Sunday night, poet Owen Sheers read from his first novel, Resistance, at KGB, pairing off with Richard Gwyn for one of the first events of Wales Week USA, an eight-day celebration of Welsh culture featuring, among other events, musical performances, art exhibitions, and a closed-circuit screening of last Saturday’s rugby game pitting the Welsh national team against the Italians (which, happily, they won 47-8).
Sheers and Gwyn will also read Wednesday night at Housing Works and Saturday afternoon at The Ear Inn with their fellow countryman, Lloyd Robson, and Thursday night Sheers is going to lead a discussion at the New York Public Library with the acclaimed travel writer Jan Morris. After the KGB event was over, I got out my camcorder and asked Sheers to tell me more about his participation in Wales Week USA, and about his fellowship at the NYPL’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers…
(Resistance, by the way, sounds totally awesome based on the passages he read; it’s a “counterfactual” story about a remote Welsh valley in the 1940s where the men have all gone underground after German forces invade Britain.)
Then Rebecca Jenkins, a publicist for the Welsh assembly government, told me a little bit more about how the weeklong festival came about, and mentioned Wednesday’s free lunch in downtown Manhattan: