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BOOKS

Alchemy of WaterAlchemy of Water / Alcemi Dwr (2013)

Evocative landscape images and poems
With Tony Curtis



Lightning Beneath the Sea Lightning Beneath the Sea (2012)
Critically-acclaimed first English poetry volume




Dragon and the CrescentThe Dragon and the Crescent (2011)

Groundbreaking study of Wales and Islam across nine centuries.


Real Wrexham (2007)

Popular work of psychogeography.



Everything Must Change (2007)

Conscience vs compromise.

"Simply the best novel I have ever read from our nation," (Mike Jenkins)
.


Festival of the Wolf (2006)

Writing by refugees and asylum seekers in Wales
.


Adennill TirAchos (2005)

Third Welsh-language poetry volume questions long-held orthodoxies.


Big Book of CardiffThe Big Book of Cardiff (2005)

New writing about the Welsh capital
With Peter Finch.



Rhaid i Bopeth Newid Rhaid i Bopeth Newid (2004)

Provocative state of the nation novel.
'The first post-national novel," (Dafydd Elis-Thomas).
Longlisted for Wales Book of the Year.
.

Nel país de la borrina (2004)
No país de la brétema (2004)
Bilingual Welsh-Asturian and Welsh-Galician anthologies



FfiniauFfiniau / Borders (2002)

Welsh and English poetry in parallel text
.
With Elin ap Hywel


The Chosen People: Wales and the JewsThe Chosen People (2002)

Pioneering study of Wales and the Jewish people



Cadwyni RhyddidCadwyni Rhyddid (2001)

Poetry: Wales and the Millennium at a turning point.

Winner of the Wales Book of the Year Award


OxygenOxygen (2001)

The best poets under 45 in Welsh and English
With Amy Wack



Sefyll yn y BlwchSefyll yn y Bwlch (1999)

Influential study of Wales and the anti-modern movement




Adennill Tir (1997)

Award-winning first volume of Welsh-language poetry



Alchemy of WaterAlcemi Dwr / Alchemy of Water
(Gomer, 2013), £19.99.

This book celebrates the landscape and people of Wales through poems and photographs.

It features English poems by Tony Curtis and Welsh poems by Grahame Davies together with photographs of the Welsh landscape by Mari Owen and Carl Ryan.

'It shows us how water transforms the land, feeds our eyes and illuminates our lives. 'Water us so ubiquitous in our landscape and our legends, in our weather and our words, that there is a danger that we fail to appreciate something which is so essential, so inevitable, so vital' (Grahame Davies).

 

Dragon and the CrescentLightning Beneath the Sea
(Seren, 2012), £8.99.

"He is a thoughtful, meditative, serious poet and well worth reading." - Sheenagh Pugh

Lightning Beneath the Sea is the first collection of poems in English by Grahame Davies, featuring the work that he has honed over the years as he has read them at literary festivals, conferences and events world-wide. He is already well-known for his prize-winning Welsh-language poetry and fiction, and for his scholarly non-fiction. He brings a native warmth and an intimate, conversational tone to these poems. He favours rhyme and metre in a number of memorable instances like ‘Capital Bookshop’ and ‘Valley Villanelle’; he can use a longer, narrative, free verse line as in ‘Dangerous’; and there are several ‘found’ poems as in the witty ‘The Complete Index of Welsh Emotions’. He observes other nations with the same keen, ironic eye that he casts on his own country and is as concerned with character and the vagaries of relationships as he is with wider cultural concerns.

Dragon and the CrescentThe Dragon and the Crescent
(Seren, 2011), £12.99.

In the early twenty-first century, the relationship between the West and Islam has, due to recent political events, become the subject of intense study, curiosity and tension.

But to understand contemporary anxieties, we need to trace their historical roots. The Dragon and the Crescent does this for one small European nation, revealing for the first time, the full and surprising story of the Welsh relationship with Islam.

This extensive study has gathered 200 extracts from a huge range of Welsh literature over a 900-year period. It contains the literary testimonies of Welsh Crusaders, of soldiers and seafarers, of missionaries and merchants, explorers and exploiters, pious pilgrims and hedonistic pleasure-seekers.

Ranging from Gerald of Wales's recruiting tour for the Crusades in 1188, up to the recent controversy of the Muhammad cartoons, The Dragon and the Crescent is a fascinating and thought-provoking collection drawn from diaries, journals, dramas, travelogues, novels and poetry. It explores writing from both the languages of Wales by authors including Ann Griffiths, T Gwynn Jones, Cynan, T.E. Lawrence, David Lloyd George, Gwenallt, Richard Llewellyn, Anthony Burgess, Alun Lewis, Alun Richards, Nigel Jenkins, William Owen Roberts, Peter Finch, Robert Minhinnick, Gwyneth Lewis and Horatio Clare.

Grahame Davies's informative and acute analyis opens up a whole new field of study, revealing the huge Muslim influence on Wales, and the equally momentous Welsh influence on Islamic lands. It examines responses to the growth of Islam in contemporary Wales, casting a new light on Welsh relations with minority communities, and challenging myths of Welsh tolerance. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in intercultural and interfaith relations.

This fascinating and at times unexpected view of Welsh, British and Islamic history is a hugely significant work for contemporary Britain.

Adennill TirReal Wrexham
(Seren, 2007), £9.99. Reprinted 2009

Wrexham: the Eastern Front of Wales. The place where the tide of Saxon invasion rolled in, hit the mountains and stopped. The place where Owain Glyndwr came to get married, where Elihu Yale came to be buried, and where the giants of English football came to be killed. This is a border town where landscapes, accents and identities meet, mingle and merge. A place where mountain meets plain, Wales meets England, and the Mabinogion meets Man U.

The biggest town in north Wales gets the Real treatment from novelist and poet Grahame Davies. Born in Coedpoeth, now much-travelled, he's still fascinated by his hometown. Mixing personal experience and memory with history, topography, journalism, and an unflagging interest, Davies looks beyond Wrexham's workaday image and finds something rather special.

Real Wrexham's real-life characters include obsessive football fans, an ill-fated racing driver, a soccer-player-turned-TV-psychic, several hard-drinking priests, two high-society lesbians and a werewolf. Among the subjects it features are a mysterious massacre, a mining disaster, a tour of Wrexham's 'Wild West' and a guide to 'Parallel Wrexhams' worldwide. If you thought you knew Wrexham, this book will make you think again.

Seren

 

Adennill TirEverything Must Change
(Seren, 2007), £7.99.

A moving and thoughtful first novel about passionately held, radical beliefs and their place in the modern world. It intercuts the story of 20th century French philosopher and activist, Simone Weil, with that of 21st century campaigner Meinwen Jones, adrift in post-devolution Wales.

‘Philosophically weighty… it reminds me of Jean-Paul Sartre's 1940s trilogy, Les Chemins de la Liberté [Paths of Liberty]. Here… is set out the Welsh post-nationalistic choice. This is the first post-national novel. - Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas.

‘… a compelling glimpse of a compelling personality [Simone Weil]. The book is pertinent, provocative and thoroughly entertaining. Anybody with an interest in the way culture and identity inform the lives we make could read the book - and find in it rich nourishment. - Owen Martell.

Seren

 

Adennill TirGwyl y Blaidd / The Festival of the Wolf
(Parthian/Hafan, 2006), £6.99. Eds. Tom Cheesman, Grahame Davies, Sylvie Hoffman
.

Poetry, prose, drama and testimony by refugees and asylum seekers, side by side with other writers in Wales, past and present, including: Mahmood Ahmadifard, Alexander Cordell, Kate Bosse-Griffiths, Michael Mokako, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Josef Herman and Soleiman Adel Guemar. The volume is presented in parallel Welsh and English text. All proceeds go to refugee charities.

Parthian
Hafan

 

Adennill TirAchos ('Cause')
(Barddas, 2005), £6.95

In his first volume, Adennill Tir, Grahame Davies expressed the experience of the disadvantaged communities of the south Wales Valleys with anger and passion. In his second, Cadwyni Rhyddid, which won the Book of the Year prize, he exposed the irony and double standards of post-devolution Wales with scathing wit. Now, in his third volume, he takes an independent view of contemporary Wales, and has plenty of hard questions as he asks, 'How's the Cause?'

Barddas
Gwales


Adennill TirThe Big Book of Cardiff, eds Peter Finch & Grahame Davies
(Seren, 2005), £9.99

The Big Book of Cardiff, edited by Peter Finch and Grahame Davies, is a new anthology of writing about the city of Cardiff which is celebrating 100 years as a city, and 50 years as the Welsh capital. It contains revealing and entertaining contributions by Niall Griffiths, Dannie Abse, John Williams, James Hawes, Trezza Azzopardi, Sean Burke, Duncan Bush, Gillian Clarke, Anna Davis, Nia Williams, Lloyd Robson, and Emyr Humphreys as well as translated extracts from many Welsh-language writers such as Ifor ap Glyn, Elinor Wyn Reynolds and Owen Martell. Further details can be found on Peter Finch's website below.

Peter Finch
Seren
Gwales
Amazon


Adennill TirRhaid i Bopeth Newid ('Everything Must Change')
(Gomer, 2004), £7.99

Book of the Year Long List, 2005.

This is the first novel by the satirical poet who came to prominence with his volume Cadwyni Rhyddid, which won the Book of the Year Prize in 2002, and which challenged the comfortable life of metropolitan media people with a combination of the satirical and the scathing. In his first novel, Rhaid i Bopeth Newid, (Everything Must Change) published by Gomer, the canvas has broadened as he examines the fate of the radical conscience in post-devolution Wales. This time, there are hard questions not just for the enemies of the Welsh language, but for its friends, and not just for politicians, but for campaigners too. The novel intercuts the story of language campaigner Meinwen Jones with that of the French philosopher and radical activist, Simone Weil. According to the prizewinning novelist Owen Martell, Rhaid i Bopeth Newid is "essential reading material for anyone who wants to get under the skin of the Welsh language debate – from both sides."
Television item.
Gomer
Gwales
Amazon

Adennill TirNel país de la borrina. Antoloxía bilingüe asturiano/galés ('Country of the Mists. A bilingual Asturian/Welsh anthology')
(Biblioteca Atlántica, 2004).

A collection of contemporary Welsh-language poetry edited and with an introduction by Grahame Davies, in parallel text with translations into the Asturian language by Xavier Frías Conde. This 149-page volume contains the work of the following poets: Emyr Lewis, Ifor ap Glyn, Elin ap Hywel, Gerwyn Wiliams, Grahame Davies, Huw Meirion Edwards, Elin Llwyd Morgan, Nici Beech, Mererid Puw Davies and Elinor Wyn Reynolds. It provides the opportunity to open up Welsh-language poetry to a new audience. It was produced with the assistance of the culture department of the Asturian government and with the financial help of Welsh Literature Abroad.
VTP Editorial
Welsh Literature Abroad
Amazon

.

No país de la brétema. Antoloxía de poesía galesa contemporanéa ('Country of the Mists. A bilingual Galician/Welsh anthology')
(Biblioteca Atlántica, 2004).

A collection of contemporary poetry in Welsh edited and with an introduction by Grahame Davies, in parallel text with translations into the Galician language by Xavier Frías Conde. Contents are as per the Asturian anthology above. Reviews can be found here
and here
VTP Editorial
Galician translations
Welsh Literature Abroad

Cadwyni RhyddidCadwyni Rhyddid: (“Chains of Freedom”)
(Barddas, 2001), £5.50.

Winner of Wales Arts Council Book of the Year Prize, 2002

In his first volume, Adennill Tir (1997), which won the Harri Webb Memorial Prize, Grahame Davies gave his hard-hitting view of the Valleys during the tough years of the nineties. Here, in this biting new volume, he has turned his attention to the city of Cardiff, which is now enjoying the advantages of devolution. It exposes the experience of Welsh-speaking Cardiff from within. Here are the “leather-trousered tribes” who spend more on a haircut than some of their fellow Welsh people earn in a week; here are the “class of the sunglasses” who think Klein is the only Calvin and that oppression is having a cleaning lady who can’t speak Welsh. In this provocative and scathing volume, which includes the sequence “Rhyddid” (“Freedom”) which came second for the National Eisteddfod Crown in 1998, the tensions and irony of life in New Wales are exposed, showing that even freedom has its chains.

First and second editions now both out of print.
Gwales
Amazon


FfiniauFfiniau/Borders

(Gomer, 2002) £7.95
Ffiniau/Borders represents an exciting creative collaboration between two contrasting poets: Elin ap Hywel (b. 1962) being mythological and feminine and Grahame Davies (b. 1964) being urban and masculine....Elin ap Hywel achieved national recognition when, as a student, she won the 1980 Urdd Literary Medal for a volume combining poetry and prose entitled Cyfaddawdu. Two years later Pethau Brau (1982) appeared in the Lolfa’s Unofficial Poets series (Cyfres Beirdd Answyddogol y Lolfa). Since then, she has been far too reticent as a poet. Even though Grahame Davies’s creative talents came to light comparatively late, he quickly established himself: Adennill Tir was published in 1997 followed by his highly successful Cadwyni Rhyddid (2001) which earned him the Welsh Arts Council Book of the Year award. Ffiniau/Borders is a bilingual volume of parallel texts, the third in the valuable Trosiadau/Translations series by Gomer Press, following the publication of Triptych by R. Gerallt Jones and Hen Dy Ffarm/The Old Farmhouse by D. J. Williams in 2001.

Now out of print.

Gomer
Gwales
Amazon


The Chosen People: Wales and the JewsThe Chosen People: Wales and the Jews
(Seren, 2002) £9.95.

Two small peoples. One intriguing story. Drawing its sources from poetry, drama, novels, short stories, memoirs and a screenplay, The Chosen People: Wales and the Jews reveals the variety of Welsh responses to the Jewish people from the sixth century through to the present day, from conversionism to comradeship, and from scepticism to solidarity. The book includes items from writers as diverse as Dannie Abse, Bernice Rubens, Leslie Thomas, Aneurin Bevan, Richard Burton, Henry Vaughan, W.G. Sebald, David Lloyd George, George Eliot and T.E. Lawrence.
Seren
Gwales
Amazon


OxygenOxygen:
(Seren, 2000), £9.95.

Celebrating the vitality of contemporary poetry from Wales, Oxygen provides an essential overview of recently established and newly-emerging talent. It is a heady and eclectic mix of poems in both languages from thirty of Wales’s younger generation of poets, with translations accompanying the Welsh. Urban and rural, ironic and passionate, lyrical and lively, Oxygen reaffirms the central place of poetry in one of Europe’s oldest cultures. Edited jointly with Amy Wack.
Seren
Gwales
Amazon


Sefyll yn y BlwchSefyll yn y Bwlch (“Standing in the Gap”)
(University of Wales Press, 1999).

Fighting for Wales wasn’t the main motive for two of the biggest heroes of the national movement of the twentieth century, but rather, using Wales as a battleground in a larger war against the modern world. That is the argument of this perceptive volume. To many, Saunders Lewis and R.S. Thomas are patriotic icons, but, according to Grahame Davies, their main motivation was not so much to defend Wales against the oppression of Englishness but preserving the spirit against the modern world and its overwhelming materialism. In this pioneering book, we get the chance to reassess the significance of R.S.Thomas and Saunders Lewis through comparing them with T.S.Eliot and Simone Weil, and seeing all four as representatives of a widespread anti-modern movement. The two Welshmen had an ambiguous relationship with Wales, and looking at them in the company of an English American and a Jewish Frenchwoman extends their significance beyond the customary restrictions of the nationalist interpretation of their work.
University of Wales Press
Gwales
Amazon


Adennill TirAdennill Tir (“Reclaiming Land”)
(Barddas, 1997), £4.95.

The majority of the poems in this volume arose from the author’s experience of living and working in the contemporary south Wales Valleys. It gives an uncompromising view of the Valleys from the point of view of a new generation for whom the realities of the heavy industries and the close communities are only a folk-memory. It gives a voice to the experience of the Valleys today, an experience of new types of hardship, but also an experience of hope. Alternately cynical and compassionate, the poems often combine satire and solidarity, condemnation and compassion.
Now out of print.

Gwales
Amazon

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