Ruth Bidgood and Matthew Jarvis.
My UWP book, Ruth Bidgood, in the Writers of Wales series, was launched on Friday 27 July in Aberystwyth's Arts Centre Bookshop. Ruth herself was there, as she was launching her own new poetry collection, Above the Forests (Cinnamon), at the same event.
Having very recently celebrated her ninetieth birthday, Ruth was - entirely appropriately - the star of the show. Not just a launch, even a dual one, this was ultimately an event to celebrate Ruth's poetry and her ever-more-important place in the English-language poetic life of Wales. Suitably, the bookshop was packed, as a large crowd turned up to honour one of Wales's most distinguished poets. Ruth read from her new collection and I was interviewed about my critical study by the marvellous John Barnie. One thing that came out especially clearly from Ruth's reading was the wit of her work, with her reading drawing a number of laughs from the audience.
This was an evening of considerable warmth and clear affection for Ruth herself. It was a particular pleasure that members of her own family were able to attend. My thanks are due both to the Arts Centre Bookshop for their hospitality and to Jan Fortune-Wood of Cinnamon Press for organising the event.
(Photograph courtesy of Daniel Jarvis.)