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R. S. Thomas celebrated his centenary year by lording it over London.

On the evening of Monday, 2 December, Lord Gowrie delivered a talk on ‘The Witness of R.S. Thomas.’ Grey Gowrie held several Cabinet posts under Margaret Thatcher, and has been Chair of both Sotheby’s and the Arts Council of England, but he also acted at one time as personal assistant to Robert Lowell, and is himself a published poet. He became a friend and admirer of R. S. Thomas during the latter’s last years, and in his talk he brought a poet’s eye to bear on the work of a fellow poet.

As for the venue, that in itself was well worth a visit. It is the British Academy’s august marble halls, just off the Mall, and the (free) event, jointly hosted by the Academy, the Learned Society of Wales and Swansea University’s CREW, was chaired by Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and himself a poet.

There was only limited space available under the Academy’s lofty ceiling and elaborate chandeliers, and the room in which the lecture was given was full.

And if the prospect of travelling that far by First Great Western didn’t appeal to you, Swansea University’s Taliesin Centre hosted Dr. Rowan Williams and the Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, on the evening of Friday, 1 November, who discussed the religious vision of R. S. Thomas.

M. Wynn Thomas

Click the links below to watch videos of the two events:

01.11.13  Dr. Rowan Williams, Prof. M. Wynn Thomas and the Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, discussing R. S. Thomas’s religious vision.

02.12.13  Lord Gowrie on ‘The Witness of R. S. Thomas’