Finishing up a book for publication is always an exciting moment - all that work coming to fruition, and the sense of a long-term project being wrapped up. Of course, there are nerves, too. Are readers going to like it? Will reviewers think it's a good thing? Will it make an impact, or sink without a trace? Did I catch that last, lurking typo when I was proof-checking?
It's been no different with my latest edited volume, Devolutionary Readings: English-Language Poetry and Contemporary Wales, which is in the final production stages with the simply excellent Peter Lang and is due out later this year. I'm excited to have such a fine array of contributors - and have fingers firmly crossed that their work gets the enthusiastic reception I honestly think it deserves. The proof-checking stage is great for getting an overview of what's been done, and I enjoyed the care, detail, and punchiness of what my authors had produced. Will readers agree with me? I hope so!
The details of the PhD studentship for the Leverhulme-funded 'Devolved Vocies' project at Aberystwyth University have now been released. Please see the link here for full details, or here for a pdf of further particulars. Applications should, of course, be sent to:
Postgraduate Admissions Office
Student Welcome Centre
SY23 3FB, UK
Applications may also be submitted by email to:
For general information about postgraduate study at Aberystwyth, see the University's Postgraduate Admissions web pages.
Professor Peter Barry
I'm more than a little pleased to report that I'm going to be part of a major new research project about Welsh poetry in English since 1997. The 'Devolved Voices' project, at Aberystwyth University, will be led by Professor Peter Barry (pictured) and will include myself and poet Kathryn Gray on the research team. For more details, see the official press release...
Here's the cover for my new 'Writers of Wales' book on Ruth Bidgood. It's being published by the University of Wales Press and is due out in the summer of 2012.
Over the coming year, I'll be working with leading Welsh publisher Parthian Books to put together a volume of my new and selected essays about the recent English-language poetry of Wales. Parthian's Editor, the poet and commentator Kathryn Gray, will be guiding the project in-house. Having had the privilege of writing for New Welsh Review during Kathryn's stewardship of that magazine, it's great to have the chance to work with her again.
The book will include essays on the historical development of Anglophone Welsh poetry since the 1960s as well as on individual poetic figures during this period. Publication is provisionally scheduled for the first half of 2013.
As my contribution to a collection of essays called Placing Poetry, edited by the poets Zoë Skoulding and Ian Davidson, I have written a piece on the poetry of John Barnie ('In/human Place: The Poetry of John Barnie'), which deals with the ways in which a range of Barnie's writing engages with ideas of land and environment. Apart from a short section on his 2003 book The City in Peter Barry's study Contemporary British Poetry and the City (MUP, 2000), this will be the first extended analysis of John's work. (Let me know if I'm wrong, please!) Placing Poetry is to be published by Rodopi, and is scheduled to appear in 2012.
For anyone who has been living under a rock and doesn't know, John Barnie is 'one of Wales's most distinguished and respected literary figures' (to quote the highly apposite back-cover notes of his 2009 Gomer volume, Tales of the Shopocracy).