In early summer 2016, singer and facilitator Richard Parry will set out with a band of artists, poets, musicians, actors, environmentalists, philosophers, politicians, theologians, cooks and story-tellers on the route of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s two tours of Wales.
Coleridge dropped out of Cambridge university and travelled around Wales in 1794 dreaming of founding a new, fairer society. This walking tour 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, and 2016 marks the 200th anniversary of the writing of his mid-life classic Biographia Literaria.
The 2016 touring band will perform, engage with the public, attend festival events, bring with them exhibitions, meet local communities, organisations and schools and collaborate with Welsh artists, thinkers, performers, churches, educators, makers and business leaders.
They will travel on foot, by bike and boat, and on public transport, embarking on excursions and touring the landscape. In a very public way the Festival will explore the celebrated poetry and influential thinking of Coleridge, as it moves from town to village to city through the Welsh countryside, discovering and broadcasting Coleridge’s resonance with Welsh literature, culture, traditions and visions for contemporary life today in Wales, uncovering how Coleridge’s quest is and was already distinctively held in Welsh culture, language and history, and Wales’s connections across the world.
Coleridge’s genius has never been fully celebrated – here’s a bold cultural Welsh adventure to re-ignite in the British public imagination an appetite for exploring Coleridge’s power of envisioning our shared landscape, industry, community, broad faith, justice, hospitality and connection. A vision lost in other areas of Britain? Join us.