Sunday, March 18, 2012

Owen Sheers - the world's first international sports team writer in residence

Owen Sheers, the Welsh writer, was appointed writer-in-residence for the Welsh Rugby Union in January this year, and he now celebrates the success of the Wales Rugby team in winning the Grand Slam in the 2012 Six Nations tournament.
While he’s already written poems for the programme of every home game, he’s also gathering material to use in future.
“I now have a much clearer idea of how the material will take shape. I hope to write across the full range of forms which I’ve used in the past, including non-fiction, fiction, poetry and theatre. But it’s not all going to happen straight away. It’s very natural with this type of project to immerse yourself for a long time so that you can distill the ideas.”
Sheers says the tournament has been an “extraordinary” start to his role for many reasons, including the fact Wales have won every match.
Owen has close links with Zimbabwe, he has visited the country on several occasions and has contributed poems to the 'amaBooks collections Short Writings from Bulawayo III and Intwasa Poetry, and a short story to Long Time Coming: Short Writings from Zimbabwe. The Dust Diaries, for which he won a Wales Book of the Year Award, is an account of his journey through contemporary Zimbabwe in an attempt to better understand his distant relative Arthur Shearly Cripps' devotion to the country. Owen's first novel Resistance has recently been released as a film.

In 2009, Owen visited Zimbabwe and launched Bryony Rheam's debut novel This September Sun. This September Sun is to be published in the United Kingdom by Welsh publisher Parthian Books in May 2012.

Photograph and quote courtesy of the Western Mail.

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