Arts Council of Wales | Wiliam Owen Roberts

Wiliam Owen Roberts

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Wiliam Owen Roberts

Wiliam Owen Roberts was born in 1960 and was educated at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He worked for a period at both Cwmni Cyfri Tri and HTV as a Script Editor. In 1988 he decided to become a full-time author. Since 1984 he has written for many formats including theatre, radio, television and film.

Wiliam has published four novels and one collection of long short stories. As well as winning an Arts Council of Wales Prize in 1988, his second novel Y Pla was translated into ten different languages and it has been placed on the curricula of many American universities. He has also has a chance to travel widely - especially in Europe - where he has taken part in many readings and discussions on literature. In 1980 he won the Medal for Drama at the National Eisteddfod. His fourth novel Petrograd was named Welsh Book of the Year in 2009.

The Project

This Creative Wales Award will allow Wiliam to explore a totally new research subject - himself. He will to delve into his life to try an understand the forces and influences that shaped him as an author and also to understand why he has created the body of creative work that he has as opposed to another body of work. Unlike almost all other Welsh language authors, Wales is absent from his work. Why is this so? There are many important considerations that he wishes to face as honest as possible in order o analyse them, and consequently increase his own understanding of himself.

As part of this journey through his life and through the medium of memories and experiences, Wiliam intends to be totally open minded about how he will express this creatively. He will not be content on using one specific format; Wiliam will experiment by teasing the possibility of creating an alternative cross-border genre. He therefore intends to work with Marc Evans, the film director (for a short period and according to his busy calendar) to record a passage about the nature of his own life. Wiliam considers Marc’s contribution and the partnership as a key element of the project and the possible results may create a kind of written autobiography that contains elements of the visual process bought on by Marc Evans’ filming work.

Wiliam hopes that delving into his own depths will allow him to enlighten his past as well as highlighting and enriching possible creative paths for his future as an author in Wales.

In the video below, produced by Wales Literature Exchange, Wiliam Owen Roberts discusses his latest novel, Petrograd.

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