Songs for art festival
Performance by international violinist
Poem features in Michael Sheen film
Star's history documentary
and poem unveiled
Tribute to disaster victims
Further details of recent activities.
of Wales Arts Council's Book of the Year Award
is a Welsh poet, novelist, editor and literary critic, who has won numerous
prizes, including the Wales Book of the Year Award.
He is the
author of 17 books in Welsh and English, including: The Chosen People,
a study of the relationship of the Welsh and Jewish peoples; The Dragon
and the Crescent, a study of Wales and Islam; a novel, Everything
Must Change, about the French philosopher Simone Weil, and the popular
work of psychogeography, Real Wrexham.
of Wrexham, now based in Cardiff and London, he has a degree in English
from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, and a PhD from Cardiff University,
where he was an honorary fellow in the department of religious studies.
He has been
awarded an honorary D.Litt from Anglia Ruskin University, and is a Fellow
and Governor of Goodenough College, London. He travels internationally
as a reader and lecturer. His poetry has been translated into many languages.
born in 1964 and brought up in the former coal mining village of Coedpoeth
near Wrexham in north east Wales.
a degree in English Literature at CCAT (now Anglia Ruskin University)
Cambridge, he qualified as a journalist with the Thomson Organisation
and since 1986 worked in the print, broadcast and online media, winning
a number of Welsh and UK industry awards. He now divides his time between
Cardiff and London.
he was awarded a doctorate by the University of Wales for his study, written
in Welsh, of the work of R.S.Thomas, Saunders Lewis, T.S. Eliot and Simone
Weil, whom he identified as part of an anti-modern trend in Western culture
in the 20th Century.
his first volume of poetry, Adennill Tir, (Barddas,) a book arising
from the 10 years he spent in Merthyr Tydfil in the south Wales Valleys,
won the Harri Webb Memorial Prize.
he was second to Emyr Lewis in the competition for the National Eisteddfod
his study of Wales and the anti-modern movement, Sefyll yn y Bwlch,
(University of Wales Press, 1999), the product of his doctoral research,
was published. It went "straight to the front rank of criticism of our
day," according to the critic Dr Dafydd Glyn Jones (Barn), and was described
as “a signal book” by the critic Dr Angharad Price (New Welsh Review).
he co-edited Oxygen, (Seren) a bilingual anthology of Welsh poets
aged under 45.
his second volume of poetry, Cadwyni Rhyddid, (Barddas) appeared
. It went to a second edition within a few months of publication, won
the Wales Arts Council's 2002 Book of the Year award at the Hay on Wye
Festival of Literature, together with a prize of £3,000.
Seren press published his literary anthology, The Chosen People,
which details the relationship of the Welsh and the Jewish people as reflected
2002, he edited a 160-page edition of the Bulgarian literary magazine
Plamak (“Flame”) dedicated to Welsh literature, the first such
anthology of Welsh writing in the Balkans.
Ffiniau/Borders appeared from Gomer press, a bilingual volume of
poetry jointly with Elin ap Hywel.
In 2004 his
first novel Rhaid i Bopeth Newid, was published by Gomer. It was
longlisted for the £10,000 Book of the Year prize, 2005.'
Also in 2004,
his selection of Welsh poetry in Asturian translation appeared in Spain
from Kêr ar Mor press under the title Nel país del borrina
(The Country of the Clouds).
his selection of Welsh poetry in Galician translation appeared under the
title of No país de la brétema from VTP Editorial.
Seren published The Big Book of Cardiff, an anthology of contemporary
writing about Cardiff, co-edited by Peter Finch and Grahame Davies.
Also in 2005,
his third volume of original Welsh-language poetry appeared from Barddas,
under the title Achos (Cause).
his anthology of work by and about
refugees and asylum seekers in Wales, Gwyl y Blaidd / Festival of the
Wolf, appeared from Parthian/Hafan, edited jointly with Tom Cheesman
and Sylvie Hoffman.
Seren published Everything Must Change, an English-language novel
based on Rhaid i Bopeth Newid.
Also in 2007,
Seren published Real Wrexham, a work of psychogeography in the
Real series edited by Peter Finch. It was reprinted in 2009.
study of the relationship between the Welsh people and Islam as reflected
in literature, The Dragon and the Crescent, appeared from Seren
full-length book of poetry in English, Lightning Under the Sea,
appeared from Seren in 2012.
a bilingual book of poems about Welsh lakes, rivers, shorelines and waterfalls,
entitled, Alcemi Dwr / Alchemy of Water, was published by Gomer
Press, featuring the poems of Grahame Daves and Tony Curtis and the photographs
of Mari Owen and Carl Ryan.
Also in 2013,
he was one of eleven contributors to Poems for R.S. A centenary Celebration
(Hay Festival Press) and one of twelve contributors to a book of essays,
Encounters With R.S. (H'mm Foundation).
with Menna Elfyn, he judged the Dylan Thomas International Poetry Award,
a £2,000 prize.
the academic Jon Anderson wrote a chapter on Grahame Davies's work, 'Durability
and change: eternity and belonging in the plots of Grahame Davies' in
his book Page and Place: Ongoing Compositions of Plot, (Rodopi;
Amsterdam/New York, 2014)
has been translated into numerous languages, including English, German,
Italian, Latvian, Maltese, Bulgarian, Polish, Asturian, Galician, and
Guglienesano, has appeared in publications as diverse as The
Times, The Times
Literary Supplement, The
Guardian, Poetry London, the Literary Review in America,
Orbis (#136 Spring 2006), Yearbook of Welsh Writing in English,
Absinthe (Michigan, USA, 2007), Kalliope (Germany, 2009),
Poetry Review, and Everyman's Library Pocket Poets series Villanelles
(2012) has been widely anthologised and is also on the education syllabus
in Wales. He was a regular columnist with Barddas until 2012 and
is a frequent contributor of articles and reviews to journals such as
Poetry Wales, Barn, Taliesin, Planet and New Welsh Review.
He regularly reads and lectures in the UK and worldwide, frequently appears
on television and radio, has completed numerous high-profile poetry commissions,
and collaborates extensively with musical and visual artists. Fuller details
Awards, Scholarships etc:
Literature Wales Bursary for poetry project.
Honorary D.Litt. Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
Ruth Howarth Literature Award for Real Wrexham
Honorary Research Fellowship, Cardiff University.
Academi Bursary Award for Wales and the Muslims.
Academi Bursary Award for Everything Must Change
Fellowship of Goodenough College, London.
Cerdd Deyrnged, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru.
Longlist for Book of the Year award for Rhaid i Bopeth Newid
Welsh Arts Council Book of the Year Award for Cadwyni Rhyddid.
Winner, Stomp Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Dinbych, Yr Academi.
Welsh Arts Council Writer's Bursary Award for Wales and the Jews.
Harri Webb Memorial Poetry Prize for Adennill Tir.
Vers Libre Prize at National Eisteddfod of Wales.
Commissions, Residencies, Visits, Festivals, Lectures.
Reading with Kevin Crossley Holland, Pembroke College, Cambridge Festival
'Meddwl' philosophy conference, Aberystwyth
Poem for Sacred Site and Sound Festival, Tintern.
Poem for 'Ode to Samarkand' festival, Uzbekistan.
Cambridge Festival of Ideas.
Chelmsford Festival of Ideas.
PENfro Literary Festival, Pembrokeshire.
Hay Festival, launch of Alchemy of Water and R.S.Thomas centenary
Guardian Poem of the Week, 'Departed'.
Oxfam Poetry series, London.
Cambridge Festival of Ideas, Panel discussion on mythology.
Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth, 'The Crescent
and the Welsh.'
Cambridge Muslim College; 'Wales and Islam'.
Carnhuanawc Lecture; 'Wales and Islam': Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru.
Lecture on Bryan Martin Davies with Elin ap Hywel, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol
BBC Wales All Things Considered programme.
Hay Festival, session on The Dragon and the Crescent
'On the Border' series session with John Hegley at Chepstow.
Half-hour BBC Radio Four Great Lives programme about Simone Weil,
with Eleanor Bron.
North American tour: readings and artistic collaborations in Pennsylvania,
Vermont and New York. Wales Arts International.
Greenbelt Festival, Cheltenham, UK.
Harvard University, U.S.A. Lecture.
Readings in Guglionesi, Italy.
Five literary readings in Argentina.
North American tour: readings and launch of Everything Must Change
in Delta, Pennsylvania; Westport, Connecticut, and Chrysler Building,
New York, and lecture at Yale University, Massachussetts. Wales Arts
Memorial Poem for Children's Commissioner for Wales.
Hay on Wye Festival of Literature, Readings. Launch of 'Poets' Portraits'
Imperial College, London. Lecture.
Artist in Residence in Summer school of the British Centre for Literary
Translation, University of East Anglia, Norwich.
Subject of half-hour BBC Wales All Things Considered programme
Delta, Pennsylvania. Readings
Cape Town, South Africa. University of the Western Cape. Lecture.
Madrid, Spain. Launch of La Pais de la Borrina. British Council.
Canu'n Rhydd conference, Llandudno, Academi. Readings and panel.
Limerick University, Ireland. Lecture.
Poesiefestival, Berlin. Translation workshops and readings. British
Council / Welsh Literature Abroad
Israel and Palestine. Fact-finding visit. Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Greenbelt Arts Festival, Cheltenham. Readings and workshops.
NAASWCH Conference, Morgantown, WV, USA. Lectures.
Subject of half-hour Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol programme
Commission by Academi for Great Cardiff Poem
Commission by HRH Prince of Wales for poem for Llangollen Eisteddfod.
Edmonton, Canada. Lecture and readings at 'Culture and the State' conference.
Sofia, Bulgaria. Readings and launch of Plamak Welsh edition.
Lublin, Poland. Lecture. British Council.
NAASWCH conference, Syracuse, NY. U.S.A. Two lectures.
College of William and Mary, Williamsburg. U.S.A. Lecture.
Commission by Wales Millennium Centre for poem for laying of foundation
Hay on Wye Festival of Literature, Readings.
Argentina, British Council.
European Round Table on Poetry, Riga, Latvia. Readings. British Council.
Wexford, Ireland. Reading. Academi.
Royal Festival Hall, London. Reading.
Settings of 'Weather Forecast', 'Waiting' and 'Propempticon' by composer
Celia Harper, performed by mezzo soprano Claire Bradshaw and violinist
David Juritz at Burton Bradstock Festival in Dorset
Words for 'Spirit of Hope' by Paul Mealor to mark 20 years of democracy
in South Africa, premiered in Cape Town in April with Only Kids Aloud
and Bryn Terfel.
Words for 'A Welsh Prayer' by Paul Mealor to mark the 65th birthday
of HRH The Prince of Wales, at North Wales Music Festival, St Asaph.
'When you have to leave"' set to music by Canadian singer-songwriter
Kevin Hutchings for the album, Shadows in the Light.
Words for 'The Hero's Journey', a new choral work by Sir Sir Karl Jenkins,
performed by a 500-voice male choir at Royal Festival Hall, London,
on July 7, 2012, and a 1,000-voice choir at the Royal Albert Hall, London,
on October 13, 2012.
Words for multi-media project about Gelligaer Common with visual artist
Gigi Jones, composer Mervyn Burtch and poet Tony Curtis.
Words for part of the score by Sir Sir Karl Jenkins for the BBC Wales
television history series, The Story of Wales.
Words for 'Benedictus' in Celtic Mass by U.S. choral and orchestral
composer Ben Allaway
'Homecoming' set to music by Canadian singer-songwriter Kevin Hutchings
for the album, Light to Shine.
Words based on sacred literature from several religions for a new setting
of the Gloria by Sir Karl Jenkins, performed for the first time
in the Royal Albert Hall, London, July 11, 2010.
- 2009 English
words for a recording of Sir Karl Jenkins' 'Cantilena' by the pop star
Rhydian for the album O Fortuna on the Syco Label.
Words for a new commissioned choral work by Sir Karl Jenkins, 'Ysbrydoliaeth'
('Inspiration') performed at the Wales Millennium Centre, November 14.
Words for 'O Beata Trinitas' for Sir Karl Jenkins to mark university
status of Trinity College, Carmarthen.
- 2009 Several
poems set to music for album of Kevin Hutchings, Canada, On the Bridge
You Were Burning.
Commission to provide words and translations for a new setting of the
Stabat Mater by Sir Karl Jenkins as part of the events for European
City of Culture, Liverpool, 2008. Published on album Stabat Mater
Lyrics for a number of songs for the album Adnodau gyda Blodau
for the rock band Catsgam.
Welsh words for a new setting of the Largo from the New World Symphony
by Dvorak, and for a new setting of 'Cantilena', by Sir Karl Jenkins
on album This Land of Ours (EMI Classics).
Panellist on day school on the libretto, for Academi and Music Theatre
Welsh translation of 'The Mystics' performed by Dame Kiri te Kanawa
on the Karl Jenkins album Kiri Sings Sir Karl. (EMI Classics).
Poems set to music by rock band Malarki on album Malarki.
Sir Karl Jenkins album, Requiem, (EMI Classics), including a
setting of the poem 'Llwyd', reaches Number One in the classical charts.
Commission from Opus and Barcud Derwen for opera libretto Taliesin
for Sir Karl Jenkins.
and public art collaborations
Poem for painting by Roy Guy commemorating Prince of Wales Colliery
disaster, Newbridge Memorial Hall
Words for sculptures on artwork trail in Brecon to mark the year of
the 2012 Olympics
- 2011 Words
for sculptures by Adam Williamson along Green Journeys cycle path at
- 2009 Commission
for Welsh words for statue of Ivor Novello at Wales Millennium Centre,
- 2008 Poems
are incorporated into sculptured benches as part of redevelopment of
Merthyr Tydfil town centre.
Collaboration with the visual artist Helen Stiff for Eisteddfod Genedlaethol
commissioned by the sculptor Nigel Talbot and included in his artwork
as part of his exhibition Salvage..
A portrait of Grahame Davies by Lorraine Bewsey is one of 20 pictures
in her exhibition, Portreadau'r Beirdd / Poets' Portraits.
Poems included on sculptures by Nigel Talbot at several locations on
the Taff Trail, at Abercynon, Aberfan, Cefn Coed y Cymmer.
- 2014 -
Vice-President Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.
- 2013 -
Governor, Goodenough College.
Board of Literature Wales.
Honorary research fellowship, Cardiff University.
National Library of Wales Advisory Board
Board of Displaced People in Action.
Society of Authors
Board of the Academi
Fellowship of Goodenough College, London.
Management committee of Cyfrwng, the media journal in Wales
Associate Lecturer, Creative Writing, Welsh Department, Cardiff University.
Standing Liturgical Advisory Committee of the Church in Wales
External Examiner, Media and Communication Course, MA and BA, University
of Wales, Bangor
Membership of the Welsh Academi.
Welsh-language Editor Poetry Wales magazine.
Undercurrents Festival, Caerphilly county.
Dylan Thomas International Poetry Award.
Literature Medal at National Eisteddfod.
Chair competition (learners) at National Eisteddfod.
John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry, Cardiff round.
Wrexham Festival Poetry Competition, Welsh and English.
Literature Medal at National Eisteddfod.
Bafta Cymru judging panel: Best Magazine/Feature Programme
Wrexham Festival Poetry Competition, Welsh and English.
Chair of Welsh-language judging panel for Book of the Year Award.
John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry
Eisteddfod Rhyng-Golegol, Free verse competitions.
All Grahame Davies's travel and domestic and office energy use is carbon-balanced
via the World Land Trust.