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Acclaimed author in conversation with Cardiff academic at National Museum

8 October 2015

jacket cover of Black Apples of Gower

Acclaimed author returns to home turf to discuss latest book in conversation with Cardiff academic 

Iain Sinclair, author of Downriver, Lights Out for the Territory and Rodinsky’s room, returns to the landscape of his youth, the Gower, for his new book Black Apples of Gower, and rediscovers it through the poetry of Dylan Thomas, Vernon Watkins and the paintings of Ceri Richards.

This month the Welsh-born author comes to Cardiff to discuss his book at a free event in conversation with Professor Damian Walford Davies, Head of Cardiff University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy on Monday 19 October at National Museum Cardiff (Reardon Smith Lecture Theatre, doors open 6pm for 6.30pm start).

Hosted in partnership by Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales and Cardiff University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Iain Sinclair will be discussing his book Black Apples of Gower: Stone-Footing in Memory Fields.

An enigmatic series of paintings by Ceri Richards, based on the theme of the Black Apple of Gower, is the provocation for Iain Sinclair’s return to the landscape of his childhood and youth. Best-known for his journeys through London or circumnavigations of the M25, here we find him digging into memory files to realise that a series of walks over the same ground, Port Eynon Point to Worm’s Head, become bookmarks for the significant stages in his life. Recollections of a meeting with the poet of place, Vernon Watkins, focus attention on legends of the rocks. And on the mythology of the eternal return: the dead and the drowned as unfulfilled witnesses.

Through expeditions over cliffs and elemental wave-cut pavements, Sinclair comes to realise that the defining quest is for access to the Paviland Cave, where the Reverend William Buckland ‘discovered’ the bones of the Red Lady. Who, as it turned out, was no lady but a young man put to ground 36,000 years ago – the first recorded ritual burial in these islands. All the threads of the story knot within this potent and still mysterious cavern.

Poet, literary geographer and Chair of Literature Wales, Damian Walford Davies adds: ‘It’s a pleasure to welcome the distinguished author Iain Sinclair to Cardiff to discuss his excavation of the layered Welsh ground of his imagination'.

Tickets are free by registering online.

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