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Latest work reveals dramatic autobiography of arguably the world’s best known betrayer

23 June 2015

Damian Walford Davies giving talk at Hay Festival

The latest work by poet and literary critic Damian Walford Davies, Professor of English at Cardiff University, Judas has hit bookshelves this summer following its launch at the Hay Festival.

Close on the heels of the poetry collection Alabaster Girls, Judas is a dramatic autobiography of the man whose most famous act (they say) was a kiss in the dark.

In this latest work from the Chair of Literature Wales, we see the world through the eyes of Judas over the course of five days as he moves through first-century Jerusalem trying to make sense of the bewildering events surrounding the life and execution of Jesus.

Drawing on conflicting representations spanning twenty centuries, this chain of poems sets out to challenge orthodoxies. Judas offers an imaginative map of ancient enmities – and dares to hint at resolutions – in the form of a dramatic autobiography.

The historical voice is a hallmark of the writer, most recently expressed in The Witch (2012) echoing the witchcraft hunts of the seventeenth century in a Suffolk village.

Appointed Head of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy in 2013, the academic, poet and critic has a particular interest in exploring dialogues between poetry and the visual and has published widely on the two literatures of Wales and on Romantic-period literature and culture.

Later this year the Archbishop of Wales is to interview the poet in the next issue of Challenge Cardiff, the University's new look at research behind the scenes. In an insightful turn of events, academics are challenged about their research by leading figures.

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