- Gerwyn Wiliams
- Professor and Head of School
- +44 (0) 1248 38 2241
- School of Welsh, Room 1, Professor’s Corridor
Professor Gerwyn Wiliams was brought up in Cheshire, Anglesey, Montgomeryshire and Cardiganshire. He attended Llangefni Secondary School and Welshpool High School before studying for a degree in Welsh at University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He went on to gain a doctorate under the supervision of Professor John Rowlands. Following a brief stint as Deputy Editor of the Welsh arts and current affairs magazine, Barn, he was appointed to a lectureship in the Department of Welsh at Bangor University in 1989. He served as Deputy Director of the School for Welsh Medium Studies (1996-98), Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (2000-02) and Deputy Head of the College of Arts and Humanities (2005-06). He was awarded a Personal Chair in November 2005.
His research into Welsh literature relating to the First World War is contained within two major publications: Y Rhwyg (‘The Rupture’) (1993) which considers the response of Welsh poets to the conflict and Tir Neb (‘No-man’s Land’) (1996) which considers prose accounts of the war. Tir Neb was named Book of the Year by the Arts Council of Wales in 1997 and was awarded the Ellis Griffith Memorial Prize and the Mrs L.W. Davies Award by the University of Wales Board of Celtic Studies in 1998. He has developed his research interest in the relationship between literature and war into an academic specialism: in 2005 he published Tir Newydd (‘New Territory’), a critical study of Welsh literature and the Second World War, and in 2006 he published an essay entitled ‘Cofio Rhyfel Anghofiedig’ (‘Commemorating a Forgotten War’) which sought to analyse and contextualise the responses to the 1982 Falklands/Malvinas conflict.
He made a name for himself as a poet at an early age: Tynnu Gwaed (‘Drawing blood’) (1983) and Colli Cyswllt (‘Losing contact’) (1984) were both awarded the Urdd National Eisteddfod Literary Medal and he has since published a further three collections of poems namely Rhwng y Cŵn a’r Brain (‘Going to rack and ruin’) 1988), Cydio’n Dynn (‘Holding on tight’) (1997) a Tafarn Tawelwch (‘Tavern of Tranquillity’) (2003). In the series of poems ‘Dolenni’ (‘Bonds’) for which he was awarded the National Eisteddfod Crown in 1994, he creatively exploits his interest in literature and war in a number of poems addressing the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the conflict in Bosnia and Serbia.In 2012 his volume Rhwng Gwibdaith a Coldplay (2011)was shortlisted for the Welsh Book of the Year award.
From 1993 until 1999 he co-edited Taliesin, the journal of the Welsh Academy, firstly with Professor John Rowlands and later with Dr Jerry Hunter, and between 2005 and 2011 he edited Ysgrifau Beirniadol (‘Critical Essays’) (for a period with Dr William R. Lewis as co-editor). He has acted as adjudicator in the Chair, Crown and Literary Medal competitions at the Urdd National Eisteddfod on a number of occasions. In the 1999 National Eisteddfod he was invited to adjudicate in the Prose Medal competition and in the 2003 and 2007 National Eisteddfodau adjudicated in the Crown competition.
He was invited to present the 2007 G.J Williams Memorial Lecture by the School of Welsh at Cardiff University. His study of the war poems written by Alun Llywelyn-Williams was published in 2007 in The Oxford Handbook of British and Irish War Poetry edited by Professor Tim Kendall. In November 2006, he organised a conference entitled Mwy na Rhywbeth i’w Wneud? Barddoni mewn Canrif Newydd (‘More than just something to do? Writing poetry in a new century’): among those taking part were Dr Gwyneth Lewis, first National Poet of Wales, and Emeritus Professor of Welsh, Gwyn Thomas, then National Poet of Wales. In 2013 he was invited to give the inaugural Islwyn Ffowc Elis Memorial Lecture at the first 'Gŵyl Golwg' in Lampeter.
Llên Gyfoes (‘Contemporary literature’) (Level 1): CXC1016
Llên a Llun (‘Page and screen’) (Level 1: Second Language Welsh): CXC1008
Gweithdy Creadigol (‘Creative workshop’) (Level 1): CXC1018
Gweithdy Barddoniaeth (‘Poetry workshop’) (Level 2 and 3): CXC2118 / CXC3018
Barddoniaeth Fodern (‘Modern poetry’) (Level 2 and 3): CXC2107 / CXC3007
Llenyddiaeth y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf (‘First World War literature’) (Level 2 and 3):
CXC2113 / CXC3013
Traethawd Estynedig (‘Dissertation’) (Level 3): CXC3009
Literature and war; modern Welsh fiction, particularly the novel; contemporary Welsh poetry; creative writing.
‘Occupying new Territory: Alun Llywelyn-Williams and Welsh-Language Poetry of the Second World War’, in Tim Kendall (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British and Irish War Poetry (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 340-61.
‘Don’t Mention the War? Interpreting and Contextualizing the 1982 Falklands/Malvinas War’, in Matthew Cragoe a Chris Williams (eds.), Wales and War: Society, Politics and Religion in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2007), 204-29.
‘Cofio Rhyfel Anghofiedig: Dehongli a Chyd-Destunoli Rhyfel y Falklands/Malvinas 1982’ [‘Commemorating a forgotten war: analysing and contextualising the 1982 Falklands/Malvinas War’], in Geraint H. Jenkins (ed.) Cof Cenedl XXI (Llandysul: Gomer Press, 2006), 159-91.
Tir Newydd: Agweddau ar Lenyddiaeth Gymraeg a’r Ail Ryfel Byd [‘New territory: aspects of Welsh literature and the Second World War’] (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2005), 309.
Tir Neb: Rhyddiaith Gymraeg a’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf [‘No-man’s land: Welsh prose of the First World War’] (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1996), 307.
Y Rhwyg: Arolwg o Farddoniaeth Gymraeg ynghylch y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf [‘The rupture: a survey of Welsh poetry regarding the First World War’] (Llandysul: Gomer Press, 1993), xxi + 250.
‘Caniadau’r Somme’ [‘Songs of the Somme’], in J. E. Caerwyn Williams (ed.), Ysgrifau Beirniadol XVIII (Denbigh: Gee Press, 1992), 245-91.
‘Cynan (Albert Evans-Jones, 1895-1970)’, in Robert Rhys (ed.), Y Patrwm Amryliw (Cyfrol 1) (Llandybïe: Barddas Publications, 1997), 138-46.
‘The Literature of the First World War’, in Dafydd Johnston (ed.), A Guide to Welsh Literature c. 1900-1996 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1998), 22-49.
Golygydd [‘Editor’] and ‘Rhagymadrodd’ [‘Introduction’], Gorau Cyfarwydd: Detholiad o Ddarlithoedd ac Ysgrifau Beirniadol Bedwyr Lewis Jones [a selection of critical writing by Bedwyr Lewis Jones] (Caernarfon: Barddas Publications, 2002), 380.
Golygydd a ‘Rhagymadrodd’, Rhyddid y Nofel (Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru: 1999), 322.
‘Gwibdeithiau Blynyddol Eirug Wyn: Arolwg o’i Ffuglen, 1992-2004’ [the fiction works of Eirug Wyn], Taliesin, 127 (Spring 2006), 14-36.
‘Daniel, Y Fedal a’r Nofel: Y Nofel a’r Eisteddfod Genedlaethol, 1977-
2002’ [the novel and the National Eisteddfod], Taliesin, 116 (National Eisteddfod issue, 2002), 78-110.
‘Gwerin Dau Garadog’ [a comparative study of Caradoc Evans and Caradog Prichard], in M. Wynn Thomas (ed.), DiFfinio Dwy Lenyddiaeth Cymru (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1995), 45-79.
‘Un a Haeddai Sylw: Cofio Islwyn Ffowc Elis’ [in memory of Islwyn Ffowc Elis], Barn, 494 (March 2004), 42-3.
‘Options and Allegiances: Emyr Humphreys and Welsh literature’, Planet, 71 (October/November 1988), 30-6.
‘Saunders y Beirdd’ [poetic representations of Saunders Lewis], Taliesin, 122 (Summer 2004), 36-49.
‘Darlunio’r Tirlun Cyflawn: Amlinellu Cyd-destun ar gyfer Cyfres Beirdd
Answyddogol y Lolfa’ [a critical survey of the Lolfa Unofficial Poets series], in John Rowlands (ed.), Sglefrio ar Eiriau (Llandysul: Gomer Press, 1992), 115-50.
‘Gwyn Thomas yn Ateb Cwestiynau Gerwyn Williams’ [interviewing Gwyn Thomas], Y Traethodydd, 593 (Autumn 1984), 208-20.
‘Yng Nghampfa’r Cynganeddion’ [contemporary poetry in cynghanedd], Llais Llyfrau (Autumn 1994), 5-6.
Various entries in Meic Stephens (ed.), Cydymaith i Lenyddiaeth Cymru (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1997) and The Companion to the Literature of Wales (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1998).
Rhwng Gwibdaith a Coldplay (Caernarfon: Gwasg y Bwthyn, 2011) [volume of poetry shortlisted for Welsh Book of the Year]
Tafarn Tawelwch [‘Tavern of tranquillity’] (Llanrwst: Carreg Gwalch Press, 2003), 57.
‘Harlem’, ‘Washington’, ‘Baghdad’, ‘Llythyr i Lois’, in Tony Bianchi (ed.), Blodeugerdd Barddas o Farddoniaeth Gyfoes [‘The Barddas anthology of contemporary Welsh poetry’] (Llandybïe: Barddas Publications, 2005), 267-72.
‘Dan Ein Trwynau’, in R. Arwel Jones (ed.), Cerddi Arfon (Cyfres Cerddi Fan Hyn) (Llandysul: Gomer Press, 2005), 63-4.
‘Dameg y Crys Chwys’, yn Dafydd Rowlands, (gol.) Cerddi’r Troad: Barddoniaeth Newydd i’r Mileniwm (Llandysul: Gomer Press, 2000), 81.
Cydio’n Dynn [‘Holding on tight’] (Talybont: The Lolfa Press, 1997), 64.
‘Baghdad’, in Geraint Percy Jones and Geraint Vaughan Jones (eds.), Yn Fyw mewn Geiriau: Detholiad o Gerddi Addas ar gyfer TGAU (Llangefni: Y Ganolfan Astudiaethau Iaith, 1995), 111.
‘Pellhau’, ‘Chwalu’, ‘Grym’ a ‘Gwareiddiad’, in Eleri Ellis Jones (ed.) Sbectol Inc: Casgliad o Gerddi (Talybont: The Lolfa, Press 1995), 28, 31, 79, 109.
‘Fy Nghymru I?’, ‘Diwedd y Gân’, ‘Cynnydd’, ‘Washington’ and ‘Adduned’ are translated into English, in Menna Elfyn a John Rowlands (eds.), The Bloodaxe Book of Modern Poetry (Tarset: Bloodaxe Books, 2003), 389-93.
‘Molawd Pry Genwair’ and ‘Adduned’ are translated into Bulgarian, in Grahame Davies (guest ed.), Pl«mak, 3 and 4 (2002), 114-5.
‘Molawd Pry Genwair’ and ‘Adduned’ are translated into English by Richard Poole, in Amy Wack and Grahame Davies (eds.), Oxygen: Beirdd Newydd o Gymru/New Poets from Wales, (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr/Bridgend: Seren, 2000), 140-3.
‘Dolenni’, in W.J. Jones (ed.), Cyfansoddiadau a Beirnidaethau Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Frenhinol Cymru Nedd a’r Cyffiniau 1994 (Dinefwr Press on behalf of the National Eisteddfod Court, 1994), 47-52.
‘Gair am Eiriau’, Llais Llyfrau, 4/97 (Winter 1997), 4 + 10.
‘Dolenni’ (‘Bonds’) is translated into English by the author, in Dafydd Johnston (guest ed.), Modern Poetry in Translation, 7 (Spring 1995), 162-9.
Rhwng y Cŵn a’r Brain (‘Going to rack and ruin’) (Caernarfon: Annwn Press, 1988), 71.
Colli Cyswllt [‘Losing contact’] (Aberystwyth: Urdd Gobaith Cymru, 1984), 44.
Tynnu Gwaed [‘Drawing blood’] (Aberystwyth: Urdd Gobaith Cymru, 1983), 32.
‘Hel Mwyar Duon’, in Alan Llwyd a Gwynn ap Gwilym (eds.), Blodeugerdd o Farddoniaeth Gymraeg yr Ugeinfed Ganrif [‘An anthology of twentieth-century Welsh poetry’](Llandysul: Barddas Publications/Gomer Press, 1987), 569-70.
‘Marw’r Moch’, ‘Fy Nghymru I?’, ‘Pictiwrs’ and ‘Pont Trefechan’ are translated into Catalan, in Carme Manuel a Josep V. Garcia (eds.), Poesia Gal’lesa Actual (1992), 153-69.
Examples of Professor Gerwyn Wiliams' work
Click on the link below to read one of Professor Gerwyn Wiliams' poemsCalan Mai yn Belsen: 2006