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Remembering Alan Kent (22.7.67 to 20.7.22)

Steve Patterson


Regular readers of artcornwall.org will be familiar with Dr Alan Kent. As well as contributing to artcornwall.org, The Enquiring Eye, Lien Gwerin, Old Cornwall, Cornish Studies and many other magazines and journals, he also took part in the inaugural MoWM May conference back in the early noughties, giving a paper on Celticism. He always cut a striking figure with his long hair and broad smiling face.

In spite of long term health problems, of which he rarely spoke, he had a boundless energy and enthusiasm. He once said that he didn’t mind dialysis: it was a good opportunity to catch up with his editing! He was a prolific folklorist, playwright, novelist, poet, author and scholar of Cornish language and culture as well as being a full time teacher and academic. I often used to joke with him, trying to get out of him how many books he had published, to which he would always change the subject.

Alan was of a rare breed of folks who had just as much enthusiasm for the work of others, academics and non-academics alike, as he did his own. I, and many other people I know, would often receive random texts and messages with an idea, a question of a possible lead regarding our work. It is a sad loss that this will now fall silent.

His funeral service was held at Nanpean Methodist chapel in the heart of the China Clay Country. He always described himself as a “Druidic Methodist” and it was here in his beloved Cornwall’s heartland that his vision of Cornishness and the Cornish was born. It was from this landscape and this community that his bones and blood and spirit were formed, and to them he has returned. He will be sadly missed.




Alan Kent, who has died at the age of 54, was interviewed for artcornwall.org in 2016: http://www.artcornwall.org/interviews/Alan_Kent.htm