As part of the Holy Glimmers of Goodbye event at the Senedd on 19 February 2019, Literature Wales commissioned the following lectures:
‘Where is war poetry?’ By Nerys Williams
This talk examines how Welsh and American war poetry represents space, place and document. The discussion engages with poetry from WW1 and poems responding to conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
‘Wales and the movement against the First World War’, by Aled Eirug
This lecture discusses the vastness of the opposition to the First World War in Wales, and how powerful the movement to prevent the war was. The talk will examine the influence of the opposition to the War on a religious basis, and in the tradition of Nonconformist attitudes to war and peace. To what extent was this shattered by Lloyd George’s influence, and to what extent was the religious opposition united politically under the leadership of the Independent Labour Party and the Marxist of the Miners’ Federation ?
The lecture will also consider the opposition’s legacy as the peace movement grew in the years leading to the Second World War.
‘The Poetry of the People: Ivor Novello, Music Halls and the First World War’, by Phil Carradice
The First World War was the first literate (and literary) war in history – partly due to the 1870 Education Act; partly to the fascination/interest in Music Hall poetry and songs; and partly to the popularity of sentimental songs like Novello’s ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’. It meant that people – ordinary people – read, wrote and sang their way through the war and through times of distress. This talk will focus on the influence and life of Ivor Novello. It will also look at how Music Halls helped shape society during and after the war.