Image of front cover of Welsh Writing in English vol 11


Editor: Katie Gramich ( Cardiff University)
Associate Editors: M. Wynn Thomas (University of Wales, Swansea)
Jane Aaron (University of Glamorgan) Tony Brown (University of Wales, Bangor)

"Welsh Writing in English . . . is a journal to read and re-read, whether your interest is academic, general, or just plain serious" -- Stephen Knight (Department of English, University of Wales, Cardiff), writing in Planet

"Welsh Writing in English is setting a new agenda and a new critical standard for literary criticism in Wales" -- Dafydd Johnston (Department of Welsh, University of Wales, Swansea), writing in Barn

Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays

Now entering its second decade of publication, Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays is the only academic journal devoted solely to the critical study of the English-language literature of Wales. The Yearbook seeks to cover the whole chronological sweep of Welsh writing in English, and essays published to date include papers ranging from discussion of the earliest Welsh literature written in English - Ieuan ab Hywel Swrdwal in the fifteenth century - to contemporary writers like Gillian Clarke, Niall Griffiths and Christopher Meredith. Emphasis is, though, on the writing of the twentieth century and we have published important new essays on such major figures as Dylan Thomas, Glyn Jones, Vernon Watkins, Alun Lewis and R.S. Thomas.

The Yearbook consists of new (peer-reviewed) essays by critics in universities in Wales and the U.K. as a whole, as well as America and beyond, and, while the ultimate criterion is always quality, the journal seeks to publish work both by established scholars in the field and by young researchers publishing the results of recent new work. As well as some eight full-length articles in each volume, the journal also publishes shorter factual piece new discoveries, new manuscripts, etc. - in a “Notes” section, while the occasional “Forum” section seeks to stimulate lively critical debate arising from published papers. Each issue also contains an annual bibliography of new critical material which has appeared during the previous year.

In its ten years of publication the Yearbook has become a benchmark for discussion of Wales’s English-language literature, as well as for the exploration of the links between the two literatures of Wales. A number of the essays first published in the Yearbook are already widely cited as key discussions of their subject and a number have been reprinted.

Volume 11 (2006-7), now available:

The Classic and the Rediscovered: R.S Thomas and Nigel Heseltine

At the core of the latest issue of Welsh Writing in English are essays on two Welsh writers: one well known, the other long-overdue for re-discovery. Two essays make important new contributions to the growing body of critical work on R. S. Thomas, one of Wales’s major writers of the twentieth century.  Fflur Dafydd’s essay on Thomas’s response in the 1940s to the writing of Hugh MacDiarmid demonstrates how crucial the Scottish nationalist poet was in Thomas’s construction of his own identity as Welshman and as nationalist - and she also discovers MacDiarmid’s own awareness of the Welsh situation.  Meanwhile Professor William V. Davis of Baylor University, Texas, considers R.S. Thomas’s later poetry and the paradoxes of Thomas’s “agnostic faith” in some of his key religious poems.

Nigel Heseltine (1916-1995) is a name with which few readers in Wales will as yet be familiar. The son of the distinguished composer Peter Warlock, Heseltine was brought up by his grandparents at their country house, Cefnbryntalch in Montgomeryshire. Rhian Davies provides a biographical introduction to Heseltine, the fruits of her years of research on the man and his writing: she describes the complex relationship between the young Heseltine and his eccentric father (he was known to motorcycle in the nude), Heseltine’s connection with  Keidrych Rhys, the pioneering editor of the magazine Wales, his contact with Dylan Thomas—they detested each other--and the publication of Heseltine’s comic and satiric stories of the social life of the Welsh borders, Tales of the Welsh Squirearchy–published by Keidrych Rhys’s Druid Press in 1946, the year that the same press published R.S. Thomas’s first volume, The Stones of the Field. M. Wynn Thomas’s accompanying essay on  Heseltine  demonstrates quite how different the two writers were; Thomas argues that Heseltine’s fiction, in its engagement with the tensions between Welsh and English, old landed gentry and incoming nouveaux riches, exemplifies current critical interest in the ‘hybridity’ of border cultures. In doing so, Prof Thomas discusses for the first time Heseltine’s as-yet unpublished second volume of stories Tales of the Landless Gentry”.

Other essays in the new journal also look beyond Wales: Ruth McElroy draws fascinating connections between British imperial attitudes towards education and language in Wales and India in the nineteenth century, and the fiction which came out of these tensions. Closer to home, Malcolm Ballin compares the history of Poetry Wales with the radical but now-defunct magazine Second Aeon and, from research  in the records of the Welsh Arts Council,  considers what the two journals tell us about the Council’s policies towards journal publication in the 1960s and  1970s. Harri Roberts takes a fascinating new look at the controversial grandfather of Welsh writing in English, Caradoc Evans, and Matthew Jarvis explores contemporary writer Christine Evans’ fine poems about life on Bardsey.  The Yearbook also contains its usual invaluable  round-up of recent books and articles on Welsh writing in English.

This issue of Welsh Writing in English will be essential reading for anyone interested in the latest research and up-to-date discussion of the English-language literature of Wales.


Ruth McElroy, “Circuiting Empire, Romancing Difference: Language,
Imperialism, and Anglo-Indian and Anglo-Welsh Fictions”

Harri Roberts, “The Body and the Book: Caradoc Evans’s My People

M. Wynn Thomas, “A Grand Harlequinade: The Border Writing of Nigel Heseltine”

Rhian Davies, ”Scarred Background: Nigel Heseltine (1916-1995), A
Biographical Introduction and a Bibliography”

Fflur Dafydd, “This is I: there is nothing else: R. S. Thomas and Hugh

William V. Davis, Evidence of Things Not Seen: R. S . Thomas’s Agnostic Faith”

Malcolm Ballin, “Welsh Periodicals in English: Second Aeon and Poetry Wales

Matthew Jarvis, “Christine Evans’s Bardsey: Creating Sacred Space”

Diane Green, “Welsh Writing in English: a bibliography of criticism 2005”

Welsh Writing in English is distributed by the University of Wales Press

Editorial contact  (Tony Brown) : (01248) 382102 / 362693;
Sales contact (Victoria Nickerson, U. of Wales Press): (0129) 2049 6899

pp. 226    210 x 148 mm

Paperback  £12.95   ISBN 978-0-7083-2109-6

Available from University of Wales Press, on-line from (Welsh Books Council) or from good bookshops.

Previous issues have included:

Jane Aaron, "The Hoydens of Wild Wales: Representations of Welsh Women in Edwardian and Victorian Fiction" (vol. 1)

John Pikoulis, "The Two Voices in Alun Lewis's Poetry" (vol 1).

Jason Walford Davies, "Allusions to Welsh Literature in the Writing of R. S. Thomas" (vol. 1)

Catherein Messem, "Gender, Class and the Welsh Question in the Poetry of Jane Cave (c. 1754-1813)" (vol. 2)

James A. Davies, "Dylan Thomas and the Great War" (vol. 2)

Hywel Teifi Edwards, "The Welsh Collier as Hero, 1850-1950" (vol. 2)

Francesca Rhydderch, "Dual Nationality, Divided Identity: Ambivalent Narratives of Britishness in the Welsh Novels of Anna Maria Bennett" (vol. 3)

John Harris, "A Hallelujah of a Book: How Green was My Valley as Bestseller" (vol. 3)

Tony Conran, "Saunders Lewis and Catholicism" (vol. 3)

M. Wynn Thomas, "'Never seek to tell thy love': Rhys Davies's Fiction (vol. 4)

Barbara Prys-Williams, "Rhys Davies as Autobiographer: Hare or Houdini?" (vol. 4)

William V. Davis, "'At the Foot of the Precipice of Water . . . Sea Shapes Coming to Celebrate': R. S. Thomas and Kierkegaard" (vol. 4)

Nathalie Wourm, "Dylan Thomas and the French Symbolists" (vol. 5)

Linda Adams, "Fieldwork: The Caseg Broadsheets and the Welsh Anthropologists" (vol. 5)

John Fordham, "The Matter of Wales: Industry and Rerality in the Work of James Hanley" (vol. 5)

Victor  Golightly "'We, who speak for the workers':  The Correspondence of Gwyn Thomas and Howard Fast"
(vol. 6)

Clare Morgan,  "Exile and the Kingdom: Margiad Evans and the Mythic Landscape of Wales" (vol. 6)

Paul Robichaud, "'It is our duty to sing': Y Gododdin and David Jones's In Parenthesis" (vol. 7)

Grahame Davies, "Resident Aliens: R. S. Thomas and the Anti-Modern Movement" (vol. 7)

Harri Roberts, "A Tower of Babel: Heteroglossia, the Grotesque and the (De)construction of Meaning in Glyn Jones's The Valley, The City, The Village and Niall Griffiths's Grits" (vol. 7)

Victor Golightly, "'Writing with dreams and blood': Dylan Thomas, Marxism and 1930s Swansea" (vol. 8)

Rowan Williams, "Swansea's Other Poet: Vernon Watkins and the Threshold between Worlds" (vol. 8)

Jackie Benjamin, "Misrule in Milk Wood: A Bakhtinian Reading of Dylan Thomas's 'Play for Voices'" (vol. 9)

Malcolm Ballin, "Welsh Periodicals in English 1880-1965: Literary Form and Cultural Substance"  (vol. 9)  

Volume 10 (2005)

Volume 10 (2005) contains two important new essays on R. S. Thomas as well as a further essay examining the relationship between his work and that of his contemporary, Dylan Thomas. M. Wynn Thomas’s essay, relating Thomas’s poetry to the drawing and painting of his wife, Mildred Eldridge, includes a previously-unpublished drawing by Eldridge of her husband and herself. The collection also includes two versions of a previously unpublished story by Dorothy Edwards, and discusses them in the light of recently-discovered letters and diaries.


Tim McKenzie, " 'Green as a Leaf': The Religious Nationalism of R. S. Thomas"

Alistair Heys, Ambivalence and Antithesis: R.S. Thomas’s Relationship with Dylan Thomas"

M. Wynn Thomas, "For Wales, See Landscape: Early R. S. Thomas and the English Topographical Tradition"

 Victor Golightly, " 'Speak on a finger and thumb': Dylan Thomas, Language and the Deaf"

Diane Green, " 'The first interpreter”: Emyr Humphreys’s Use of Titles and Epigraphs"

John Pikoulis, " 'Some kind o’ beginnin': Mike Jenkins and the Voices of Cwmtaff"

Matthew Jarvis, "The Poetics of Place in the Poetry of Ian Davidson"

Lucy Stevenson, "Two Drafts of an Unpublished Story by Dorothy Edwards"

Diane Green, "Welsh Writing in English: A Bibliography of Criticism 2004"


Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays is published by the New Welsh Review, Wales's leading literary journal, and receives financial support from the Arts Council of Wales, The Association for the Study of Welsh Writing in English and the British Academy.

Sales and Subscription Details

Welsh Writing in English may be purchased from quality bookshops in Wales or direct from: New Welsh Review Ltd., The cost of an annual subscription (including post and packing) is £12.95 to individuals. Cheques/Postal orders should be made payable to "New Welsh Review Ltd." (The equivalent of £4.00 should be added to payments in currencies other than sterling to help cover bank charges). Payments may also be made by credit card: MasterCard or Visa. Orders should include credit card number, expiry date, name and address of cardholder and be sent direct to New Welsh Review Ltd, P.O. Box 170, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 1WZ.

Back Issues

Vols. 2-7 are available at £8.95 (including p+p). (Vol. 1, 1995, is out of print.)

Copies should be ordered from:
New Welsh Review, P.O. Box 170, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 1WZ.

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Cheques should be made payable to The New Welsh Review Ltd.

Information for Contributors

Correspondence and contributions for publication should be addressed to the editor:

Professor Katie Gramich,
School of English, Communication and Philosophy

Humanities Building

Colum Drive
Cardiff University
Cardiff, CF10 3EU



The Yearbook publishes essays on literary topics, not on purely historical matters or general cultural issues. While its primary concern is the study of Welsh writing in English, papers on Welsh-language authors, written in English, will be considered; the Yearbook will also consider studies which relate the two literatures of Wales. Papers should not normally exceed 8,000 words in length. The Yearbook welcomes shorter papers of a factual nature for consideration for its "Notes" section and responses to published papers for consideration in its "Forum" section.

Manuscripts (two copies) should be typed on one side of the page, double-spaced and produced according to the MLA Style Manual, 1985. If the paper is produced on a computer, include a disk and describe the software used. Manuscripts and disks will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed envelope and the cost of return postage. All contributions will be refereed. While a decision will be made as expeditiously as possible, allow three months for a reply. Contributors of published papers receive four complimentary copies of the issue in which their paper appears.