At 7.00 am on Tuesday March 1st (St. David’s Day) musicians and artists Richard Parry and Chris Glynn (Cardiff School of Art & Design), creative directors of the international Coleridge in Wales 2016 festival, mark this summer’s 80 day cultural exploration of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the connections to Wales, by walking from the William Blake and Iolo Morganwg monuments on London’s Primrose Hill to the Houses of Parliament where they will attend the Parliamentary St David’s Day service at noon, and speak in St Margaret’s, Westminster at 2.30pm.
The two hour walk will visit the Royal Institution in Albermarle Street, W1, where a young Coleridge, at the invitation of his friend and collaborator Humphrey Davey, gave Royal Institution lectures in 1807. The walk will also pass through Chancery Lane where Coleridge, in a fit of despair at a hopeless love affair and mounting student debts, signed up to the 15th Light Dragoons under a false name in 1793.
Coleridge dropped out of Cambridge in 1794 and walked around Wales. The venture commissioned him as an artist, and on May 15th this year Richard Parry and Chris Glynn will examine and trail Coleridge’s routes for 80 days in search of the missing Coleridge and hidden Welsh treasure.
Notes for editors:
Coleridge in Wales Festival.
This summer Welsh singer, artist and facilitator Richard Parry is setting out with a band of artists, poets, musicians, environmentalists, philosophers, politicians, theologians, cooks, actors and story-tellers on the route of the great poet Coleridge’s tours of Wales.
Coleridge’s walking tour of 1794 was bold and revolutionary. Walking then was unfashionable and thought of as vulgar. Society was not interested in mountains. Coleridge came to experience Welsh landscape, beauty, inspiration and to dream of a transformed society based on equality of opportunity and spirit. Wales influenced his poetry. He was a leading figure, bringing German romanticism and thinking to Britain.
The 2016 touring band will perform, engage with the public, attend festival events, meet local communities, organisations and schools and collaborate with Welsh artists, thinkers, performers, visitors, churches, educators, makers and business leaders. On May 15th the ship of The Ancient Mariner will return from sea to Cardiff, with the Ancient Mariner.
The Festival is traveling on foot, by bike and boat, and on public transport, embarking on excursions and touring the landscape. In a very public way the Festival explores the celebrated poetry and influential European thinking of Coleridge, as it moves from town to village to city through the Welsh countryside, in search of hidden Welsh treasure. It seeks to discover Coleridge’s resonance with Welsh literature, culture, traditions and visions for contemporary life today in Wales and Britain, exploring how Coleridge’s quest is already distinctively held in Welsh culture, language and history.
Coleridge in Wales festival is a bold cultural Welsh adventure to re-ignite in the public imagination an appetite for exploring human capacities for envisioning our shared landscape, industry, community, broad faith, justice, hospitality and connection.