Mametz

Owen Sheers
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ISBN 9780571332250 Format Paperback
Published 02/03/2017 Length 208 pages

About Book

‘“For years afterwards the farmers found them – the wasted young, turning up under their plough blades.” So run the blunt, grimly beautiful opening lines of the Welsh poet Owen Sheers’s elegy for the men, 4,000 of them from the 38th (Welsh) Division, who were killed or wounded in the Battle of Mametz Wood in July 1916… Sheers revisits that chapter of carnage in a stirring, sprawling promenade show… He draws on the writings of two survivors in particular. One is the poet David Jones whose fractured, enervated, modernist response to his war-time experiences, In Parenthesis, was hailed as a “work of genius” by TS Eliot. The other key influence is the writer Llewelyn Wyn Griffith… driven to wondering how the sun “could shine on this mad cruelty and on the quiet peace of an upland tarn near Snowdon”... We end up in dark woods and a place of numb desolation, bombarded by words that pierce the heart and vignettes that capture the stomach-churning sacrifice… The finest commemoration of the First World War centenary I’ve seen to-date, this deserves a much longer life.’ Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph

Mametz by Owen Sheers was premiered by National Theatre Wales in June 2014. It is one of the set plays on WJEC’s A level Drama specification. This dual edition combines the original English-language play with a Welsh-language translation by Ceri Wyn Jones, one of Wales’s most eminent poets.

  • About Owen Sheers

    Owen Sheers is a poet, author and playwright. His first novel, Resistance, was translated into ten languages and adapted into a film. The Dust Diaries, his Zimbabwean non-fiction narrative won the Welsh Book of the Year. His awards for poetry and drama include the Somerset Maugham Award for Skirrid Hill, The Hay Festival Poetry Medal for Pink Mist and the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award for his play The Two Worlds of Charlie F. He lives in Wales with his wife and daughter.,Owen Sheers has written two collections of poetry, The Blue Book and Skirrid Hill. His non-fiction includes The Dust Diaries and Calon: A Journey to the Heart of Welsh Rugby. His novel Resistance has been translated into ten languages and was made into a film in 2011. His plays include The Passion and The Two Worlds of Charlie F. . Owen wrote and presented BBC Four's A Poet's Guide to Britain. He has been a NYPL Cullman Fellow, Writer in Residence for the Wordsworth Trust and Artist in Residence for the Welsh Rugby Union.

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