About the Artist
Richard Gwyn grew up in Crickhowell, Powys. He studied anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science and worked in a variety of jobs in London before taking off for a decade of aimless travel around the Mediterranean.
A poet, novelist and translator, he has also edited an anthology of new Welsh poetry, The Pterodactyl’s Wing (2003). He lives in Grangetown, Cardiff, and is Professor of Creative Writing at Cardiff University. His first novel, The Colour of a Dog Running Away (2005) was a Book of the Year for both The Independent and Waterstones, received the Welsh Books Council Publishers Award for fiction, and has been translated into several languages.
His most recent prose work is a memoir and meditation on illness, travel and literature, The Vagabond's Breakfast (2011) was the winner of the Wales Book of the Year Award 2012 (creative non-fiction). He reviews Spanish and Latin American fiction for The Independent, and is the founder of Fiction Fiesta, which joins writers and translators from Wales with writers from Latin America. His recent works of translation include A Complicated Mammal: Selected Poems of Joaquín O. Giannuzzi (2012) and The Spaces Between: Poems by Jorge Fondebrider (2013).
The title of the proposal suggests that rather than having a fixed point of departure and arrival, all travel is a continuum, and that the only valid objective is to sustain the tension of the unfinished journey.
Richard’s project is therefore to research and write an account of travel as a work in progress, challenging the notion that contemporary travel awakens in the traveller a sense of 'travelling without seeing'. Reports will initially appear as journal entries, posted on the blog written by his alter ego, Ricardo Blanco, as they tour Latin America in search of its poets and its wanderers; but this will only be a part of the narrative, as the project will also take us through journeys past, as well as across a very personal Latin America of memory and the imagination.
Unfinished Journey is linked to, but discrete from, preparation of his forthcoming anthology of Latin American poetry (Seren Books), and the Cardiff-based Fiction Fiesta, and it builds on friendships with writers and alliances with cultural organisations across Latin America.
Unfinished Journey is sponsored by Wales Literature Exchange and the Club de Traductores Literarios de Buenos Aires, Argentina, with supporting partners in Chile, Colombia, and Mexico.
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