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Owen Sheers

Owen Sheers talks to Michael Berkeley about his love of Wales, poetry and rugby, plus how a trip to the Large Hadron Collider inspired a musical collaboration.

Owen Sheers' career as a poet began aged 10, when he won a competition at Abergavenny Show for a poem in which he found a rhyme for "orange" - a mountain in the Brecon Beacons called the Blorenge. He says: "I won 50p and thought, 'there's money in this poetry game'. I've since been proved wrong."

He persisted with the poetry, publishing his first volume fresh out of university, and rapidly becoming one of Britain's most successful poets, as well as writing prolifically for theatre, television and radio and enjoying great success as a novelist - his latest book I Saw a Man was published earlier this year.

Owen Sheers is a writer who likes to get away from his desk, and he tells Michael about his delight at being Artist in Residence at the Welsh Rugby Union, and about his collaboration with composer Mark Bowden, which took him to Cern's Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

He has chosen music from Haydn's Creation, one of Bach's Celllo Suites (which features in his first novel), music by Keith Jarrett and a favourite Welsh folk song.

Producer: Jane Greenwood
A Loftus Production for BBC Radio 3.

Available now

32 minutes

Last on

Sun 25 Oct 2015 12:00

Music Played

  • Mark Bowden

    A Violence of Gifts

    Singer: Elizabeth Atherton. Singer: Roderick Williams. Choir: BBC National Chorus of Wales. Orchestra: BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Conductor: Martyn Brabbins.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Die Vorstellung des Chaos (Die Schopfung)

    Orchestra: Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Conductor: Sir David Willcocks.
  • Henryk Mikolaj G√≥recki

    Totus tuus sum, Maria

    Choir: New College Oxford Choir. Conductor: Edward Higginbottom.
  • Traditional Welsh

    Ar lan y mor (On the seashore)

    Singer: Kenneth Bowen.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Cello Suite No.4 in E flat major, BWV1010 (Sarabande)

    Performer: Ralph Kirshbaum.
  • Keith Jarrett

    Koln Concert (part 1)

    Performer: Keith Jarrett.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    String Quartet in B flat major, Op.130 (Cavatina: Adagio molto espressivo)

    Ensemble: Vermeer Quartet.
  • Harry Warren

    At last

    Singer: Etta James.

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