The Ultimate Bangor Literary Tour
As we enter another month of lockdown, when restrictions may ease, we are still very much confined to the Bangor area. There are a limited number of things to do in Bangor, but if you love literature and are looking for something slower then why not take a Bangor Literary Links walking tour!
There are a few literary personage dating characters that take place in Bangor, perhaps the most famous (but most forgotten) being that of William SHakespeare. Henry IV Part I. In scene i of act 3, Hotspur, Mortimer, Worcester, and Glendower meet in Bangor, specifically in the “Archdeacon’s House”. Hotspur may have “forgotten the map”, but Shakespeare locating a single scene from his play in Bangor is enough to please any book / theater fan!
There are even a few occasions when fictional characters also attend our own Bangor University! The eponymous Bridget Jones from the Helen Fielding series is believed to have attended college prior to the events of Bridget Jones Diary. Likewise in A kind of silent thunder, a young adult novel by Sara Barnard, main character Steffi’s only dream is to study zoology in Bangor. From classical theater to YA fiction, Bangor appears time and time again in literature.
Bangor has also found its place in several poems and collections! Deryn Rees Jones’ poem “Firecracker” takes place on Lon Pobty (the road between High Street and Caellepa), and RS Thomas, a successful Welsh poet, was born and drew inspiration from Bangor in many of his poems!
Many writers have also taken up residence in Bangor at different times in their lives, although, surprisingly, this fact is rarely mentioned. The point is, discovering Bangor’s rich literary history requires a lot of digging! Earlier in her life, writer and activist Juno Dawson studied at Bangor University and is now known for her books, including This book is gay, Pride and Hollow pike. Bangor also had his own literary circles, including poet and critic Tony Conran (who has a plaque in the Main Arts library) and Brenda Chamberlain. Chamberlain’s extraordinary writing was framed by a life of adventure and constant withdrawals to his hometown of Bangor. His death occurred in tragic circumstances in a house in Holyhead Road and his ashes were then buried at Glanadda cemetery, Caernarfon road.
And of course, how can we forget our current writers in residence? The Creative Writing Department of the School of Languages, Literature and Linguistics hosts several landmark and important writers, from poets Fiona Cameron and Zoe Skoulding to Alys Conran, including the novel Pigeon won Welsh Book of the Year.
Do you have any literary links to add to our Bangor Literary Tour? Let us know in the comments!