Alan in his element in the ugly, lovely town
WORKING in Swansea's Dylan Thomas Centre must be a dream job for a budding poet, but one such writer is emerging from the shadow of the famous wordsmith.
Alan Kellermann, a 33-year-old Swansea University creative writing graduate, originally from Wisconsin, USA, will unveil his first published work, You, Me and the Birds, at his place of work this evening from 7pm.
Explaining how he swapped living in the American Mid West to being published by Wales-based Parthian Books, he said: "My former tutor told me that Swansea was doing a creative writing masters and I thought I would take a chance.
"I thought, I really like this place, the city and the people, let's stay; and I did.
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"I then heard that there was a job going in the Dylan Thomas Centre and put in an application and that was it.
"It's a bit of a dream job for a writer. I have sat down with some of the biggest names in writing in Britain. You get to meet wonderful people and people in the craft."
Of Dylan, Kellermann said: "The more I read the more I realise the amount of skill he had; and looking at his worksheets in our exhibition you realise the amount of work he put in, the amount of effort it took to generate something.
"With writing you don't realise the amount of work that goes in before the finished product; they say professionals make it look easy."
Describing his own volume, he said: "It runs the gamut, it's everything from love poems, shorter lyrical poems to things that are a bit longer, sequences and meditations, on war even, to poems inspired by art."
And on following Dylan's footsteps into print, the poet, described by Robert Minhinnick as "a young writer of ambition and sophistication" adds: "It's a fantastic feeling. It's a huge step up for a writer to become published.
"I do want to teach at university level at some point, and being published goes a long way towards that as I can point to it and say I have a collection and if you like it I'm a good match for you."