I'm delighted to have received the following response to my book on Ruth Bidgood from the major critic of Welsh writing in English, Swansea University's Dr Daniel G. Williams:
'Ruth Bidgood is a poet of subtle complexities. It takes a particularly sensitive and incisive critic to do her work justice. Matthew Jarvis is such a critic and, in its attentiveness to language and environment, this volume in the Writers of Wales series is a major contribution to the study of Welsh poetry in English. Jarvis's superbly attentive readings should lead to a broader appreciation of Ruth Bidgood's distinctive contribution to Anglophone poetry.'
My book on the fascinating mid-Wales poet Ruth Bidgood, in the landmark University of Wales Press 'Writers of Wales' series, has now been printed. My author's copy dropped through the letter-box this morning, and it does look very handsome - complete with a striking 1997 photograph of Ruth herself, by the marvellous Bernard Mitchell, on the front cover (see left). So, kudos to UWP for making such a good job of it.
If you'd like to buy a copy, you can find it online at the Welsh Book's Council's gwales.com (here) or on Amazon (here), though I guess it'll take a few days yet to arrive from the warehouse.
Professor Jane Aaron has been kind enough to say of the book that 'Bidgood’s achievement stands out clearly from its pages, which ring true, like her poems.'
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.
I'm delighted to say that I have recently been appointed to the Advisory Body of the National Library of Wales. It is a real privilege to serve on this fascinating group, which is dedicated to furthering the work of the Library as a key cultural institution. The NLW is also, of course, one of my favourite places - somewhere in which it is a pleasure to spend so much of my working life.
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...
Photo: Heike Roms
I was delighted to be in conversation with Jasmine Donahaye for the launch of her new UWP book Whose People?: Wales, Israel, Palestine at Gregynog Hall last Friday evening.
Jasmine is also the author of two collections of poetry: Misappropriations (2006) and Self-Portrait as Ruth (2009).
Kathryn Gray, editor of Parthian books, has written some extremely useful guidance notes for authors who might aspire to be published with them...see the Parthian blog here. It's a very worthwhile read from an exciting press.
Nearly two years ago, I was asked to review the 2010 conference of the Association for Welsh Writing in English. As far as I know, the newsletter in which the review was to be published never appeared. (If I'm wrong, please let me know!) But I re-read the piece today and thought I'd like to put it out into the public domain, even if only as a matter of record. So here it is.
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.