The Writers of Wales Database
58 Hamilton St, Cardiff, CF11 9BQ
Email: To contact Grahame by email, please visit his website
Audiovisual footage available here
Grahame Davies is a poet, novelist, editor and literary critic, who has won numerous prizes, including the Wales Book of the Year Award. He is the author of twelve books in Welsh and English, including The Chosen People (Seren, 2002), a study of the relationship of the Welsh and Jewish peoples, a novel, Everything Must Change (Seren, 2007), about the French philosopher Simone Weil, and the popular work of psychogeography, Real Wrexham (Seren, 2007).
A native of Wrexham, now based in Cardiff, he has a degree in English from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, and a PhD from Cardiff University, where he is 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 of Goodenough College, London. He travels internationally as a reader and lecturer. His poetry has been translated into many languages.
Grahame Davies was born in 1964 and brought up in the former coal mining village of Coedpoeth near Wrexham in north east Wales. After gaining a degree in English Literature at CCAT (now Anglia Ruskin University) Cambridge, he qualified as a journalist with the Thomson Organisation at Newcastle-upon-Tyne and since 1986 has worked in the media in South Wales, winning a number of Welsh and UK industry awards.
In 1997, 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, identified as part of an anti-modern trend in the 20th Century. This same year, his first volume of poetry, Adennill Tir, (Barddas, 1997) a book arising from the 10 years he spent in Merthyr Tydfil in the south Wales Valleys, won the Harri Webb Memorial Prize.
In 1998, he was second to Emyr Lewis in the competition for the National Eisteddfod Crown. In 1999, 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).
In 2000, he co-edited Oxygen (Seren, 2000), a bilingual anthology of Welsh poets aged under 45. In 2001, 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.
In 2002, Seren published his literary anthology, The Chosen People, which details the relationship of the Welsh and the Jewish people as reflected in literature. Also in 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. In 2002 Ffiniau/Borders appeared from Gomer, 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, and was described by Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas in Taliesinas 'the first post-national novel.' 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). In 2005, his selection of Welsh poetry in Galician translation appeared under the title of No País de la Brétema from VTP Editorial.
In 2005, 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). In 2006, 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.
In 2007, Seren published Everything Must Change, an English-language novel based on the successful 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. His extensive study of the relationship between the Welsh people and Islam as reflected in literature will appear from Seren in 2011. His first full-length book of poetry in English, The Complete Index of Welsh Emotion, will appear from Seren in 2012.
His work has been translated into several 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, Yearbook of Welsh Writing in English, Absinthe, and Kalliope (Germany, 2009) has been widely anthologised and is also on the education syllabus in Wales. He is a regular columnist with Barddas and 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.
Adennill Tir (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas, 1997)
Meddwl a’r Dychymyg Cymreig, Y: Sefyll yn y Bwlch: Cymru a’r Mudiad Gwrth-Fodern - Astudiaeth o Waith T.S. Eliot, Simone Weil, Saunders Lewis ac R.S. Thomas (University of Wales Press, 1999)
Cadwyni Rhiddid (Cyoeddiadau Barddas, 2002)
Rhaid i Bopeth Newid (Gwasg Gomer, 2004)
Achos (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas, 2005)
Everything Must Change (Seren, 2007)
Real Wrexham (Seren, 2007)
The Dragon and the Crescent: Nine Centuries of Contact with Islam (Seren, 2011)
The Complete Index of Welsh Emotion (Seren, 2012)
Lightening Beneath The Sea (Seren, 2012)
Oxygen - Beirdd Newydd o Gymru / New Poets from Wales (editor with Amy Whack) (Seren, 2000)
Trosiadau / Translations: Ffiniau / Borders (with Elin ap Hywel) (Gwasg Gomer, 2002)
The Chosen People- Wales and the Jews (editor) (Seren, 2002)
The Big Book of Cardiff (edited with Peter Finch) (Seren, 2005)
Gwyl Y Blaidd: The Festival of the Wolf (co-editor) (Parthian, 2006)
Poems of Love and Longing (contributor) (Pont, 2008)
Alchemy of Water/Alcemi Dŵr (co-writer) (Gomer, 2011)
The portrait of Grahame featured here is by painter Lorraine Bewsey. It forms part of a twenty-piece collection entitled Portraits of Welsh Writers. Lorraine can be contacted at email@example.com