On 28th January 2014, following a short illness, the poet Nigel Jenkins passed away. His funeral took place on 10th February at a full capacity St. Mary's Church, Pennard, with the ceremony also relayed by audio link-up to hundreds of mourners gathered in the nearby community hall. Six months later, the tributes continue to pour in, offering further evidence (if any was needed) of how respected and loved this man was.
Nigel was my Creative Writing tutor at Swansea University between 2006 and 2010. Like so many of his students, by the time my graduation ceremony came around, my relationship with Nigel had transcended student/tutor affiliation and moved into the realms of friendship. I miss his emails, his encouragement and advice, his presence at literary events and the warm welcome at his office on campus or his home in Mumbles.
I am greatly honoured to have been invited to pay tribute to Nigel at two forthcoming events in Swansea. The events offer an opportunity for friends, colleagues, literary peers and former students to speak about Nigel – his life, his work and his influence – and will begin an exploration of his significance within the literary maps of Swansea, Wales and the world beyond.
Saturday 19th July 2014, 7pm
Bilingual Literature Weekend (curated by Menna Elfyn), Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea
A celebration of the life and work of Nigel Jenkins, including the launch of Encounters with Nigel, a collection of tributes, poems and essays edited by Jon Gower and published by the H'mm Foundation.
Participants include: Ali Anwar, Fflur Dafydd, Stevie Davies, Menna Elfyn, Jon Gower, Steve Griffiths, Amber Hiscott, Dave Hughes, Angharad Jenkins, Delyth Jenkins, Alan Kellermann, Robert Minhinnick, Margot Morgan, John Osmond, Osi Rhys Osmond, Sally Roberts Jones and Rhys Owain Williams.
Free entry, but please reserve a ticket: dylanthomas.com
Friday 5th September 2014, 4pm
Diolch Nigel Jenkins
Dylan Thomas Centenary Conference, Swansea University
In association with the Dylan Thomas Centenary Conference, Swansea University pay tribute to the late poet, psychogeographer, editor and Director of the Creative Writing programme at Swansea, Nigel Jenkins.
Participants include: Ali Anwar, Huw Bowen, D.J. Britton, Sarah Coles, Nia Davies (speaking on behalf of Robin Ngangom), Stevie Davies, John Goodby, Tudur Hallam, Angharad Jenkins, Delyth Jenkins, Alan Kellerman, Margot Morgan, John Spurr, Emily Vanderploeg and Rhys Owain Williams.
This event is free and open to all, and will be followed by a drinks reception at 5.30pm.
I hope you will be able to join us in remembering this great man. Both events promise to be fitting tributes, and will no doubt be lubricated by a glass or two from the bar (as Nigel would have wanted).