Monday, 17 November 2014

Rediscovering Dylan / Ail-Ddarganfod Dylan

Swansea University’s Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) will host ‘Rediscovering Dylan’, a programme of events curated specifically for Being Human, the UK’s first national festival of the humanities.
Held between 17 – 20 November 2014, Rediscovering Dylan celebrates the life and works of Swansea’s most famous son, Dylan Thomas.
Made possible by a grant from the festival organisers, the School of Advanced Study, University of London, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy, Rediscovering Dylan will showcase the very best of Swansea University’s research excellence, using the work of the iconic Dylan Thomas as a focal point to fuse literature, theatre, music and art.

‌‌Selected from over 100 applications, the grant awarded to Swansea University will help bring together researchers and the local public to engage with their own interpretation of the humanities. Rediscovering Dylan will be part of a national programme of activities which aim to inform, extend and ignite contemporary thinking and imagination around the humanities.

The programme of events will begin with a public seminar by the distinguished T James Jones on ‘Another Version of Under Milk Wood’, followed by a public lecture by Professor Tudur Hallam on Dylan Thomas and Welsh poet and nationalist, Saunders Lewis.  Swansea University’s world authority on Dylan Thomas, Professor John Goodby, will launch his centenary edition of the Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2014). This new edition contains recently discovered material, looks at Dylan’s work in a fresh light and takes us to the beating heart of Thomas’ poetry.

Number 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, a play written by PhD graduate Liz Wride, and directed by award-winning playwright D.J. Britton, is a hilarious play set in the here and now telling the story of the unfortunately named Thomas Dylan whose 18th birthday falls on the same day as the Dylan Thomas centenary, and who is living with his Dylan-obsessed parents at Dylan’s birthplace.
In partnership with Literature Wales’ Developing Dylan 100 project, Dylan-inspired cross art-form workshops will be held at various local schools, before the week culminates with Dylan Live - a bilingual performance tracing Dylan Thomas’ trips to New York through jazz, beat poetry, hip-hop, spoken word and film and featuring Professor Daniel Williams.
Dr Elaine Canning, Deputy Director of the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities at Swansea University, said: “We are delighted to be part of the UK’s inaugural Festival of the Humanities and look forward to bringing together researchers and the community to explore the cultural offerings and heritage of our region through close engagement with one of its greatest cultural icons. We would like to express our sincerest thanks to the festival funders for their support”.

Rediscovering Dylan events are all free and open to the public.

17 November 2014 at 4pm
Fersiwn arall o Under Milk Wood (Another version of Under Milk Wood)
Public seminar by Welsh poet and dramatist, T. James Jones (simultaneous translation provided)
Venue:  Council Chamber, The Abbey, Swansea University.
17 November 2014 at 6.30pm
'Curse, bless, me now':  Dylan Thomas and Saunders Lewis
A public lecture by Professor Tudur Hallam (Swansea University)
Venue:  Wallace Lecture Theatre, Wallace Building, Swansea University. Reception from 6pm.
18 November 2014 at 4.30pm
Number 5 Cwmdonkin Drive - a play by Liz Wride
Number 5 Cwmdonkin Drive is a comic take on this year's Dylan Thomas celebrations. Set in the here and now, it tells the story of the unfortunately named Thomas Dylan, whose 18th birthday falls on the same day as the Dylan Thomas centenary.
Director: D.J. Britton. Featuring the original cast from the Welsh Fargo Theatre Company.
Venue:  Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea University.
This event is free, but tickets should be booked via the Taliesin Arts Centre: 01792 60 20 60.
(The play will also be performed at Dylan Thomas’ birthplace, 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, on 19 November – **by invitation only**)
18 November 2014 at 6.30pm
‘Clap its great blood down’:  editing The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas:  A New Centenary Edition
A public lecture and book launch by Professor John Goodby (Swansea University)
Venue:  Wallace Lecture Theatre, Wallace Building, Swansea University. Reception from 6pm.
20 November 2014 at 7.30pm
Developing Dylan 100: Dylan Live
A bilingual performance tracing Dylan Thomas’ trips to New York through jazz, beat poetry, hip-hop, spoken word and film. Performers include Daniel Williams, Martin Daws, Zaru Jonson, Aneirin Karadog, Ed Holden, Huw V. Williams and film by Ewan Jones Morris.
Venue:  Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea University.
This event is free, but tickets should be booked via the Taliesin Arts Centre: 01792 602060.

For further information, visit:


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Conference Report- 'Dylan Unchained'

This September saw Dylan Thomas's ugly, lovely town celebrate the man, the myth and of course the work with a three-day conference. Organised by Kirsti Bohata, Director of CREW, the conference included not only a wide variety of papers but poetry readings, exhibitions, a new play- and a bus full of old books, courtesy of Jeff Towns's Dylan's Bookstore. We were delighted with the number of delegates who registered for the event, and with the high calibre of papers delivered. The conference got off to a great start with our first keynote lecture presented by Dr Leo Mellor (Cambridge University). Dr Mellor's keynote, '"On almost this incendiary eve': Dylan Thomas and the apprehension of war' placed Thomas within the context of WW2 poetry, arguing that Thomas's inclusion within this canon destabilised this body of literature- fitting as Thomas's war poetry dealt with the violent destabilisation and fragmentation of the body through language. Mellor placed Thomas also within the context of the Neo-Apocalyptics, and argued that art that would once have been seen as surrealism became realism within the war context. As well as his role as propaganda-generator during the war, Thomas's poetry also dealt with the broader concern of the period, how to make art from destruction. Mellor's paper also raised certain key issues and themes that would reverberate through the conference in the papers of other speakers.

Two parallel panels followed Mellor's keynote, one on Dylan and translation with a video of a multi-lingual reading of Thomas's Do Not Go Gentle , and the other on Thomas's relation to modernity and literary modernism. Andy Webb (Bangor University) discussed Thomas's short story collection A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog using the theoretical paradigms of world literary studies. Webb argued that the uneven development of capitalist modernity, where emergent social organisations co-exist alongside residual, local, traditional cultures, is reflected in Thomas's short stories, resulting in feelings of alienation and a crisis of self-representation in this uneasy space between these two competing cultures (obviously added tensions due to the linguistic tensions in Wales). Gareth Downes's paper, 'Dylan Thomas and the Enactment of a Modernist Pastoralism', explored Thomas's modernist appropriation of the pastoral, looking especially at one of Thomas's best-known and probably most anthologised poem Fern Hill. Downes explored how Thomas's use of the pastoral juxtaposed a celebration of childish innocence with a yearning sense of loss and tragedy. The pastoral, in Thomas's hands, embodies the tension between utopian idealisation and mythologizing on the one hand, and the deep sense of existential anxiety that runs through Fern Hill. Our leading Thomas scholar, Professor John Goodby, whose recent book on Thomas's poetry can be found here, talked us through the mammoth task he has recently completed, an annotated edition of Thomas's collected poems. This eagerly-anticipated book is due for release in October. As an added treat to this first night of the conference, we were thrilled to host a poetry evening at the Taliesin Arts Centre (organised by John Goodby) with poets Ian McMillan, Geraldine Monk and David Annwn. The readings were a delight, and what shone through was the warmth and humour of these poets, something I'm sure Thomas would have approved.

The second day of the conference followed on from the success of the first day, and the quality of the papers continued to be very high. The first panel, 'Dylan and Wales' featured papers from Charles Mundye, who recently edited Keidrych Rhys's poetry, looked at Dylan and his literary friends. Despite his well-known association with the Kardomah gang, Thomas is still often looked at in isolation. Mundye dismissed the myth that Thomas was a stand-alone poet by exploring his friendship with the Welsh-Argentinian poet Lynette Roberts and her husband Keidrych Rhys, poet and firebrand editor of the journal Wales. The second paper looked at this idea of creative influence further by exploring Thomas's influence on Ceri Richards's 'Force' paintings. Certain papers looked at Thomas and popular culture, while CREW's Kieron Smith explored how Thomas's 'intricate image' is being used in his centenary year as a means of rejuvenating his flagging hometown. Thomas's ghostly image raises a number of issues for us to consider: can this proliferation of Thomas's face, from the side of buses to beer mats (yes, really) contribute to a deeper engagement with Thomas's work, or are we just dealing with the surface image of Thomas, his creative and cultural significance stripped from him? Our second keynote of the conference was CREW's founding father, Professor M. Wynn Thomas, who gave a typically majestic lecture on the significance of nonconformist culture to Thomas's work (and indeed, personality). If you haven't already, Professor Thomas's book In the Shadow of the Pulpit is must-read. After this, we headed over to the Dylan Thomas Centre for the exhibition of Thomas's notebooks, followed by the announcement of the shortlist for the Dylan Thomas Prize at the Waterfront Museum. This was followed by the conference dinner back at campus and, in a desperate attempt to create an aura of mystery, I won't divulge the details. What happens at the conference dinner stays at the conference dinner...

The last day of the conference (where many delegates managed to look, if not necessarily feel, that they'd had an early night with nothing stronger than Horlicks) saw a diverse range of panels, ranging from creative responses to Thomas's work through performance to theoretical approaches to Thomas's poetry. Rhian Bubear's paper applied Lacanian theory to Thomas's work, exploring the excess of the signifier in Thomas's poem, 'Now this Insect'. Tomos Owen (Bangor University) used with the work of an equally difficult theorist, Jacques Derrida, and argued that  through his birthday poems, Thomas was already involved in his own commemoration. The last lot of papers looked at Thomas comparatively, with comparisons made between Thomas and Arthur Machen, Seamus Heaney, Kingsley Amis. There was also a panel on Dylan and America, and Thomas's connection with America has been mythologised. Fresh from the success of the show Dylan Live (a heady mix of lecture, music, spoken word and poetry, in English, Welsh and Breton) Daniel Williams spoke about the connections between Thomas and jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker, who were both seen by the Beat poets as figures of cultural revitalisation, sources of primitive energy to save bland bourgeois America. Poet David Annwn discussed, with the help of recordings, Dylan Thomas's connection with avant-garde film-maker Maya Deren. Thomas, in the one occasion he met Deren, was dismissive and patronising of her work, which Annwn suggested may have been linked with a deeper misogyny (my own opinion is that Thomas was a bit of a prat to everyone, regardless of gender). Finally, David Boucher explored the significance of Thomas on Bob Dylan, arguing that Thomas wasn't the only or even the main influence on the young Bob Dylan. Our final keynote came from Professor John Wilkinson (University of Chicago), who, through close readings of Thomas's poetry, looked
at the effacement of the caesura in Thomas's poetry.

As well as celebrating Dylan Thomas, we also gathered together at the end of the conference to commemorate the life and work of the late Nigel Jenkins. Friends, family, students, colleagues and admirers (and there are many) shared their memories of this great poet, teacher and champion of Welsh culture. It was a warm and deeply moving event, and a fitting tribute to a towering figure. Finally, after even more wine (Jack Rabbit- no rubbish in Swansea!), playwright D. J .Britten's play about Thomas's last days in New York, Chelsea Dreaming, at the Taliesin.

We are deeply grateful to everyone involved, delegates, speakers and organizers. We are also grateful for the support from CREW, RIAH, The Learned Society of Wales and the Dylan Thomas Centre. Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi gyd.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Dylan Unchained Conference

To celebrate Wales's most (in)famous poet a ground-breaking international conference will be taking place this September, and you haven't got long to register! The three-day conference will see a diverse range of fascinating papers, looking at Dylan Thomas from a variety of perspectives (panels include Dylan in America/ Dylan and Wales/ Theorizing Dylan), with added extras including poetry readings and a new play by D J Britten, Chelsea Dreaming. There are a number of registration packages available, so take a look at what is on offer.

As part of the celebrations on Dylan Thomas, we will also be celebrating the work of the late Nigel Jenkins who passed away earlier this year. Nigel was a towering figure in Wales's cultural life, a wonderful poet and inspiring teacher, and we warmly invite you all to commemorate his life and work with us on the Friday afternoon.

Full provisional programme here

Any questions can be directed to

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Dylan Thomas: Hybrid Trickster?

For those of you who aren't yet fed up of Dylan Thomas- or if you just want to witness a Dylan- debate that doesn't take place on the Twittersphere...

At 7.30pm on 10 July at the Drwm in the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, NWR sponsors the conversation between Professor John Goodby and Daniel G Williams.

They will discuss John's latest book, The Poetry of Dylan Thomas: Under the Spelling Wall. Expect articulate debate and a new perspective on one of the nation's most celebrated poets. Chairman Daniel will also share insights into MCing the multimedia production 'Dylan Live' this spring and elaborate on his essay for NWR's summer edition on Dylan Thomas & the Beats.

Tickets are £6.00; evening includes bar & bookshop.

Link to Professor Goodby's book

Review of Dylan Live (from New Welsh Review)

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

New Research in Welsh

An evening to celebrate and launch new projects and publications in the field of Welsh language and literature will be held at Swansea University on Wednesday, 18 June 2014.
The evening will commence with a warm welcome from Professor Richard B. Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, and an introduction to Welsh research by Professor Tudur Hallam.
The research works that will be discussed during the event include:
  • Saunders y Dramodydd, a new publication by Tudur Hallam on the work of the playwright, Saunders Lewis
  • A volume of Waldo Williams’s poems, under the editorship of Professor Alan Llwyd and Robert Rhys which includes previously unseen poems
  • a new edition by Dr Christine James on one of the most important texts in Welsh medieval law
  • editing the works of the prolific 15th century poet, Hywel Dafi
  • two research projects which focus on the Welsh language, the first, a joint project between Swansea, Cardiff and Newcastle Universities to create the first corpus of modern Welsh; the second, a report on Welsh Centres and a Social Network for Adults Learning Welsh by Heini Gruffudd and Steve Morris.
The launch will also celebrate the first volume of poems by Dr Llŷr Gwyn Lewis Storm ar Wyneb yr Haul.
Tudur Hallam, said: “This event offers a great opportunity to celebrate and introduce projects that have recently been completed, and to discuss future possibilities. There is a warm welcome to all, and for potential partners that would like to discuss with us”.

This event starts at 6.30pm on Wednesday, 18 June, in the Council Chamber, the Abbey, Swansea University. A reception will precede the event at 6pm.

Simultaneous translation will be available.

This event is supported by Swansea University's Richard Burton Centre for the Study of Wales, Academi Hywel Teifi and the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

CREW Reviews

A review of Jane Aaron's recent book Welsh Gothic is now online here My thanks to Dr Jeni Williams for kick-strating our reviews page. We have a few more reviews in the pipeline soon, so watch this space!

CREW's online review of books aims to publish high-quality reviews of English language fiction and non-fiction commissioned from postgraduates, academics and the wider literary/artistic community. We hope these will serve to promote the vibrancy and currency of the academic and literary culture of Wales.

Commissioning Editor:
Clare Davies is the commisioning editor for the CREW Reviews website. Currently she is undertaking an MA in Modern Welsh Writing in English, within CREW at Swansea University. Clare also takes an active role in helping to organise conferences and seminars on Welsh Writing in English at Swansea, having co-organised the recent Burton Centre postgraduate conference. If she makes it through her MA in one piece, she will be staying in CREW for her PhD.

Clare can be contacted via email at . Books can be sent for review to Clare Davies, CREW c/o K Bohata, Department of English, Swansea University, Swansea, SA2 8PP. Prospective reviewers are also welcome to get in touch.

Reviewers include postgraduate students at Swansea and elsewhere and estabilished academics and writers, including the historian, Professor Prys Morgan, and leading literary critic, Professor M. Wynn Thomas.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Richard Burton Centre Postgraduate Conference

Richard Burton Centre Postgraduate Conference

New Research in Welsh Studies

Monday 2nd June, 2014

An opportunity for MA by research, M.Phil. and PhD students working on Wales to come together to discuss their research.

Call for Papers:

The Richard Burton Centre for the Study of Wales seeks paper proposals from postgraduate researchers (MA by research, M.Phil. and PhD) working in any discipline on subjects that concern or relate to Wales (literature/politics/history/Cymraeg).

Papers will be of 20 minutes’ duration and will be presented within a multi-disciplinary forum. Presenters should be aware that the audience will be interested, but not necessarily expert, in their own specific field of research. Some thought should therefore be given to exploring the context (theoretical, methodological etc) in which the research has been designed, in order to maximize points of contact and opportunities for comparison across subject areas and disciplines.

Papers might present an overview of the research project as a whole, or of one or more parts of it. The focus might be (for researchers in the early stages) on the research question and involve some speculation as to how best to resolve it. For researchers nearing completion it might be more appropriate to concentrate on outcomes and possibilities for further research beyond the qualification currently aimed at.

Please send proposals (no longer than one side of A4) for papers (in either Welsh or English) to Hannah Sams, PhD student, Academi Hywel Teifi, Swansea University:

Closing date for proposals: 9th May 2014

Canolfan Astudiaethau Cymreig Richard Burton

Ymchwil Newydd ym maes Astudiaethau Cymreig
Cynhadledd i Fyfyrwyr Ôl-raddedig Dydd Llun 2ail Mehefin, 2014

Galwad am Bapurau:

Mae Canolfan Astudiaethau Cymreig Richard Burton yn galw am bapurau gan ymchwilwyr ôl-raddedig (MA trwy Ymchwil, M. Phil. a PhD) sydd yn gweithio mewn unrhyw ddisgyblaeth ar bynciau sy'n ymwneud â Chymru (llenyddiaeth/gwleidyddiaeth/hanes/Cymraeg).

Bydd y papurau yn para 20 munud, ac mi fyddant yn cael eu cyflwyno mewn fforwm rhyngddisgyblaethol. Ni fydd holl aelodau’r gynulleidfa felly yn gwbl hyddysg yn y gwahanol feysydd, a dylid rhoi peth sylw i gyd-destun damcaniaethol y gwaith er mwyn galluogi cysylltiadau rhwng meysydd gwahanol.

Gall y papur gynnig trosolwg o'r prosiect ymchwil yn ei gyfanrwydd, neu ganolbwyntio ar un neu fwy o rannau ohono. Gall fanylu ar un cwestiwn ymchwil gan archwilio’r dulliau mwyaf addas i ymwneud â’r cwestiwn hynny, neu edrych ar bosibiliadau ar gyfer ymchwil pellach.

Anfonwch gynigion (dim mwy na un ochr A4 o hyd) ar gyfer papurau (yn y Gymraeg neu’r Saesneg) at Hannah Sams, Myfyrwraig PhD, Academi Hywel Teifi, Prifysgol Abertawe:
Dyddiad cau: 9fed Mai 2014

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Dylan Live

Dylan Lives! Unless you have been living in a bubble, you must have noticed that this year is Dylan Thomas's centenary. There are numerous events going on- but here at CREW, we promote our own. Professor (and jazz musician) Daniel Williams will be lecturing on Dylan Thomas's influence in America as part of a bilingual performance incorporating jazz, hip hop, poetry and spoken word. The thought-provoking lecture will be interrupted by contemporary rap, spoken word and jazz performances by some of Wales’ leading musicians and poets, including poets, Martin Daws, Aneirin Karadog and Zaru Jonson, jazz musician Huw V Williams and hip hop artist Ed Holden, all of whom have been influenced by Dylan in some way or another. An exclusive film by Ewan Morris Jones will also provide a breath-taking visual backdrop to the show.
Intrigued? You should be. Here are the details:
1.30 February 28, 2014 – Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea
March 24 2014 – Catrin Finch Centre, Wrexham 
March 25 2014 – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff (Tickets available here:
March 26 2014 – Student Union, Aberystwyth
March 27, 2014 –  Student Union Newport  
Tickets are are free for students and £5 for non-students. Book your ticket today by contacting Literature Wales on 029 2047 2266 /

CREW Postgraduate Discussion Group

We had a number of great sessions last semester, with many CREW postgraduates sharing their work with us. We are delighted to be welcoming Emily Trahair, editor of Planet magazine, later this month to talk with us at CREW. Emily will discuss Welsh internationalism, and will also be open to broader discussion about Planet magazine. If you are around on Weds 26th February at 2pm, I'd encourage you to pop into the 'green room', Keir Hardie 241.

Croeso i bawb/ All welcome!

Monday, 3 February 2014

In memory of Nigel Jenkins

‘Nigel Jenkins: Gower poet.’  How grotesquely inadequate an epithet, when used in a journalistic context. Yet how otherwise apt. For Nigel was nothing if not a grounded person, who fiercely stood his ground. And that ground was Gower, the beautiful peninsula extending its fragile length out into the wild western waters, which provided him with a vantage point not only on his beloved Wales in its infuriating entirety, but on the wider world and indeed the cosmos.  It was, so his friend Stevie Davies movingly testifies, when bathing off Gower’s beaches he best felt able to immerse himself in the oceanic immensities of the universe.

            And then there was the intricate chain of Gower bays – smugglers’ coves of old, with their stories of wreckers, rum, and illicit dealings under cover of darkness. Nigel was in his element there. With his strong frame, his beard of piratical cut, his sexily deep voice, his satiric bent, there was something of the buccaneer, the rebel, the outlaw about Nigel always.

            He had been made such partly by his early experiences. Sent to private schools across the border to be ‘civilized’ into an Englishman, he came ‘home’ shamefully, defiantly Welsh, and his whole life was spent trying to reclaim in its fullness that of which, he felt, he’d been early deprived. Most of all, of course, the language.  Having learnt it, he placed his talents at its disposal, his translations serving to bring together the two cultures of his broken-backed Wales.

            After Wales, his life-long love was the USA, to whose recklessly innovative poetry he was first introduced at Essex University in the turbulent sixties. Then came his colourful but brutal initiation into the contrasting realities of ‘mainstream’ US culture, when he toured the States of the late Vietnam era with a circus company. 

            By the time I met him, in the early seventies, all this was behind him, as was the period in journalism that provided him with skills on which he continued to draw to the end.  With me he wanted to study the poetry of Meic Stephens, a figure who fascinated Nigel because he saw in him a promising poet who had ‘abandoned’ his talent. And why?  In order (or so Nigel felt) to become an arts administrator, dedicated to the development of the infrastructure necessary for the cultural survival of a small ‘stateless’ nation in the modern world.  While respecting the achievement, Nigel’s response was typically dissenting. He became ‘shop steward’ of a Welsh Union of Writers intended as a check on the growing powers of the Welsh Arts Council.

            Now, forty years later, I can see that in Meic Stephens Nigel foresaw the dilemma he would himself face:  how to protect the ‘inner rebel’ from which authentic writing (and most particularly poetry) could alone come while devoting one’s energies to the collective good of one’s country and its people.  That such a balancing act was possible was proved, for him, in the ample flesh of Harry Webb, himself proud of his Gower stock, whose day job was that of a respected borough librarian while in his roistering night life he presided, with Falstaffian gusto, over raucous sessions of ‘poems and pints’ designed to educate the post-industrial masses in their own lost history.

            Education: that, too, was eventually to be Nigel’s chosen medium and milieu. But first he was a writer, and foremost a poet. He deliberately adopted such roles as that of the bardd gwlad (poet to a locality and its communities) and bardd llys (poet of more grand, formal public occasions). In the latter capacity he regularly recited tongue-in-cheek at Swansea University’s graduation ceremonies his paean of praise to the Swansea he so passionately loved even while lavishly cursing its philistinism and English provincialism.  And then there was his tireless work to enable local writers to make their silenced voices heard, and the ‘civic art’ that saw his poems pave streets and leave their mark permanently on buildings.  

            Nigel laughed at the idea of a poet developing a preciously singular ‘voice.’ His poems were deliberately miscellaneous in character, because he wanted them to convey not only the multifariousness of human experience but also the range of different collectivities that constituted any human society. The devotion to Wales given such monumental expression in the great Encyclopaedia he edited with self-consuming energy and devotion never blinded him to the terrible shortcomings of the country and its easily complacent people. In a classic, prize-winning study, he tracked down the history of the Welsh missionaries in the Khasia hills of the Indian sub-continent, highlighting the white colonial aspects of an epic project that nevertheless left a legacy of blessings. Naturally drawn to the ‘underside’ of his native city, he brought a detective’s zeal and a reporting journalist’s unsparing eye in his Real Swansea volumes to those parts of the city its primly respectable citizens never reached.  And then there was his love-song to his Gower, in the form of a magnificent portrait-essay of the peninsula, from the deep history of its ancient rocks to the packaged beauty of its present.

            Having developed, in tandem with the Welsh-language poet Menna Elfyn, a visionary creative writing course at Trinity College, Carmarthen, Nigel eventually came home to Swansea, where he worked alongside Stevie Davies (and later several other close colleagues). Together, they established another pioneering creative writing course uncompromisingly dedicated to honouring the integrity of writing as both craft and vocation while valuing and nurturing the differing talents of students. He was a wonderful teacher.

            ‘Nigel was much loved,’ a colleague remarked movingly when he heard of his passing. Yes, much loved even though he never compromised his beliefs or diluted his principles in order to please. He remained a maverick to the last – quietly, courteously but wickedly sabotaging every administrative and bureaucratic attempt to bring him to heel. A free spirit, he somehow seemed most at home on his bike, self-propelled, independent, unconfined, comrade of wind and weather.

            Ffarwél fy annwyl ffrind. A boed iti fwynhau yn y byd nesaf gwmni llawen y criw afreolus o awduron, a cherddorion ac artistiaid yr oedd dy enaid erioed yn ei chwennych.


M. Wynn Thomas