Writing the Climate, the Climate of Writing: a Quebec-Wales project

Posted by Admin on 19 March 2023

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Writing the Climate, the Climate of Writing 2023

Whether we tame nature by creating gardens, exploit it by growing food and breeding stock, or damage it with the expansion of cities, industries and transport, we have reached a critical point when climate change calls for a radical rethinking of human interaction with the environment. Writing the Climate, the Climate of Writing is an on-going collaboration between Literature Across Frontiers and  Metropolis Bleu Festival in Montreal that brings together Quebecois and Welsh authors in exchange visits to discuss our relationship with nature and our place in the natural and cultural ecosystems.

This year, Wales was represented at the Metropolis Bleu Festival by authors Sian Melangell Dafydd and Llyr Gwyn Lewis alongside LAF director Alexandra Büchler and Hay Festival International Director Cristina Fuentes la Roche.  Quebec authors Juliana Leveillé-Trudel and Louis Hamelin visited Wales in June and appeared in events at Senedd-dy Owain Glyndŵr in Machynlleth on Friday 2nd June and at the Hay Festival on Sunday 4th June. See Events for further details.

With each exchange, the Metropolis Bleu festival commissions the authors to write a new text and records their reading of it for its podcast series. Listen to the Quebec Wales podcasts here. Podcasts from the previous year, with texts by Fflur Dafydd and Christian Guy-Poliquin can be found here.

About the participating authors:

Siân Melangell Dafydd is an author, poet and translator who writes in both Welsh and English. She was the co-editor of the literary review Taliesin and Y Neuadd online literary magazine for six years, and currently is the Welsh-language editor of Modron Magazine. Her second novel, Filò (2019), focuses on the little-known story of Italian prisoners of war in Wales. She works with authors and poets internationally to translate and co-write poetry and the trilingual book Different Water is the outcome of her collaboration with the Malayalam poet Anita Thampi. She was Professor of Creative Writing at the American University in Paris where she lived for a number of years and currently teaches at Bangor University in North Wales. She is also a yoga teacher and researches yoga and writing as parallel practices. (Photo: Edi Matić)

Louis Hamelin (GrandMère, 1959) won the Governor General’s Award for his first novel, La Rage, in 1989. He then published numerous collections of short stories and novels, including La Constellation du Lynx (2010), which received the Prix des libraires du Québec and the Prix littéraire des collégiens. In 2020, he published his ninth novel, Les Crépuscules de la Yellowstone, and launched a collection of nature writing at the publishing house Le Boréal, “L’œil Américain”, of which he translated one of the titles, Lesétés de l’ourse. He is also a columnist for the daily Le Devoir. (Photo: François Couture)

Born in Montreal in 1985, Juliana Léveillé-Trudel practices various forms of writing: the novel – Nirliit (2015) and On a tout l’automne (2022) ­ children’s literature – How to catch a bear who likes to read (2018) and Voyage de Nuit à la bibli (2022), co-written with Andrew Katz, and theatre We are not a city, Théâtre Pàp and À tour de role, forthcoming in 2023. Her work has been translated into English, Spanish, Icelandic, Danish and Basque. She presented several of her theatrical and literary creations on stage and founded Productions de brousse. (Photo: Laurence Grandbois-Bernard)

Llŷr Gwyn Lewis is a Welsh-language writer living in Cardiff. His first prose work, Rhyw Flodau Rhyfel  (2014), won the Wales Book of the Year non-fiction award, and was published as Flowers of War in English translation by Katie Gramich in 2021. His first short story collection, Fabula, came out in 2017, and he was one of five authors included in the online magazine  Words Without Borders’ Welsh-language issue in August 2019. His latest poetry pamphlet,  rhwng dwy lein drên,  was published during the pandemic and was shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year award in 2021. He was also the 2022 winner of the chair at the National Eisteddfod for his sequence of poems in cynghanedd, Traeth. (Photo: Lowri Russell)

Writing the Climate, the Climate of Writing 2022

Last year the novelist Christian Guay-Poliquin and author and scriptwriter Fflur Dafydd paid each other visits during April and June, having written commissioned texts on the subject of our relationship with nature. After Fflur’ visit to the Metropolis Bleu festival, Christian visited Wales in June and spend a week in Aberystwyth, Carmarthen and Cardiff, meeting audiences and local writers. In Aberystwyth he was in conversation with the Welsh-language novelist Siân Melangell Dafydd about writing in French in North America, about how of the language movement in Quebec has shaped culture in the province and the vibrant city of Montreal and about the ‘climate’ in which minoritised literatures can thrive.

From Aberystwyth he travelled to Carmarthen where he appeared with his counterpart Fflur Dafydd in a double bill: a brunch event at the media and creativity hub Canolfan S4C Yr Egin and in the National Botanic Garden of Wales, both moderated by Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones. He then spent a day in Cardiff concluding his short tour of Wales before travelling back to Montreal.

See Events for more details and view recordings of last year’s events here.

Writing the Climate, the Climate of Writing is produced by Literature Across Frontiers in partnership with Metropolis Bleu Festival and is supported by the Welsh Government and the Government of Quebec.

The 2022 Wales edition was produced in partnership with Canolfan S4C Yr Egin and the National Botanic Garden of Wales.