The focal point of the literary festival will be our guest speakers. Speakers will include authors, local personalities and generally interesting people. Please keep checking back as we add more speakers.
Trevor N. Bond
Author: 'The A-Z of Victorian Crime' (2016)
Not Proven: Harold, the Reverend, and friends
A Methodist minister, a mysterious Frenchwoman, a solicitor, a brace of housekeepers, and a recently discharged soldier all walk into a bar. What do they speak about? Being accused of murder by poison, of course. Co-author of ‘The A-Z of Victorian Crime’, Trevor N. Bond will examine not only the alleged crimes of this motley crew, but also their lives outside of the courtroom and more detail than you ever realised you wanted to know about death by arsenic.
Trevor N. Bond co-authored his first book, ‘The A-Z of Victorian Crime’ in 2016, and discovered a latent love of the history of poisonings in the process. Born in South London, Trevor has spoken at various true crime conferences and seminars since 2010, and in October 2016 presented his talk ‘It Was, in Truth, an Awful Night – The Murder of Bensley Lawrence’ at the National Archives in Kew. A nurse by trade, Trevor now works in London after studying at Aberystwyth and Swansea universities between 2003 and 2011.
Tour Guide: Shakespeare's Globe. Author: Shakespeare’s Audiences and the Supernatural (2017/18)
Juliet and the Apothecary
Jon talks about drugs, medicine and poison, and what they would have meant to the audiences in Shakespeare’s London.
Prospero, Duke and Magician
Macbeth’s witches conjure horrors, and Henry IV Part 1’s Glendower is associated with images of magic and myth, but within the realm of humanity, Prospero is probably Shakespeare’s most powerful magical practitioner. Yet, for Shakespeare’s audiences, the practise of ‘Conjuring’ – educated, Neoplatonic magic – was very solidly a job for the over-educated, financially insolvent, social ambitious commoner.
Jon Kaneko-James will look at the powers associated with Prospero, their relationship with the magical books that Elizabethans believed in, and the significant class differences between Shakespeare’s Prospero and the purportedly real magicians plying their trade in Early Modern Britain.
Originally from Llanelli, Jon Kaneko-James is a writer and tour guide at Shakespeare’s Globe. In addition to writing genre fiction, Jon is a historical researcher specialising in the study of pre-industrial British belief in the supernatural. This has led him to present his research at Goldsmith’s University, The Rose Playhouse Trust, Bristol University, and The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle.
At the moment Jon is adding the finishing touches to his book, tentatively titled Shakespeare’s Audiences and the Supernatural, looking at how 16th and 17th century citizens understood the supernatural, and supernatural events as they formed a part of the political and everyday landscape.
The book will be available in late 2017/early 2018 from Beul Aithris Press.
Author: Tudor Wales (2014), York Pubs (2016), House of Beaufort (2016)
Henry Tudor, a Welsh king?
‘Henry Tudor, A Welsh King?’ will focus on the Welsh background of King Henry VII, the first of the Tudors. Did Henry consider himself Welsh? What connections did he have the Land of his Fathers? Is the idea of Henry VII being a Welshman even a modern myth, or does this have any historical basis? All will be explored in this 45-minute talk by Nathen Amin, founder of the Henry Tudor Society, and author of the House of Beaufort and Tudor Wales.
Nathen Amin grew up in the heart of Carmarthenshire, West Wales, and has long had an interest in Welsh history, the Wars of the Roses and the early Tudor period. His first book Tudor Wales was released in 2014 and was well-received, followed by a second book called York Pubs in 2016. His third book, the first, full-length biography of the Beaufort family, the House of Beaufort, is scheduled for release in the summer of 2017. He is the founder of the Henry Tudor Society and has featured discussing the Tudors on BBC radio and television, as well as in print and online media across the UK. He has a degree in Business and Journalism and now lives in York, where he works as a Technical Writer.
Author, playwright and songwriter
Reflections of a Writer
Successful local playwright, author and songwriter Jon Tregenna reflects on his long and varied career.
In the 1980s Jon had a fitful career as an actor, the highlight being a rave review from the Guardian critic Nick de Jongh for his performance as an apple salesman in a play (The Scam) off the West End. He also went down in history as the first body to be cut from a car in Casualty.
He moved back to his home town of Llanelli in 2000 to write after a hungry young BBC script editor found a film script he’d written with his sister Catherine, in a pile. This led to several years writing scripts for drama series for BBC, ITV and S4C, as well as a period spent story-lining the BBC’s longest running soap, Pobol y Cwm. Cowbois Ac Injans was a Celtic Film Festival and Welsh BAFTA-winning S4C series co-created and written with his sister, Cath. It ran for 16 episodes in 2006-2007. In 2010 Jon relocated to Laugharne, the ‘strangest town in Wales’ as described by its most famous resident, Dylan Thomas.
Jon has also been known to dabble in pub-life, rugby trips, obscure Japanese sports cars and occasional cycling. It only remains to say that he lives in a house where, in 1953, the last murder in Laugharne was committed, or should that be last known murder.
A New Authors Journey
Newly published Llanelli Author Lee Newberry discusses his experiences in writing and publishing his first book.
Lee was born and bred in Llanelli and has recently bought his first home as well as landing an agent in London for what is sure to be a successful writing career. His man concern in life is having enough space for his books (and the books he has yet to buy) in his new Llanelli home.