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Literary Success

16 July 2012

Dr Richard Gwyn

A memoir written by one of Cardiff University's academics has won the creative non-fiction prize at this year's Wales Book of the Year Awards.

The Vagabond's Breakfast written by Dr Richard Gwyn from the School of English, Communication and Philosophy, took the prize at the ceremony held in Cardiff last week.

Published last year, The Vagabond's Breakfastsees Gwyn reflect on some of the choices made and journeys undertaken throughout his life, specifically focusing on his "lost" years of vagrancy and alcoholism in the Mediterranean.

Speaking about his success Dr Gwyn said: "It was a very competitive field with some fine writing - some of it by close friends of mine - so the evening was a slightly strange experience.

"The Vagabond's Breakfast is as much about literature, and the way it shapes our lives, as it is about my own story, so I am pleased it received the prize on purely literary grounds."

The Wales Book of the Year prizes are awarded annually to the best Welsh language and English language works in the fields of creative writing and literary criticism.

The English-language judges for 2012 were Dr Spencer Jordan, Dr Sam Adams and Trezza Azzopardi. Speaking of the winners Dr Jordan said: "Each of the three category winners are writers at the very top of their game"

"Writing is never more compelling or braver than when it comes from the heart, and that's what these books do. In their own small way, each is a manifesto of the human soul in the twenty first century."

The Wales Book of the Year Award is administered by Literature Wales. Other winners at this year's awards included Patrick McGuinness for his debut novel The Last Hundred Days and Wales' former National Poet Gwyneth Lewis.

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