By now, most people are aware of the connection between Tŷ Newydd and former Prime Minister David Lloyd George. If you don’t, then you can read the full story here. Recently, we welcomed Lloyd George’s great-granddaughter here for the Poetry Masterclass with Gillian Clarke and Carol Ann Duffy. It was lovely to meet Lara Prior-Palmer, and to see her living and breathing the same surroundings as her great-grandfather.
As with all our featured guest blogs, we sent Lara our quick-fire questions:
How did you come across Tŷ Newydd? Was this your first visit?
My cousin Anita (George-Carey—secret poet) said I must go to Tŷ Newydd and ‘get in touch with my Welsh roots.’ I couldn’t believe the house where Lloyd George died had turned into the home of Literature Wales, its brilliant!
As a Poet, do you have a specific place that you go to for inspiration or to write?
The sky? Often I can’t write in a spot for long before I feel I’ve stained or sapped it, and need to wriggle, move on, face another direction.
Do you have a writing routine? Do you set a target to write a specific amount of poems a day; have a special pen; a specific desk?
Bog-standard biros are the queens of my pen world. They work so smoothly and you can buy them in bulk so you feel no sadness when you lose them.
What is your favourite book / collection?
I’m still searching for my favourite book.
If you could to be the author of any book / collection, which would you chose?
I’d be happy if I’d created one of those fat illustrated scientific textbooks we had to use in school.
If you could choose any three writers, dead or alive, to invite for supper, which three would you chose?
Well obviously Carol Ann and Gillian because as I have discovered this week, they are a right laugh, especially together. Then I would want to invite someone who writes in a language that’s not English, like Tomas Tranströmer, the Swedish poet, and maybe Olga Tockarczuk—the Polish novelist—too, because I get tired of English sometimes and like hearing it spoken by people who have other first languages, it refreshes English for me.
Who or what inspires you to write?
If you could be any character from the literary world, who would you be and why?
Oh wow. I will be Fury— the horse from H M Peel’s Fury, Son of the Wilds. He’s very charged.
Here’s one of Lara’s wonderful poems, written here at Tŷ Newydd:
Ty Newydd’s Garden Chair
Twenty years ago now, the house spat me out
What was I to do, but exist in doubt
Of my body, my being, I’ve not been in charge
Blame the table inside—she judged me as large.
Yet I’m freer out here, and these days less shy—
My back shoots like a diving board up into sky.
The garden has layered me in clean, green love;
Come! house-fearing humans—I’m a full-body glove.