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Poet's retreat with Gillian Clarke

Guardian Masterclasses

Friday, January 24, 2014 at 5:00 PM - Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM (GMT)

Poet's retreat with Gillian Clarke

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Poet's retreat with Gillian Clarke Ended £599.00 £0.00
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Event Details

Join Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales, for the ultimate poet's retreat. This unique residential course offers both personal tuition from Clarke and an immersion in the life and work RS Thomas, all taking place in the vivid splendour of the setting which inspired his most famous works.

At the end of the RS Thomas centenary and the beginning of Dylan Thomas celebrations, this is a celebration of the true literary giants from Wales. This is a spectacular opportunity to develop your own style and craft under the tutelage of Wilfred Owen Award winning poet Clarke, while you explore the language and landscape of one of Wales' greatest literary voices. This three-day masterclass includes expert workshops and one-to-one tuition in writing verse, talks on Thomas's work from literary critic and poet Damian Walford Davies, and guided walks of the seascapes and volcanic hills of the Llŷn Peninsula, an area of outstanding natural beauty and font of inspiration. Surely the perfect way to commemorate the centenary year of one of poetry's most distinguished voices.


As the centenary year of RS Thomas comes to an end, this unique residency offers an opportunity to explore the words and home landscape of the legendary poet, and find new perspectives on your own work.

Poets in search of fresh inspiration need look no further. This spectacular immersive retreat offers an exceptional combination of natural splendour, expert tuition, and home-cooked food for thought. By writing alone and in groups, discussing Thomas's work and writing in response to it, and absorbing the influences of the mystical surroundings, poets will be able to establish a more intimate acquaintance with Thomas's own inspirations, as well as gaining a deeper understanding of his work and motivations.

As well as exploring Thomas's work and themes, you'll develop your own writing, through a series of group workshops and one-on-one tutorials with Gillian Clarke, the National Poet of Wales.


Lead tutor Gillian Clarke is one of the most revered names in modern poetry. Her most recent collection of poems, Ice, was short-listed for the TS Eliot Award 2012. In December 2010 she was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, and in 2012 the Wilfred Owen Award.

The course also includes a talk by poet and noted Thomas historian Jason Walford Davies, senior lecturer and co-director of the RS Thomas Research Centre at Bangor University.


Co-founded by Gillian Clarke, the Welsh Writer' Centre Tŷ Newydd has secluded gardens and stunning views over Cardigan Bay. Situated among the wilds of the Lynn Peninsula, Thomas's physical and spiritual home for so many years, Ty Newydd is a beautiful period house with views of both mountains and sea. The course includes a guided walk through the famous volcanic hills of the Llyn Peninsula, an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty and one of Thomas's own great influences.

This course is for you if…

This is for poets who wish to develop their writing and recharge their creative energy, inspired by the windswept language of one of literature's most distinctive voices, RS Thomas, and the mountain and seascapes of the stunning Llŷn Peninsula.

Tutor profiles

Gillian Clarke was born in Cardiff and lives in Ceredigion. She has been National Poet for Wales since 2008. She is the co-founder of Tŷ Newydd, the Welsh Writers Centre which was founded in 1990. Her work has been widely studied for GCSE and A Level for many years.
Clarke has published thirteeen books for adults, and several for children as writer, translator or editor. Her first prose collection, At the Source, appeared in 2008. Her recent collection of poems, Ice, was short-listed for the TS Eliot Award 2012. In December 2010 she was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, and in 2012 the Wilfred Owen Award.

Poet, librettist and literary critic, Damian Walford Davies is the author of the collections Whiteout (Parthian, 2006, with Richard Marggraf Turley), Suit of Lights (Seren, 2009), Witch (Seren, 2012), Alabaster Girls (Rack Press 2014) and Judas (forthcoming in 2015 with Seren). As a poet, he is particularly interested in the resources the dramatic monologue offers contemporary poetry. He was Head of the Department of English & Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University, and is now Professor of English at Cardiff University.

Literature Wales is the National Company for the development of literature in Wales.

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Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

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When & Where

Tŷ Newydd
LL52 0LW Gwynedd
United Kingdom

Friday, January 24, 2014 at 5:00 PM - Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM (GMT)

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Guardian Masterclasses

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Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.

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The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.

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Poet's retreat with Gillian Clarke
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