibition in Swansea.

The Ted Hughes Poetry Award was established in 2009 by The Poetry Society and highlights the ways in which poets engage with other art forms. It is described as the poetry equivalent of the Turner Prize. Dr Ryan, based at UWTSD’s Swansea campus, has carried out research into ‘poetic hermeneutics’, defined as the theory behind interpreting poetry in written, verbal and visual forms. She has devised a new methodology called ‘Transmorphic Hermeneutics’ which looks at how poetic hermeneutics impacts upon visual art and literature.

Dr Ryan said: “The purpose of the new methodology is to examine the multivalency of poetic language. Multivalency means many interpretations and the art of great poetry is based on how an image can contain multi-layered meanings. Dylan Thomas was a master of this. I believe that most people can write poetry in this way and the purpose of this methodology is to help artists explore this dimension of their work.”

Llun sy’n cyd-fynd â’r gerdd, ‘Frigid threads in cold cotton folds’ gan yr artist Beccie Evans. Using the new methodology, Dr Ryan encourages artists to conceptualise poetically and visually in new and exciting ways. Earlier this year three poetry workshops were held at the Mission Gallery in Swansea where this methodology was used as a base for the artists to generate poetic and visual ideas based upon interpretations of Dylan Thomas’ work. The workshops culminated in the artists writing a final poem which forms the basis of their visual piece.

The resulting body of work has been brought together in a literary and visual arts exhibition, entitled ‘Alchemy of Place’, a subsection of a major Dylan Thomas exhibition called ‘Lyric One’. It is currently on show at the Mission Gallery in Swansea and will run until Sunday 2nd November.

The exhibition is comprised of twelve artists and has been co-curated by Dr Catriona Ryan, Kyle Boon and artist (and UWTSD alumna) Deirdre Finnerty.

Dr Ryan said: “Using the new methodology in workshops provided artists with a unique experience of interpreting poetry. Coupled with encouragement of visual expression from Kylie Boon, the artists involved produced original artwork representative of interpretations of Dylan Thomas’ poems. They showed great enthusiasm during the process and have produced original visual work, and distinctive poetry, which is now on display.”

Dr Ryan and Kylie Boon were recommended for the Ted Hughes Poetry Award by the Director and Editor of Cinnamon Press, Dr Jan Fortune.

Dr Fortune said: “Not only am I extremely impressed by the intellectual and theoretical framework of this project, but also by its accessibility. This is a rare combination. The project takes seriously the need to bring fresh perspectives to iconic work in a rigorous and bold way, but it does so by building on an exhibition that allows for maximum participation, using multiple perspectives and visual thinking to engage people at all levels.

“We are certainly excited to be discussing with Dr Ryan how we can work with her in the future to bring the results of the exhibition, and project, to an even wider audience and feel that the resulting publication stands a strong chance of doing well in the future Ted Hughes Award.”

Judging the competition will be award-winning poets Julia Copus and Kei Miller alongside Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry. Shortlisting will take place in February 2015 and the winner will be announced in March 2015.

Note to Editor

  1. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University.
  2. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University.

Further Information

Steven Stokes
Principal Corporate Communications and PR Officer
07872 423788