Dorothy (Dorf) Bonarjee returned to Aberystwyth in the past week, 110 years after she was a student there. In spirit, at least.
Her triumph in the college Eisteddfod in 1914 prompted a burst of poetic creativity which has now been celebrated in the first ever collati0n of her verse. And the Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / National Library of Wales hosted a really well attended event to mark the publication.
The Hindu Bard: the poetry of Dorothy Bonarjee has been published by Honno, the Welsh women's press - and they have done a great job. It's well designed, with a great cover and good quality illustrations - and the poems themselves are a stimulating and arresting read.
Professor Elin Jones, Director of the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, chaired the panel discussion, which involved me and my co-editor. Mohini Gupta . We were joined on the panel by the historian Faaeza Jasdanwalla-Williams. Jane Aaron, editor of Honno's Welsh Women's Classics Series, made introductory remarks. Dominique Baron-Bonarjee, Dorf's great niece, addressed the gathering on behalf of the Bonarjee family and read one of Dorothy's poems - and Mohini too recited a selection of Bonarjee's verse.
At the close of the event, Dorothy Bonarjee's papers were formally handed over to the National Library on behalf of her niece, Sheela Bonarjee, and they will be catalogued and made available to researchers and anyone else who wants to see them.
This slide show of the launch feature's Kevin's excellent photos and many thanks to him for permission to post them here.
And a big thank you to the National Library of Wales for hosting the event in this solidly impressive building looking down on the town of Aberystwyth.
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