The Writers of Wales Database


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Duncan BushPoet, novelist, dramatist, translator, documentary writer. He was born in Cardiff and educated there, followed by Warwick University, Duke University (USA) and Wadham College, Oxford. His collections Aquarium and Salt were awarded the Welsh Arts Council Prize for Poetry in 1984 and 1986 respectively (both recently republished in a single volume The Hook). His collection Masks won the 1995 Arts Council of Wales Book of the Year Award. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in numerous magazines and major anthologies, including the Penguin Book of Welsh Short Stories, The New Poetry and The Firebox

Duncan has published two novels. He has also adapted his work for television and radio and done commissioned work for film. Keenly interested in film, he wrote and presented the BBC Wales TV documentary 'Voices in the Dark: A Hundred Years of Cinema in Wales'. He has in addition published numerous translations from French and Italian poetry. Duncan recently retired from university teaching to concentrate on writing full time. He is a Fellow of Academi.

With respect to Glass Shot (Secker and Warburg and Mandarin, 1991)

“…Tense, deft, considered, important and extremely frightening…”
Hilary Mantel

“…The most relentlessly gripping and original crime novel so far this year…”
New Statesman

“…A rumbustiously enjoyable modern thriller…”

Selected Publications:
Three Young Anglo-Welsh Poets: Duncan Bush, Tony Curtis, Nigel Jenkins (Welsh Arts Council, 1974)
Nostos (Swansea Poetry Workshop, 1980)
Aquarium (Poetry Wales Press, 1983)
Salt: Poems (Poetry Wales, 1985)
Black Faces, Red Mouths: Poems on the Mining Communities and 1984-5 Strike (Bedrock Press, 1985)
The Genre of Silence (Seren, 1988)
Glass Shot (Secker and Warburg and Mandarin, 1991)
Masks (Seren, 1994)
Pneumoconiosis (Arts Council of Wales, 1995)  
The Hook (Seren, 1997)
Midway (Seren 1998)
Now All the Rage (Colophon Books, 2008)
The Flying Trapeze (Seren, 2012)

Now All the Rage (Colophon Books, 2008)

Now All The RageWhat does it take to appear on Desert Island Discs? (Why aren’t you ever invited?)
Why haven’t you been interviewed by Jeremy Paxman?
What would your life be like if you became a celebrity?

It was Andy Warhol who predicted that one day everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes. . .
But was he right?
And would it be enough?
For Guy Hughes only world-wide acclaim could begin to equal the recognition he craves and deserves. Painter, film-maker, teacher, writer, critic: a Renaissance man for the Twenty-first Century, he’s failing at almost everything he’s tried, and suddenly his marriage is failing too. He’s obsessed with one of his female students, and is spending too much time watching the girl dancers on MTV. . .

Now All the Rage is a compelling and provocative new novel about fame and pornography, anger and art, lust and obscurity (or any combination of these. . .)
“We have fantasy not to die of life. . .” – Nietsche (almost).

To purchase this title from, please click on its front cover


The Flying Trapeze (Seren, 2012)

One of the most significant voices of his generation from Wales, a new book by Duncan Bush is an eagerly awaited event. The Flying Trapeze, his sixth poetry collection and the first to appear after his notable ‘Midway’, is characteristically unsentimental, tough-minded, and fiercely lyrical. Many poems are inspired by places he has lived in or travelled to including: Australia, Greece, Germany, France, Luxembourg and the United States. In ‘Avedon’s Drifters’ he chronicles marginal lives as portrayed in masterly black & white photographs: vagrants, gypsies, minor criminals, the burnt-out, the bereft. In contrast there are poems like ‘A Blood Rose’ steeped in the full-blooded colours of the tango, and ‘Golden Girl’ in praise of superlative athletes. There is also a touch of bitter political satire in pieces like ‘Mitterand’s Last Supper’, ‘A Season in Sarajevo’ and ‘Lahore’. There are some fine, unexpected nature poems, which pinpoint the tension in his poetry between a sensual rapture and a knowing cynicism. The Flying Trapeze is an excellent new collection, never less than subtle, smart and true.

To purchase this title from Seren, please click on its front cover