Award-winning author launches new book and delivers annual Cliff Tucker Memorial Lecture


Award-winning children’s author and academic, Dr Rhiannon Ifans, was the guest speaker at this year’s Cliff Tucker Memorial Lecture.

Rhiannon Ifans a Brinley

Dr Rhiannon Ifans with UWTSD President, Dr R Brinley Jones 

Dr Rhiannon Ifans is Dyson Fellow in the Faculty of Humanities and Performing Arts, University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Her main field of research is medieval Welsh literature. Other research interests include Welsh folk life and folk culture, carols, ballads, and Welsh theatre with special reference to the eighteenth-century interludes. An award-winning children’s author, she is a regular participator at international conferences, festivals, in schools, and in higher education institutions. She is also General Secretary of the Welsh Folk Song Society and edits the annual journal 'Canu Gwerin' (Folk Song).

The 2019 Cliff Tucker Memorial Lecture, entitled ‘Sant y Cariadon’ (The Patron Saint of Lovers), was followed by the official launch of Dr Rhiannon Ifans’s new book, Red Hearts and Roses? Welsh Valentine Songs and Poems. This new publication includes sixty-nine Welsh poems from manuscripts held at various libraries and personal collections of unpublished poems, for the first time in their original language, translated into English and with musical notation.  Following this year’s Lecture and book launch Dr Rhiannon Ifans commented:

“It was an honour to deliver the 2019 Cliff Tucker Memorial Lecture this year and to share the Valentine tradition and its poetry with the Tucker audience. Far from resembling anything else on offer in any other part of the UK, these Welsh songs are lyrical, expressive, and often in cynghanedd. I have been enchanted with these songs and poems over many years.

Many notable speakers have delivered this lecture in the past few years including former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and BBC journalist Dr Huw Edwards, and it has become an important event in the University’s calendar year. I feel privileged to be part of this tradition and to be delivering the 2019 Tucker Memorial Lecture."

The Annual Memorial Lecture is named after magistrate and politician Cliff Tucker, an industrial executive with British Petroleum. He was educated at St David’s College, Lampeter, which later became the University of Wales, Lampeter, and more recently UWTSD. Following his death in 1993 at the age of eighty, Cliff Tucker bequeathed the proceeds of his home to the University.

Rhiannon Ifans Llyfr.j

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