Saturday 28th March
Central Community Centre
Spring Meeting with the Alfred Williams Society
||Coffee and Registration
An introduction to the Friends of the Dymock Poets and The Alfred Williams Society.
||“That Enchanted Land”:
Impressions of the Poets in Dymock
||Presentation by the Alfred Williams Society
Alfred Williams, 1877-1930, grew up in poverty
as his mother raised children single-handedly, after his father left.
When he was only 8 he became a ‘half-timer’,
working part of the day on a farm and the rest at school,
and left school altogether three years later.
The prospect of much better pay at the GWR railway factory
persuaded him to go ‘inside’ when he was fifteen.
The ‘Hammerman Poet’ wrote six books of poetry
and books about nature and the Wiltshire area.
Life in a Railway Factory, about his experiences
in the Railway Works, was published in 1915.
Despite a life of poverty and having to write in his precious spare time,
Alfred’s work was often reviewed in The Times
and was known to three prime ministers.
||An Imaginary England: Landscape and Literature
Author and academic Roger Ebbatson explores the literary landscapes
represented by poets and writers in late 19th and early 20th Century,
particularly in the Wiltshire countryside of Richard Jefferies
that inspired Edward Thomas, Alfred Williams and others.
Q & A
Studying the last poems that Edward Thomas wrote
before he was killed at the Western Front on 9 April 1917
reveals a poet beginning to see deeper into his art
and perhaps lose something of his self-consciousness,
yet history determined that this beginning
was also to be his final or ‘late’ period.
John Monks’ doctorate focussed on Edward Thomas’’s prose
and his preparation for becoming a poet. This talk will explore
Thomas’s later verse, which contains some less familiar poems,
and suggest that it is among the most probing poetry in Thomas’s
lifelong but truncated search for his true voice.
John Monks is editor of the Friends of the Dymock Poets Journal.
||Rupert Brooke: The Literary and Personal Legacy
Jane has written a biography of Ka Cox,
(a friend of Rupert Brooke and Virginia Woolf)
and her husband Will Arnold-Forster.
Currently working on her next book, she explores the literary
and personal legacy of Rupert Brooke and attempts to explain why,
despite little concrete evidence, he has come to epitomise
the romantic war hero poet of WW1.
Jane will share her knowledge, and engage with
former Rupert Brooke Society Chair Neil Maybin
and the audience in an open discussion about Brooke’s life, his friendships
and who we think Rupert Brooke really was.
Jane Winter is a retired human rights activist
and also involved in Hacked Off,
which campaigns for independent, responsible press regulation.