The Roland Mathias Prize 2011


Seren author Ruth Bidgood has been shortlisted for the Roland Mathias Prize 2011.

The event which will take place 7.oopm Friday 8th April, The Guildhall Brecon, recognises works published in the fields of poetry, short stories, literary criticism and Welsh history.

The event hosted by BBC Cymru/Wales will include readings by the shortlisted authors.

A Poetry Book Society Recommendation.
Time Being is Ruth Bidgood’s  10th collection in a career that spans almost 40 years. It has been said, rightly, that Bidgood’s work is ‘emphatically a poetry of location’ and it is the history and nature of her particular region of mid-Wales that most inspire the author. Her narratives are often literally exploratory and discursive as in ‘Viewpoint’ where a walk in the countryside revives both personal memories and knowledge of the stories associated with a place. Her distinctive voice has a quiet authority but also a subtle, conspiratory edge, as if she is letting one in on a secret, unveiling a hidden fact, or making a discovery. She avoids sentimentality, but – unfashionably – not sentiment; an observation can engender joy or sorrow or fear uncluttered by irony.  Her descriptions are sharp and memorable, tending to a cool accuracy. Nature is not always a benign presence but also often inescapably dark and mysterious as in’ Illusion’ where “A goshawk climbs a tower of air and is gone”. Also notable here are several substantial sequences: ‘Gaps’, ‘Time Being’, ‘Reading a Landscape’. These are ambitious attempts to transcend the lyric and move towards a more epic, multi-faceted form equal to the many experiences of her long life.


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