Writing promise rewarded as Nigel Jenkins award announced
The winner of a prestigious award named after one of Wales’ most accomplished writers has been announced.
Gaynor Funnell, a student on the Creative Writing MA programme in Swansea University is this year’s winner, receiving a special Venetian glass trophy and an offer to publish her work with the H’mm Foundation.
Ali Anwar of the H’mm Foundation said: “Nigel Jenkins was one of the most influential literary figures that Wales has ever produced, and the loss of him in 2014 is still felt keenly in his home city of Swansea and beyond.
“The H’mm Foundation is delighted to organise this year’s award in association with Swansea University in tribute to Nigel, his work and his legacy.
“Wales is blessed with a wealth of truly inspirational writers and we hope this award becomes another source of inspiration to the new generation.”
Gaynor Funnell, the award’s winner said: “I was surprised, and delighted to win this award. Nigel’s writing is so evocative of nature, time and place – themes that my own writing focuses on – that it is humbling to receive this award in memory of him.
“Unfortunately, I never met him, but Nigel’s name still echoes through the minds and corridors of the creative writing department at Swansea University, a department he helped to create.
“Knowing the high standard of writing set by my fellow MA students makes the winning of this award even more special. I’m also grateful to the H’mm Foundation for creating this Award.”
Professor D.J.Britton, Director of Creative Writing, Swansea University said: “As well as being an incisive, elegant, moving and often very funny writer, Nigel Jenkins was an outstanding teacher.
“Together with the renowned novelist and scholar Stevie Davies he was a founder of the MA in Creative Writing at Swansea University and one of its twin guiding lights through its successful formative years.
“The creative writing programme, which has expanded into undergraduate and research degrees, will be for ever in his debt.
“Nigel worked closely with the H’mm Foundation and its publications, so it is fitting that the Foundation has chosen to honour Nigel’s memory through an award to a student whose achievements in the Swansea University Creative Writing MA were of the highest order.”
Rodney Bender, from Innovative Glass Products in Clydach said; “The trophy is made from a block of glass that was manufactured just outside Venice in the Venetia region of Italy.
“Selected because of its exceptional optical clarity, this glass is a product of an industry that became synonymous with quality from the Fifteenth Century to the present day.
“The image of Nigel Jenkins is made of a Molybdenum based metal oxide imported from America and fused onto the back of the glass with a laser. The green colour on the sides of the award is an applied Nano coating (manufactured in Germany) that has been subsequently laser engraved.
“When I designed the trophy for this award, I was inspired by ‘The Handkerchief’ poem from Nigel, he read it during a gathering of friends in Swansea.”
Nation.Cymru is delighted to announce that we shall be publishing extracts of Gaynor Funnell’s winning work, about a farm called Penbanc in west Wales, over the coming months.
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