Table Of Contents
- About the author
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- Zoë Brigley
- Sarah Corbett
- Jasmine Donahaye
- Jonathan Edwards
- Dai George
- Ian Gregson
- Philip Gross
- Meirion Jordan
- Patrick McGuinness
- Pascale Petit
- Deryn Rees-Jones
- Gwyneth Lewis
- Rhian Edwards
- Zoë Skoulding
- Tiffany Atkinson
- Devolved Voices Video Interviews
- Series Index
Voices and Visions
Interviews with the Contemporary
English-Language Poets of Wales
Oxford · Bern · Berlin · Bruxelles · New York · Wien
Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche
Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the
Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de.
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Gray, Kathryn, 1973- editor.
Title: Voices and visions: interviews with the contemporary English-language
poets of Wales / Kathryn Gray (ed.).
Description: Oxford ; New York : Peter Lang, 2019. | Includes
bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: LCCN 2016044367 | ISBN 9783034319713 (alk. paper)
Subjects: LCSH: English poetry--Welsh authors--History and criticism. |
English poetry--20th century--History and criticism. | English
poetry--21st century--History and criticism. | Poets, Welsh--20th
century--Interviews. | Poets, Welsh--21st century--Interviews. |
Wales--Intellectual life--20th century. | Wales--Intellectual life--21st
Classification: LCC PR8960 .V65 2016 | DDC 821/.92099429--dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2016044367
This volume is an output of the 2012--15 research project 'Devolved Voices: Welsh poetry in English since 1997' (Aberystwyth University) which was generously funded by a research project grant from the Leverhulme Trust.
Cover design by Peter Lang Ltd.
ISBN 978-3-0343-1971-3 (print) • ISBN 978-1-78997-522-2 (ePDF)
ISBN 978-1-78997-523-9 (ePub) • ISBN 978-1-78997-524-6 (mobi)
© Peter Lang AG, International Academic Publishers, Bern 2019
Wabernstrasse 40, CH-3007 Bern, Switzerland
All rights reserved.
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Any utilisation outside the strict limits of the copyright law, without
the permission of the publisher, is forbidden and liable to prosecution.
This applies in particular to reproductions, translations, microfilming,
and storage and processing in electronic retrieval systems.
This publication has been peer reviewed.
Kathryn Gray is an editor, critic and poet. She is a former editor of Wales’s leading literary magazine, New Welsh Review, and the award-winning independent press Parthian. Between 2012 and 2015 she worked on the research project ‘Devolved Voices: Welsh Poetry in English since 1997’, which was based in the Department of English & Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University and was funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Kathryn Gray’s reviews and articles have been published widely, and she has contributed to arts programmes for the BBC. Her first collection of poems, The Never-Never (Seren, 2004), was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.
About the book
Voices and Visions: Interviews with the Contemporary English-Language Poets of Wales captures the perspectives of key Anglophone Welsh and Wales-associated poets who have emerged in the wake of devolution and Wales’s 1997 ‘yes’ vote—or whose career profiles and development were consolidated in its wake. The post-1997 era has been a dynamic one—notably characterised by a striking gender shift, in which women are now at the very centre of Anglophone Welsh poetics. It has also been a period in which a number of idiosyncratic younger voices have emerged and established themselves both within Wales and further afield. Compelling and candid, these interviews examine poets’ practice and preoccupations, their native and elective poetic identities, their personal insights into a changing Wales, the prevailing conditions which may have enabled them, and their place within the wider firmament of British poetics. Voices and Visions: Interviews with the Contemporary English-Language Poets of Wales is a fascinating record of play, seriousness, ambition, and local and international interests from the point of view of some of Wales’s most significant contemporary poets. Poets included: Zoë Brigley, Sarah Corbett, Jasmine Donahaye, Jonathan Edwards, Dai George, Ian Gregson, Philip Gross, Meirion Jordan, Patrick McGuinness, Pascale Petit, Deryn Rees-Jones, Gwyneth Lewis, Rhian Edwards, Zoë Skoulding, and Tiffany Atkinson.
This eBook can be cited
This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.
Gwyneth Lewis←vii | viii→
Index←viii | ix→
This book constitutes one of the major outputs of the Devolved Voices project, generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust and based at Aberystwyth University. I am enormously grateful to the Leverhulme Trust for their support in all matters and to the Department of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth for administrative finesse throughout.
The Devolved Voices project was led by Principal Investigator Professor Peter Barry, whose wise counsel, acuity, kindness, and perennial calm not only ensured a smooth professional outcome, but much happiness during the process. I am indebted to my colleague and friend Professor Matthew Jarvis for his sterling advice, as well as for our very many stimulating conversations over the past three years and more which have greatly helped to inform my thinking – and questioning – on so many aspects relating to our post-1997 cohort of poets from Wales. Thanks are, moreover, due to the project’s research student Bronwen Williams, who was also part of the team’s creative and critical buzz.
For the purposes of this book, fifteen subjects were selected for in-depth correspondence interview, and I offer them quite particular thanks for their participation. However, as I note in my introduction, the range of the Devolved Voices project’s video interviews extends to thirty poets. I am very grateful to all poets involved for their candour in expressing the context of their creative lives and practice, and for the warm hospitality which they unfailingly offered to this traveller. Devolved Voices would not have been possible without their enthusiasm, patience, and generosity.
The Poetry Library at the Southbank, London proved to be an invaluable repository, particularly with regard to journal culture; I would like to express my gratitude to the staff there for their good-natured professionalism and assistance.
To all at Peter Lang, especially Tony Mason: thank you for your patience, guidance, and your belief in the value of this book.
This book has its beginnings in the Devolved Voices project, which began in September 2012. Based at Aberystwyth University and generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the three-year project was ambitious and wide-ranging. Much of my work during the life of Devolved Voices was dedicated to developing a poets-to-camera interview archive. Selecting thirty poets across a spectrum of emergence, concerns, and style, I intended to create lively and engaging videos of individual creative life and practice, which, together, might provide a commentary on the landscape of Anglophone Welsh poetics since 1997 and Wales’s devolution ‘yes’ vote. Poets interviewed to camera were not solely limited to those who had been born and raised in Wales. Although a number of poets were indeed native Welsh, others had spent significant periods in the country during childhood and adolescence (one thinks of Sarah Corbett or Pascale Petit as distinctive examples), while, in the specific case of Deryn Rees-Jones, there existed a strong, familial, legacy connection to the country, which has enabled the poet to establish a tangible sense of identity in relation to it. Certain poets, such as Ian Gregson, Jasmine Donahaye, Zoë Skoulding and Patrick McGuinness – who arrived as adults into the country – completed all or much of their fullest poetic emergence in Wales, and have since gone on to play substantial roles in ‘The Project’ – what the late poet Nigel Jenkins understood as a collective effort of Anglophone-Welsh cultural nation-building on the part of its creatives and thinkers; these figures are also critics, commentators, academics, editors. Our ‘late arrivals’, poets Matthew Francis and Philip Gross, developed careers outside of Wales and yet continued to flourish as practitioners and lecturers within it, post-arrival – so much so that the keenness of their relationship to Wales and their cultural contribution to the nation are now beyond question.
If daunting in terms of sheer extent, then the advantage of that initial, fairly broad brief of thirty poets will all the same be self-evident. When it came to selecting poets for long-form correspondence interview for←1 | 2→ this book, the challenges were equally obvious. Whom to select? By what criteria? In the end, I settled upon fifteen poets whom I felt represented a breadth of work and sensibility in the post-1997 era of poetry from Wales and/or out of Welsh identity. Also fundamental to my thinking was the compilation of a book of interviews that ranged from newly minted figures through to mid-career practitioners and long-established names. It will be apparent to the reader that many of the poets included in this book have achieved what might be termed ‘British breakthrough’ status. That is to say, their impact as poets is not limited to Wales: these are poets who will likely be familiar names to those engaged with contemporary poetry generally, whether as lay readers, scholars, or practitioners. This book of interviews also demonstrates a majority showing for women. This speaks to an essential truth of Wales’s post-1997 era, which has seen women rise to prominence both in output and professional achievement, in such a way that they can no longer be considered marginal or exceptional figures on the scene; to the contrary, they are now at the heart of the poetic culture. While all the poets I have selected for long-form interview reflect personal interest (any interview would surely amount to very little without the interrogator’s enthusiasm for their subject), inclusions – and, therefore, exclusions – do not necessarily imply a value hierarchy. Many fine poets who participated in the video interviews do not find a place here. In the end, I have sought to bring together voices that are idiosyncratic, while collectively demonstrating, on a number of occasions, a fascinating degree of connectivity.
- X, 262
- ISBN (PDF)
- ISBN (ePUB)
- ISBN (MOBI)
- ISBN (Hardcover)
- Publication date
- 2019 (August)
- Voices and Visions Poetry Wales devolution
- Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, 2019. X, 262 pp.