Welcome to the R. S. Thomas Research Centre

Profile of R.S. Thomas

Following the appointment of R. S. Thomas to an Honorary Professorship in the School of Welsh at Bangor University, a special Research Centre has been set up in recognition of his poetic achievement and in order to promote research into his work.

The Centre's archive contains all of R .S. Thomas's published works, together with a comprehensive collection of reviews, critical books and articles, interviews and audio-visual material.

This material is available to visiting scholars.

Further information about the Centre can be found on this website.

History of R. S. Thomas Centre

The Centre had its germ in an idea of Professor Gwyn Thomas, following the appointment in 1998 of R.S. Thomas to an honorary chair in the Welsh Department at University of Wales, Bangor. The idea was developed in collaboration by Jason Walford Davies of the Welsh Department and Tony Brown of the English Department.

Professors chatting with R.S. Thomas

Financial support for the refurbishment and equipping of an appropriate room in the Main Library was given by the University Research Committee and the Humanities Research Centre. Work was completed in 1999 and the Centre was officially opened by R.S. Thomas in April 2000.

The Centre contains a substantial number of R.S. Thomas manuscripts, including unpublished poetry and prose. The collection also contains material by Thomas’s wife, M.E. (Elsi) Eldridge, including sketchbooks and her unpublished journals. The Centre has copies of all of R.S. Thomas's published works, including rare editions and translations.  In addition it contains a comprehensive collection of reviews, critical books and articles and newspaper clippings, as well as video and audio material.

This material is available for postgraduate students working for higher degrees on R.S. Thomas at Bangor, either in the Welsh Department or the English Department, and to visiting scholars and registered postgraduate students from other institutions.



Publications by and about R. S. Thomas Since 1995

Between Sea & Sky: Images of Bardsey [selected passages from RST’s poetry, with photographs by Peter Hope Jones]. Llandysul: Gomer, 1998. 82 p. ISBN: 1-85902-483-1. (See review-essay by Jason Walford Davies, under 2.ii Articles)

Residues. Ed. M. Wynn Thomas. Tarset: Northumberland: Bloodaxe, 2002. 70 p. ISBN 1-85224-595-6.
 (Reviews: Patrick Crotty, New Welsh Review 58 (2002): 93-95; Damian Walford Davies, “Truth’s Precipitate”, Planet 158 (2003): 104-106; James McGrath, “Waiting for God”, PNR 151 (2003): 68-69.)

Poems: R.S. Thomas. Selected and edited by Anthony Thwaite. London: Phoenix, 2002. 122 p. ISBN 0753816539.

Ringless Fingers. Bangkapi, Thailand: Frangipani P., 2002. [Collection of family poems, published by Gwydion Thomas, in a private limited edition.]

Selected Poems. Modern Classics. London: Penguin, 2004. 354 p. ISBN 0-140-18890-8. [RST’s own selection of his work, including eighteen previously uncollected poems.]

Collected Later Poems, 1988-2000. Tarset, Northumberland, 2004. 368 p. ISBN 1-85224-648-0.

The Cross. Selected and edited by Kevin Perryman. Published privately in Germany. [Seven previously-published poems, plus the unpublished “Easter. I approach”.]

Worth 2 in the Bush. Sarn & Chang Mai, Thailand: Frangipani P., 2010. [Collection of poems relating to birds, with illustrations by Elsi Eldridge, published by Gwydion Thomas, in a private limited edition.]

A Christmas Quire. Sarn & Chang Mai, Thailand: Frangipani P., 2009. [Collection of poems related to Christmas, with illustrations by Elsi Eldridge, published by Gwydion Thomas, in a private limited edition.]

In her ashen studio. Chang Mai, Thailand: Fangipani P., 2013. [Selection of poems by RST, mainly to his wife, Elsi Eldridge, and illustrated by numerous reproductions of her work, published by Gwydion Thomas, in a private limited edition]

Uncollected Poems, ed. Tony Brown and Jason Walford Davies. Tarset: Bloodaxe, 2013. 189 p. ISBN 978-1-85224-896-3 (Reviews: Alan Massie, “Enduring wisdom of a strange Welsh bard”, Sunday Telegraph, 17 March 2013; Michael Glover, Pining for a lost Wales’,

The Tablet, 17 April 2013: 19; Martyn Halsell, “Sun on a winter landscape”, Church Times, 28 March 2013: 28; Alistair Wedderburn, “More than a curmudgen”, Standpoint, April 2013: 63; Patrick Crotty, New Welsh Review 101 (Autumn 2013): 95-97.)

Poems for Elsi, ed. Damian Walford Davies. Bridgend: Seren, 2013. 76 p. ISBN 978-1-98172-111-7. (Reviews: Tony Brown, New Welsh Review 101 (Autumn 2013): 97-100; Daniel Westover, Planet 212 (Winter 2013-14): 148-50.)

Wales: a problem of translation. The 1996 Adam Lecture, given on 8 February 1996 at King’s College, London. London: Centre for 20th Century Cultural Studies, Adam Archive Publications, 1996. 18 p. ISBN: 1-897747-08-X.

Autobiographies. Trans. Jason Walford Davies. London: Dent, 1997. 92 p. ISBN: 0-460-87639-2 (Contains “Former Paths” [“Y Llwybrau Gynt”, 1972], “The Creative Writer’s Suicide” [“Hunanladdiad y Llenor”, 1977], “No-one” [Neb, 1985, “A Year in Llyn” [Blwyddyn yn Llyn, 1990]. (Reviews: Ian Hamilton, London Review of Books, 3 July 1997, 10-11. John Pikoulis, New Welsh Review 40 (1998): 13-18.; M. Wynn Thomas, Taliesin 99 (Oct. 1997): 116-18.)

“The Flesh Made Word”, Scintilla [Journal of the Vaughan Association] 1 (1997): 83-86. [Originally broadcast on BBC Radio 3.]

“Time’s Disc Jockey: Meditations on Some Lines in The Anathemata”. In David Jones: Diversity in Unity. Ed. Belinda Humfrey and Anne Price-Owen. Cardiff: U. of Wales P., 2000, pp. 153-59.

Letters to Raymond Garlick 1951-1999, ed. Jason Walford Davies. Llandysul: Gomer, 2009. 206 p. ISBN978-1-84323-826-3.

R.S. Thomas reading The Poems. Selected and produced by Damian Walford Davies.Caernarfon: Sain Records, 1999. (Contains recordings of 145 poems. Available on CD and cassette tape.) For an account of the recordings, see Damian Walford Davies under 2.ii

Articles. (Review-essay: Tony Brown, “Sounds and Silence”, New Welsh Review 51 (Winter 2000-2001): 13-15.)

Lennon, Peter. “No Truce with the English”. Guardian, 17 May 1997, The Week, p.3.

The Oldie interview: R.S. Thomas. The Oldie 79 (1995): 12-15. (Interviewed by Naim Attalah.)

“R.S. Thomas in conversation with Molly Price-Owen”, David Jones Journal Summer/Autumn 2001 (R.S. Thomas Special Issue): 93-102. (See under 2.i Books)

“R.S. Thomas: Bardd, Offeiriad”, Beti a’i Phobol-1, gol. Ioan Roberts. Llanrwst: Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2002. tud. 71-107. ISBN: 0-86381-810-2. (Sgwrs radio a Beti George)

Das Helle Feld / The Bright Field. Trans. Kevin Perryman. Fuststal: Babel 1995. ISBN 978-3-931798-38-3.

Drei Gedichte / Three Poems. Trans. Kevin Perryman. Antinous P, 1996. 11p. English-German bilingual edition.

Laubbaum Sprache /Deciduous Language. Trans. Kevin Perryman. Denklingen: Babel (1998). 84p. ISBN 3-931798-12-7. English-German bilingual edition.

Die Vogelscheuche Nachstenliebe / Charity’s Scarecrow. Trans. Kevin Perryman. Denklingen: Babel, 2003. 84p. ISBN: 3-931798-21-6. English-German bilingual edition.

Steinzwitschern / Stone Twittering. Trans. Kevin Perryman. Denklingen: Babel, 2008. 77p. ISBN 978-3-931798-33-8. English-German bilingual edition.

Mit Fangen aus Feuer / With Claw of Fire. Trans. Kevin Perryman. Denklingen: Babel, 2010. ISBN 978-3-931798-39-0 78p. English-German bilingual edition.

In zierlichen Schlingen / In Delicate Nooses. Trans. Kevin Perryman. Fuchstal: Babel, 2013. 76p. English-German bilingual edition.

Das Himmelreimende Kind / The Sky-Rhyming Child. Trans. Kevin Perryman. Denklingen: Babel, 2013. English-German bilingual edition.

R.S. Thomas: Poezija za vecerjo. Zalozba: Mladinska knjiga, 2013. ISBN 978-961-01-2773-4. [Slovenian translations.]

R.S. Thomas: Qui? Sélection de poèmes traduits de l’anglais par Marie Thérèse Castay, Paol Keinig et Jean-Yves Le Disez. Editions Les Hauts-Fomds, 2015. ISBN 978-2-919171-10-1.

Barnie, John, ed. Encounters with R.S. Swansea: H’mm Foundation, 2103. 102 p. ISBN 978-0-9927560-0-0. [Short essays by those who knew him, including Gwyneth Lewis, M.Wynn Thomas, Gillian Clarke, Peter Finch, Jon Gower and Menna Elfyn.]

Brown, Tony. R.S. Thomas. Writers of Wales series. Cardiff: U. of Wales P., 2006. New ed. 2013. 134 p. ISBN 0-7083-1800-2. (Reviews: Grahame Davies, “Seren Mewn Bydysawd o Esboniadau”, Taliesin 129 (Gaeaf 2006) 133-35; M. Wynn Thomas, New Welsh Review 73 (Autumn 2006) 85-86; David Lloyd, “Looking for a Way In”, Planet 181 (Feb./March 2007): 96-97.)

Cofio RS: Cleniach yn Gymraeg? Caernarfon: Gwasg y Bwythyn, 2013. 144p. ISBN 978-1-907424-44-1. [‘Remembering RS: Kinder in Welsh?’ Recollections by those who knew him, including friends and neighbours. Finely illustrated, including previously unpublished pictures of RST and drawings by Elsi Eldridge.]

Cotter, Jim. Etched by Silence: A pilgrimage through the poetry of R.S. Thomas. Norwich: Canterbury P., 2013. ISBN 978-1-84825-339-1 [Selection of RST’s poetry with meditations and reflections, by former rector at Aberdaron.]

Davies, Grahame. Sefyll yn y Bwlch: R.S. Thomas, Saunders Lewis, T.S. Eliot, a Simone Weil. Caerdydd: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru, 2000. 201 p. An English-language summation of the argument and the R.S. Thomas section was published in Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays, vol. 7 [See ii. Articles, below] (Review: Angharad Price, New Welsh Review 49 (Summer 2000) 94-95)

Davies, Damian Walford, ed. Echoes to the Amen: Essays After R.S. Thomas. Cardiff: U. of Wales P., 2003. xvi, 233p. ISBN 0--7083-1789-8. Contents: Introduction by Damian Walford Davies, pp. 1-12; “Extraordinary Man of the Bald Welsh Hills: The Iago Prytherch Poems” by Patrick Crotty, pp. 13-43--”R.S. Thomas’s Welsh Pastoral” by Geoffrey Hill, pp. 44-59--”Was R.S. Thomas an Atheist Manqué”” by John Barnie, pp. 60-75--”‘The Curious Stars’: R.S. Thomas and the Scientific Revolution” by John Pikoulis, pp. 76-111--”‘Blessings, Stevens’: R.S. Thomas and Wallace Stevens” by Tony Brown, pp. 112-31--”Mirror games: Self and M(O)ther in the Poetry of R.S. Thomas” by Katie Gramich, pp. 132-48--”‘Double-entry Poetics’: R.S. Thomas--Punster” by Damian Walford Davies, pp. 149-82--”‘Time’s Changeling’: Autobiography in The Echoes Return Slow by M. Wynn Thomas, pp. 183-205--Suspending the Ethical: R.S. Thomas and Kierkegaard” by Rowan Williams. (Reviews: Anon, Forum for Modern Language Studies 41.4 (Jan. 2005) 107; Thomas Day, Cambridge Quarterly 34 .2 (2005) 184-88.; David Lloyd, World Literature Today 79.2 (May-Aug., 2005) 108-109.)

Davies, Jason Walford. Gororau’r Iaith: R.S. Thomas a’r Traddodiad Llenyddol Cymraeg. Caerdydd: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru, 2003. 350p. ISBN 0-7083-1799-5. [See “Thick Ambush of Shadows”, under “iii. Journal articles and chapters in books”, for an English version of some of the material on R.S. Thomas’s allusions to Welsh-language literature.]

Davis, William V. R.S. Thomas: Poetry and Theology. Baylor, Texas: Baylor U.P., 2007. 219p. ISBN 978-1-932792-49-2. (Review: John Barnie, Poetry Wales (Spring 2008): 61-62.)

Ellis, Tom. R.S. Thomas a’i Gerddi. Tal-y-bont, Ceredigion: Y Lolfa, 2008. 9781847710512

Goodlad, Alison. Leaving the Reason Torn: Re-thinking Cross and Resurrection through R.S. Thomas. Shoving Leopard, 2012. 130p. ISBN 978-1905565184.

Griffiths, Dewi. Cofio RS: Cleniach yn Gymraeg? Caernarfon: Gwasg y Bwthyn, 2013. 144p. ISBN 978-1-907424-44-1. [‘Remembering RS: Kinder in Welsh?’ Recollections by those who knew him, including friends and neighbours. Finely illustrated, including previously unpublished pictures of RST and drawings by Elsi Eldridge.]

Heys, Alistair. R. S. Thomas and Romanticism. Pygmalion P., 2004. 364 pp. ISBN 9549402045.

McEllhenney, John G. A Masterwork of Doubting-Belief: R.S. Thomas and his Poetry. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2013. 132p. ISBN 978-1-61097-310-6. [Includes accounts of visits to RST 1992-4.]

McGill, William. Poets’ Meeting: George Herbert, R.S. Thomas and the Argument with God. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2003. 208p. ISBN 0786416939.

McKenzie, Tim. Vocation in the Poetry of the Priest-Poets George Herbert, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and R.S. Thomas. Lampeter, Ceredigion: Edwin Mellen, 2003. ISBN 0773465707.

Morgan, Barry. Strangely Orthodox: R.S. Thomas and his Poetry of Faith. Llandysul: Gomer, 2006). 61p. ISBN 1-84323-682-6. [With a Foreword by Rowan Williams.](Review: Richard Poole, “Signposts?” Planet 178 (Aug./Sept. 2006): 96-97.)

Morgan, Christopher. R.S. Thomas: Identity, Environment and Deity. Manchester: Manchester U.P., 2003. 209p. ISBN 0-7190-6248-9.

Rogers, Byron. The Man Who Went Into the West. London: Aurum, 2006. 326 pp. ISBN 1-84513-146-0.(Reviews: Alan Brownjohn, TLS 22 Sept. 2006, 33; Tom Ellis, “The Man and the Poet”. Planet 179 (Oct. / Nov. 2006: 94-96; Ian Finlayson, Times 8 July 2006; Killian Fox. “The True Prince of Wales”. Observer 25 June 2006; Christopher Howse. “Sacred Mysteries: The darkness between stars”. Telegraph 15 July 2006 ; Louise Jury and Arifar Akbar. “Who put the ‘S’ in R.S. Thomas? The poet himself.” Independent 8 July 2006; Stephen Knight, “The poet least likely to have a holiday home.” Independent on Sunday 30 July 2006; Andrew Motion. “Savage but serene”. Guardian 8 July 2006; Rowan Williams. “A voice in the wilderness”. Sunday Times 13 August 2006; Mark Jarman, “Praying and Bird Watching: The Life of R.S. Thomas”. Hudson Review 60.1 (Spring 2007): 169-76. )

Shepherd, Elaine. R.S. Thomas: Conceding an Absence : Images of God Explored. London: Macmillan, 1996. 216 p. ISBN: 0-333-64968-0.

Thomas, M. Wynn. R.S. Thomas: Serial Obsessive. Cardiff: U. of Wales P., 2013. 335 p. ISBN 978-0-7083-2613-8.

Ward, John Powell. The Poetry of R.S. Thomas. Bridgend: Seren, 2001. 216 p. ISBN 1-85411-252-x. Expanded and up-dated edition.

Waterman, Rory. Belonging and Estrangement in the Poetry of Philip Larkin, R.S. Thomas and Charles Causley. London: Ashgate, 2014. 220p. ISBN 978-1-4094-7087-8.

Westover, Daniel. R. S. Thomas: A Stylistic Biography. Cardiff: Univ. of Wales P., 2011. 224 p. ISBN 0708324118

Wintle, Justin. Furious Interiors: Wales, R.S. Thomas and God. London: HarperCollins, 1996. xviii+492 p. ISBN: 0-00-255571-9. (Reviews: Ian Hamilton, London Review of Books, 3 July 1997, 10-11.) [On attempts to write this study, see Richard Brooks, “The Prince of Wiles”, Observer 10 November 1996.]

Agenda 36. 2 (1998). Includes: “The Witness of R.S. Thomas” by Grey Gowrie, pp. 11-19; “Observation and Observance” by K.A. Perryman, pp. 20-27; “The Minister” by John Pikoulis, pp. 28-37; “Translating Art: R.S. Thomas and the Poetry of Paintings” by Dennis O’Driscoll, pp. 38-46; “Irony in the Soul: The Religious Poetry of R. S[ocrates] Thomas” by M. Wynn Thomas, pp. 49-69; “R.S. Thomas: Some Recent Poems” by A.M. Allchin, pp. 70-76; “No Truce with the Furies?” by Marie-Thérèse Castay, pp. 77-83; “A Compulsion to Give Away Assurances: A Note on The Echoes Return Slow (1988) by R.S. Thomas” by Michael Tolkien, pp. 84-87.

Bardddas 319 (Haf 2013). Includes “R.S. yn ei filltir” by Gareth Neigwl, pp. 30-32; “R.S. yn cael ei drosi” by Ned Thomas, plus translations of three poems by RST into Welsh, pp. 33-35.

David Jones Journal Summer/Autumn 2001 (R.S. Thomas Special Issue). Includes: “A Parish Priest” by A.M. Allchin, pp. 84-5; “Priest of Aberdaron” by Christopher Armstrong, pp. 87-90; “R.S. Thomas in conversation with Molly Price-Owen, pp. 93-102; “Am I under regard?”, Wil Rowland interviewed about R.S. Thomas” by Jason Walford Davies, pp. 103-110; “R.S.Thomas: Words, Pictures and Fine Books” by David Blamires, pp.116-20. “The Death of R.S.Thomas” by Tony Conran, pp. 121-22; “Tea with R.S.: An American Memory of R.S. Thomas” by William Greenway, pp. 137-41.with other tributes in prose poetry and graphics, including colour reproductions of portraits of RST.

Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature 60.2 (Winter 2008) “R.S. Thomas: New Perspectives in Scholarship and Criticism”. Includes “R.S. Thomas’s Poems about Painting” by Robert Rehder, pp. 83-101; “R.S. Thomas and the Dark Night of the Soul: Song, Suffering, and Silence in a Life of Faith” by David M. Kari, pp 103-15; “‘There were fathoms in her too’: R.S. Thomas and Women” by Fflur Dafydd, pp. 117-30; “‘Love’s Depths’: R.S. Thomas’s Poems to his Wife” by Tony Brown, pp. 131-59; “‘The Lame Feet of Salvation’: A Reading of R.S. Thomas and Robinson Jeffers” by William V. Davis; “ ‘The Fantastic Side of God’: R.S. Thomas and Jorge Luis Borges” by M. Wynn Thomas, pp. 177-93. [published by Marquette University, Wisconsin, USA. Contains a previously unpublished drawing of RST by Elsi Eldridge (1940).]

Y Traethodydd. Rhifyn Arbennig R.S. Thomas. 160 (Jan. 2005)

This sections excludes chapters in books on RST and essays in special issues of journals, listed above (*indicates articles which are available on this website , under “Research”).



Alun-Jones, Deborah. The Wry Romance of the Literary Rectory. London: Thames & Hudson, 2013. Ch. 6, “The Deep Peace of Wild Places: R.S. Thomas at Manafon”, pp. 133-55.

Alexander, Neal. “Dialogues of Self and Soul: The Autobiographies of W.B. Yeats and R.S. Thomas. Almanac: Yearbook of Welsh Writing in English 12 (2008): 1-31.

Armstrong, Christopher. “Solitude and Communication: Readings in Thomas Traherne and R.S. Thomas”, David Jones Journal V. 1&2 (Winter 2004-Spring 2005]: 16-28.

Astley, Ben. “‘Somewhere Between Faith and Doubt’: R.S. Thomas and the Poetry of Faith Deconstructed”. Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 4 (1998) : 74-93. *

--------------. “Iago Prytherch and the Rejection of Western Metaphysics”. Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 5 (1999): 101-114.

Brown, Dennis. “Vernon Watkins and R.S. Thomas”. In British Poetry from the 1950s to the 1990s: Politics and Art, ed. Gary Day and Brian Docherty. London: Macmillan, 1997. pp. 221-36.

Brown, Tony. “R.S. Thomas’s Elegy for Dylan Thomas”. Review of English Studies NS vol. 51, no. 203 (2000): 451-55.

------------------. “‘Eve’s Ruse’: Identity and Gender in the Poetry of R.S. Thomas”. English, vol. 49, no. 195 (Autumn 2000): 229-50.

------------------. “Thomas’s Homage to Stevens”. PN Review 30.6 (July/August 2004) 4. [Letter in response to Andrew Rudd, below.]

-----------------. “‘Love’s Depths”: R.S. Thomas’s Poems to his Wife”. Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature Vol. LX, No.2 (Winter 2008): 131-59.

---------------. “‘Stand / always alone’: Collecting R.S. Thomas”, Poetry Wales 49.1 (Summer 2013): 51-55.

---------------. “Journey without Maps: R.S. Thomas’s Unpublished Ekphrastic Poems”. Scintilla 17 (2013): 63-81.

Dafydd, Fflur. “‘This is I; there is nothing else’: R.S. Thomas and Hugh MacDiarmid”. Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 11 (2006-2007): 102-121.

Daniels, Anthony. “The Enigmatic R.S. Thomas”. New Criterion 24 (May 2006): 16-21.

Davies, Damian Walford. “R.S. Thomas a’r deraon”. Taliesin 93 (1996): 27-36.

-----------------------------------. “Recording R.S. Thomas”. Planet 136 (Aug.-Sept. 1999): 23-28. [On the Sain recordings of RST reading his work. With colour photographs.]

----------------------------------. “‘The Frequencies I Commanded’: Recordio R.S. Thomas. In Chwileniwn: Technoleg a Llenyddiaeth, ed. Angharad Price. Cardiff: U. of Wales P., 2002. 222 p. ISBN 0708317235.

---------------------------------. “‘Yeats Said That’: R.S. Thomas and W.B. Yeats”. Almanac: Yearbook of Welsh Writing in English 13 (2008-9): 1-26.

Davies, Grahame. “Resident Aliens: R.S. Thomas and the Anti-Modern Movement”. Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 7 (2001-2002): 50-77. *

Davies, Jason Walford. “‘Thick Ambush of Shadows”: Allusions to Welsh Literature in the Writing of R.S. Thomas”. Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 1 (1995): 75-127. *

------------------------------. “Gweld llais a chlywed llun”. Taliesin 105-6 (1999): 181-93. [Review-essay on Peter Hope Jones and R.S. Thomas, Between Sea and Sky.]

-----------------. “‘To See Ourselves as Others See Us’: Alex Salmond ac R.S. Thomas”, Ysgrifau Beirniadol 30 (2011): 63-77. [Welsh-language interview; Alex Salmond’s answers given in English.]

Davies, John. “Only the Mind to Fly With: Birds in R.S. Thomas’s Poetry”. Poetry Wales 30.3 (1995): 18-22.

Davies, Walford. “ ‘Quietly as snow’: Gwydion Thomas, an interview “. New Welsh Review, 64 (Summer, 2004): 15-48. [Extensive, and revealing, interview with the poet’s son.]

Davis, William V. “At the Foot of the Precipice of Water . . . Sea Shapes Coming to Celebration”: R.S. Thomas and Kierkegaard”. Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 4 (1998): 94-117 .*

-----------------------. “‘This is what art could do’: An Exercise in Exegesis --R.S. Thomas’s Souillac: Le Sacrifice D’Abraham”, Religion and the Arts, vol. 4, no. 3 (2000): 374-97.

------------------------. “The Presence of Absence: Mirrors and Mirror Imagery in the Poetry of R.S. Thomas”, Analecta Husserliana [Holland] LXXI (2001): 221-34.

------------------------. “Going Forward to Meet the Machine: R.S. Thomas’s Quarrel with Technology”. In Poetry Now: Contemporary British and Irish Poetry in the Making. Ed. Holger Klein and others. Tubingen: Stauffenburg, 1999, pp. 187-99.

-----------------------. “R.S. Thomas, The Odyssey and Derek Walcott: A Note on the Use of ‘No One’”. Notes on Contemporary Literature 35.4 (Sept. 2005): 6-7.

-----------------------. “‘The Tide’s Pendulum Truth’: A Reading of the Poetry of Theological Crisis from Matthew Arnold to R.S. Thomas”. Christianity and Literature 55.3 (Spring 2006): 269-

------------------------. “Wallace Stevens and R.S. Thomas: Influence sans Anxiety”. The Wallace Stevens Journal 30.1 (Spring 2006): 86-97.

-----------------------. “Evidence of Things Not Seen: R. S. Thomas's Agnostic Faith”. Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 11 (2006-2007): 122-46.

-----------------------. “‘Testing His faith on Emptiness’: Reading R.S. Thomas’s Poems on Prayer”. Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature. 64.3 (Spring 2012): 233-49.

----------------------. “The R.S. Thomas Centenary”. Sewanee Review 122.1 (Winter 2014): 153-57.

Ellis, Tom. “Poetry of an Unrewarding Marriage?” Planet 165 (June/July 2004): 23-31.[See also Barbara Prys-Williams’s letter in response to this essay in Planet 166.]

Evans, Geraint. “Crossing the Border: National and Linguistic Boundaries in Twentieth-Century Welsh Writing”. Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 9 (2004): 123-35. [The first section, pp. 123-28, discusses the politics of bilingual authors in Wales choosing to write in Welsh and sees RST as “writing a single, coherent body of work in two languages for a single audience”.]

Garlick, Raymond. “A Disagreement Between Friends”, Planet 147 (June-July 2001): 55-58.

Golding, Andy. “Comparisons: ‘Dover Beach’ by Matthew Arnold, ‘God’s Grandeur’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins and ‘Here’ by R. S. Thomas”. English Review 16.1 (Sept. 2005): 12-14.

Gramich, Johannes. “R.S. in Munich”. New Welsh Review no. 54 (Autumn 2001): 20-23. [R.S. Thomas’s reception in the German-speaking world.]

Griffiths, Richard. “R.S. Thomas and the Role of Poetry”. Theology 100 (July-Aug. 1997): 275-85.

Hamilton, Ian. “Frown by Frown”. London Review of Books, 3 July 1997): 10-11. (Review-essay on R.S. Thomas, Autobiographies and Collected Poems 1945-90 and Justin Wintle, Furious Interiors: Wales, R.S. Thomas and God.)

Heys, Alistair. “Kings of Pride and Terror: R. S. Thomas and the Welsh Sublime”. In Nations and Relations: Writing Across the British Isles, ed. Tony Brown and Russell Stephens. Cardiff: New Welsh Review, 2000. ISBN 0-95403000-0-1. Pp. 133-55.

-----------------. “Frost’s Cruel Chemistry”. Coleridge Bulletin (2002): 114-21.

-----------------. “Ambivalence and Antithesis: R. S. Thomas’s Relationship with Dylan Thomas”. Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 10 (2005): 52-72.

Hooker, Jeremy. “Sacred Land: Patriotic Feeling in the Poetry of R.S. Thomas and Geoffrey Hill”, International Journal of Welsh Studies 1 (2013): 60-80.

Jarvis, Matthew. “Iago Prytherch’s Mangels: Agricultural Contexts for R.S. Thomas’s ‘A Peasant’”, Almanac: A Yearbook of Welsh Writing in English 15 (2010-11): 70-83.

Jones, T. Hughie. “Experiment with an Amen–The Poetry of R.S. Thomas”. Transactions of the Leicester Literary & Philospohical Society 98 (August 2004): 7-12.

Kennedy, David. “‘Under a shower of bird-notes: R.S. Thomas’s Elegaic Poems for Elsi”. English Vol. 63, No. 243: 296-312.

Lewis, Gwyneth, “Wrestling with Ronald: R.S. Thomas at 100”, Poetry Review 103.2 (Summer 2013): 91-95

Lindop, Grevel. “An Afternoon with R.S. Thomas”. PN Review 30.6 (July-August 2004): 56-58.

Lloyd, David. “Through the Looking Glass: R.S. Thomas’s The Echoes Return Slow as Poetic Autobiography”. Twentieth Century Literature 42.4 (1996): 438-52.

-----------------. “Articulate to the End: R.S. Thomas and the Crisis of Language”. Ariel: A Review of International English Literature vol. 30, no.4 (1999): 99-108.

-----------------. “Making It New: R.S. Thomas and William Carlos Williams”. Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 8 (2003): 121-40.

Mackay, E. “Seeking the Heaven-Handling Hero”. English Review 12.1 (2001): 32-35.

McEllhenney, John G. “‘My world stock fluctuates a good deal!’: An Appreciation of R.S. Thomas from the Western Side of the Atlantic”. New Welsh Review no.56 (Summer 2002): 21--28.

McGill, William J. “Cross-Pollination: George Herbert, R.S. Thomas and ‘The Flower’”. Topic: A Journal of the Liberal Arts 50 (2000): 59-69.

McKenzie, Tim. “ ‘Green as a Leaf’: The Religious Nationalism of R.S. Thomas. Welsh Writing In English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 10 (2005): 32-51.

McLauchlan, Richard. “R.S. Thomas: Poet of Holy Saturday”. Heythrop Journal 52.6 (Nov. 2011): 976-85.

Meilicke, Christine. “Dualism and Theodicy in R.S. Thomas’s Poetry”. Literature and Theology: An International Journal of Theory, Criticism and Culture 14.4 (1998): 407-18.

Morgan, Barry. “Believer or Atheist?–The Priest/Poet R.S. Thomas”. Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion NS Vol. 17, 2011: 97-118.

Morgan, J. Christopher. “Destinations: Roots of Hope in R.S. Thomas”. Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 4 (1998): 54-73.

-------------------------------. “Reality and the Dream in the Recent Poetry of R.S. Thomas”. New Welsh Review no. 44 (1999): 56-60.

Ogden, James. “Reflections on R.S. Thomas’s ‘Taste’”. Swansea Review 22 (2003): 45-49.

Pezzini, Domenico. “Tra Assenza e Presenza: La Via a Dio nella Poesia di R.S. Thomas e E. Jennings”. Studi di Teoria e Storia della Lettetatura e della Critica. 32 (Luglio-Dic., 1996): 125-43.

------------------------. “The Rhetoric of Silence–Or How to Say God Today in the Poetry of R.S. Thomas”. Studies in Spirituality 22 (2012): 213-42.

Perry, Sam. “‘Hoping for the Reciprocal Touch’: Intimations of the Manus Dei in the Poetry of R.S. Thomas”. Literature and Theology 21.1 (2007): 178-97.

----------------. “‘In Search of Something Chance Would Never Bring’: The Poetry of R.S. Thomas and Edward Thomas”. Review of English Studies vol. 59, No. 241 (Sept. 2008): 582-603.

----------------. “Patrick Kavanagh and Horizon: A Source for R.S. Thomas’s Use of ‘Peasant’. Notes and Queries 55.1 (2008): 80-82.

----------------. “The Pastoral Vision of R.S. Thomas”. Almanac: Yearbook of Welsh Writing in English 12 (2007-8): 140-68.

----------------. “‘Passionate and simple’: R.S. Thomas and Irish Writing”. Almanac: Yearbook of Welsh Writing in English 13 (2008-9): 126-61.

Picot, Edward. “R.S. Thomas: ‘narrow but saved’” , Outcasts from Eden: Ideas of Landscape in British Poetry since 1945. Liverpool: Liverpool U.P., 1997, pp. 83-123. ISBN 978-0-85323-5316.

Pikoulis, John. “R.S. Thomas: composer of the first radio-active verses”. New Welsh Review 40 (1998): 13-18. (Review essay on R.S. Thomas, Autobiographies.)

Prys-Williams, Barbara. “‘A consciousness in quest of its own truth’: Some Aspects of R.S. Thomas’s The Echoes Return Slow as Autobiography”. Welsh Writing In English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 2 (1996): 98-125. *

-----------------------------. “Buried to be Dug Up: R.S. Thomas (1913-2000)”, Twentieth-Century Autobiography, Writing Wales in English. Cardiff: U. of Wales P, 2004., pp. 120-47. ISBN 0-7083-1891-6

Roberts, Harri Garrod. “ ‘[W]hatever / I throw up now is still theirs’: Abjection in R. S. Thomas’s ‘Poetry of Exile’” in Embodying Identity: Representations of the Body in Welsh Literature. Cardiff: U. of Wales P., 2009) 114-135.

Rogers, Byron. “I Remember Him Well”. Planet 179 (Oct. / Nov. 2006): 66-79.

Rudd, Andrew. “ ‘Not to the Bible but to Wallace Stevens’: What R.S. Thomas Found There”. PN Review 30.4 (March -April 2004): 49-51. [See also the letter in response from Tony Brown, “Thomas’s Homage to Stevens” PN Review 30.6 (July-August 2004): 4.]

Sargent, Andrew. “R.S. Thomas: The Anglican Compromise”. Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature. 67.1 (Winter 2015): 41-55.

Savill, Sheila. “The Value of Official Records to Studies of R.S. Thomas’s Life and Writings”, Almanac: A Yearbook of Welsh Writing in English 15 (2010-11): 84-111.

---------------. “Light from Dusty Papers: R.S. Thomas”, PN Review 37.2 (Nov./Dec. 2010): 9.

Scott, David. “Grappling with God”. Poetry Book Society Bulletin 200 (Spring 2004): 16-17.

Sloan, Barry. “The Discipline of Watching and Waiting: R.S. Thomas, Poetry and Prayer”. Religion and Literature 34.2 (2002): 29-49.

Szabo, Daniel. “R.S. Thomas: Poet on the Threshold”, Intimate Exposure: Essays on the Public-Private Divide in British Poetry since 1950, ed. Emily Taylor Merriman and Adrian Grafe. London: McFarland, 2010) 54-66. ISBN 978-0786442218.

-----------------. “‘For the Failure of Language There is No Redress’: R.S. Thomas, Poetry and Prayer”, Ecstasy and Understanding: Religious Awareness in English Poetry from the Late Victorian to the Modern Period, ed. Adrian Grafe. London: Continuum, 2008. ISBN 978-0-82649-864-9

Thomas, M. Wynn. “R.S. Thomas: War Poet”. Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 2 (1996): 82-97. (The 1994 Ben Bowen Thomas Lecture) *

------------------------. “For Wales, See Landscape: Early R.S. Thomas and the English Topographical Tradition”. Welsh Writing In English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 10 (2005): 1-31.

------------------------ . “R.S. Thomas, Denise Levertov and the poetry of contemplation” in Moment of Earth: Poems & Essays in Honour of Jeremy Hooker, ed. Christopher Meredith. Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2007, pp. 284-301. ISBN 978-1-891271-16-8.

------------------------ . “R.S. Thomas and Modern Welsh Poetry”, Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century English Poetry. Cambridge: CUP, 2007. ISBN798-0521691321, 05216932X----

-----------------. “The Stones of the Field and the Power of the Sword: R.S. Thomas as War Poet”, Wales at War: Critical Essays on Literature and Art, ed. Tony Curtis. Bridgend: Seren, 2007.

------------------. “R.S. Thomas: Claf Abercuawg?” in Tegwyn Jones and Huw Walters, ed., Cawr i’w Genedl: Cyfrol i Gyfarch yr Athro Hywel Teifi Edwards. Llandysul, Gomer, 2008. 245-64.

Toal, Patrick. “‘Playing the old anthropomorphic game’: R.S. Thomas’s ‘Middle Period’ and the Rhetoric of Theological (Im)Possibility”, Almanac: A Yearbook of Welsh Writing in English, 15 (2010-11): 112-38.

Volke-Birke, Sabine. “World History from BC to AD: R.S. Thomas’s Counterpoint”. Literature and Theology 9.2 (1995): 199-226.

Ward, Jean. “Wounded Faith: R.S. Thomas, Tomas Halik, and Doubting Thomas”, Literature and Theology 27.4 (December 2013): 430-51.

Westover, Daniel. “‘An Echo of an Echo’: R.S. Thomas and Geoffrey Hill”, International Journal of Welsh Studies 1 (2013): 1-18.

Wethered, Colleen. “‘The watches of the night’: Henry Vaughan and R.S. Thomas”. Scintilla 17 (2013): 92-100.

Whiting, David. “R.S. Thomas: Gazing at Infinity”. New Walk 9 (Autumn/Winter 2014): 16-18. [Front cover of journal has 1984 drawing of RST by John Petts.]

Wigginton, Chris. “Welshing on the Language: R.S. Thomas, Oliver Reynolds and Postmodern Wales”. Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 4 (1998): 118-32.

Wilcox, Allan, and Helen Wilcox. “Matter and Spirit Conjoined: Sacred Places in the Poetry of George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, R.S. Thomas and Rowan Williams”. Scintilla 11 (2007): 133-51.

Banks, Kathleen Frost. “Confederates of the Natural Day: Robert Frost and the Poetry of R.S. Thomas, 1939-1963. MLA thesis. Harvard University, 2005.

Brewster, R. “Unhappily in Love with God”: Conceptions of the Divine in the Poetry of Geoffrey Hill, Les Murray and R.S. Thomas. Ph.D. thesis. Durham University, 2002.

Dafydd, Fflur. “[A] shifting / identity never your own”: The Uncanny and the Unhomely in the Poetry of R.S. Thomas. Ph.D. thesis, U. of Wales [Bangor], 2005.

Elangovan, S.P. R.S. Thomas and W. B. Yeats: Polarities on the Axis of Poetry. Ph.D. thesis. Madras University, 2005.

Gleason , Christine Elizabeth. Maintaining Spirituality in an Industrialized World: An Ecocritical Look at the Poetry of R.S. Thomas. M.A. diss, University of Texas at El Paso, 2005.

Head, A. The Resurgence of Myth in the 1970s in the Poetry of Ted Hughes and R.S. Thomas: A Jungian Perspective. Ph.D. thesis. University of Sheffield, 1994. (Aslib Index to Theses, with Abstracts 45.4, p. 1307)

McLauchlan, Richard. Poems from Holy Saturday: Encountering Divine and Human Silence in the Pomes of R.S. Thomas. PhD thesis, Cambridge University, 2014

Perry, Samuel. “Something to Love”: Nature, Nation and the Sacred in the Poetry of R.S. Thomas. Ph.D. thesis. University of Leicester, 2006.

Sully, A.C. The Poet, The Priest, the Politician: R.S. Thomas as Romantic Poet, Existentialist and Welsh Nationalist. M.Phil. thesis. University of Birmingham, 1995.

Toal, Patrick. R.S. Thomas’s God: The Possibilities of Symbiosis. PhD thesis, Bangor University, 2015.

Walsh, Carys. Language as a Barrier and a Threshold in the Poetry of R.S. Thomas. M.A. dissertation. Heythrop College, University of London, 2000.

Westover, Daniel Kirk. Stylistic Destinations: The Prosodies of R. S. Thomas, 1936 - 2000. Ph.D. thesis, U. of Wales [Bangor], 2008.

Aaron, Jane, Henrice Altink and Chris Weedon. Gendering Border Studies. Cardiff: U. of Wales P., 2010, pp. 152-4.

Bohata, Kirsti. Postcolonialism Revisited. Writing Wales in English. Cardiff: U. of Wales P., 2004. 51-57 and passim.

Condry, William. Wildlife, My Life. Llandysul: Gomer, 1995. (Various references to RST by the naturalist and long-time friend.)

---------. A William Condry Reader, ed. Jim Perrin. Llandysul: Gomer, 2015. 222 p. ISBN 978—84851-883-4.

Conradi, Peter J. At the Bright Hem of God: Radnorshire Pastoral. Bridged: Seren, 2009, pp. 177-84, 187-93.

Hooker, Jeremy. Imagining Wales: A View of Modern Welsh Writing in English. Cardiff: U. of Wales P., 2001, pp. 28-40 and passim.

Lloyd, David, ed. Imagined Greetings: Poetic Engagements with R.S. Thomas. Llanrwst: Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2013. 123 p. ISBN 978-1-84527-416-0. [Selection of poems in response to RST, including elegies.]

Thomas, M. Wynn and Tony Brown, “The Problems of Belonging”, Welsh Writing in English, ed. M. Wynn Thomas. A Guide to Welsh Literature, Volume VII. Cardiff: U. of Wales P., 2003, pp. 165-75 and passim.

R. S. Thomas Research

Critical Essays

Essays may be downloaded for private use. Copyright remains with& Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays and with the authors. Material cannot be reproduced, circulated or republished in any form without permission.

  • M. Wynn Thomas (University of Wales, Swansea)
    R.S. Thomas: War Poet
    Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays 2 (1996): 82-97.

For More Info


Below are listed several Links for those interested in the work of R.S. Thomas and in Welsh Writing in English in general.


The R.S. Thomas Centre is available for postgraduate students working for higher degrees on R.S. Thomas at Bangor, either in the Welsh Department or the English Department, and to visiting scholars and registered postgraduate students from other institutions.

Those interested in making use of the Centre should contact:

Professor Jason Walford Davies
School of Arts, Culture and Language,
Bangor University,
LL57 2DG.

Phone: 01248-382239 or 01248-382240 (Secretary)
E-mail: j.w.davies@bangor.ac.uk


Emeritus Professor Tony Brown,
School of Arts, Culture and Language,
Bangor University,
LL57 2DG.

Phone: 07494 737494
E-mail: tonybrown6716@gmail.com


Current Projects at the Centre

R.S. Thomas’s ekphrastic poems

1. Among the books which the Centre acquired from R.S. Thomas’s own library were two volumes on modern art, Herbert Read’s Art Now (1933) and Surrealism (1936), edited by Read and containing essays by some of the leading thinkers in Surrealist art. Interleaved in these books were some three dozen unpublished manuscript poems by Thomas in response to reproductions of art works, including work by Salvador Dali, Henry Moore, René Magritte and Graham Sutherland. Bloodaxe Books, who published Thomas’s later collections as well as R.S. Thomas:  Uncollected Poems, edited by Brown and Walford Davies (2013), have contracted to publish these, with colour reproductions of the paintings. The collection, entitled Too Brave to Dream: Encounters with Modern Art, was published by Bloodaxe in 2016.   

2.  The Centre has acquired as part of its archive a considerable volume of the paintings, letters and journals of Mildred Eldridge (1909-91), the poet’s first wife. She was a distinguished painter in her own right, a significant figure in British Neo-Romantic painting from the 1930s to 1950s. Her reputation thereafter faded somewhat as her husband’s increased, though she continued to paint; the Centre’s work has contributed significantly to the current substantial revival in interest in her work, including three recent public exhibitions of her painting and a television programme (presented by Prof. Walford Davies).  Prof. Tony Brown is currently, with the active support of Gwydion Thomas, the poet’s son, preparing an edition of her unpublished Autobiography, two drafts of which are in the Centre’s collection.  The Autobiography is to be published with a generous selection of her outstanding paintings and sketches and a substantial introductory study of her life and work.

3.   During the Centenary year (2013) the Centre hosted outstanding public lectures on the work of R.S. Thomas by Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and currently Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and Professor M. Wynn Thomas of Swansea University, the poet’s Literary Executor.  It is planned that these two lectures,  ‘R.S. Thomas and Buddhism’ (Williams) and “‘Yr Hen Fam”: R.S. Thomas and the Church in Wales’ (Thomas) will form the first two pamphlets in a series of Trafodion / Proceedings, to be published by the Centre under the editorship of Prof. Jason Walford Davies.

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