The Writers of Wales Database


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Phil CarradicePoet, short–story writer, novelist, historian and editor. Born at Pembroke Dock, educated at Cardiff College of Education and University College, Cardiff. Phil has been a teacher, social worker and head teacher of Headlands Special School in Penarth. His work has been featured in a wide range of magazines including Poetry Wales, The Times Educational Supplement, Anglo-Welsh Review and the New Welsh Review. He was formally the editor of The South Wales Golfer, the leading golf magazine in Wales, and is now one of the editorial team that edits Roundyhouse poetry magazine. 

A regular broadcaster on TV/Radio, he has completed numerous residencies (for schools, writers’ groups and Arts Associations). Phil is presenter of The Past Master, the BBC Radio Wales history programme - now in its eighth season, and he also broadcasts for Radio Four on a regular basis. Phil is a Board Member of Literature Wales. Phil’s recent publications include People’s Poetry of World War Two (Cecil Woolf Publications of London), a companion volume to his People’s Poetry of the Great War (Cecil Woolf Publishing, 2007). His new novel, The Black Chair - about the poet Hedd Wyn - was published by Gomer/Pont at the end of the January 2009. Written in English, it is probably the first significant piece of writing (albeit fiction) about Hedd Wyn in English. The title was short-listed for the 2010 Tir na n-Og English Award.

Phil is a Fellow of The Welsh Academy.

Selected Publications:
Failures of System (Excello & Bollard, 1976)
Fading Islands (Excello & Bollard, 1977)
Sit Here (Excello & Bollard, 1977)
Enigma (Kawabata Press, 1980)
Night Walking (Sol Publications, 1981) 
How Horatio Was Felled on the Bridge and Other Poems (Meadow, 1984) 
Hour of the Wolf and Other Short Stories (SCA, 1985) 
Tomorrow Has Been Cancelled
(Meadow, 1985)
Night-time Nasties (Meadow, 1987)
Pembroke Dock in Old Picture Postcards: v. 1 (Europese Bibliotheek B.V., Uitgeverij Boekhandel A, 1987)
Tales of Old P. D.: Fictionalized History of Pembroke Dock (Pembroke Town Council, 1990)  
Book of Pembroke Dock (Barracuda Books, 1991)
Headlands School In Camera (In Camera Series) (Quotes, 1991)
Beside the Seaside: South Wales in Camera (In Camera Series) (with George Best) (Quotes, 1992)
The Last Invasion: The story of the French landing in Wales (Village Publishing, 1992)
The End of Break (Meadows Press, 1992)
Pembroke Dock in Old Picture Postcards: v. 2 (Europese Bibliotheek B.V., Uitgeverij Boekhandel A, 1992)
Travelling Hopefully (Meadow, 1992) 
Pembroke for King and Parliament (Pembroke Town Council, 1993)
Welsh Shipwrecks In Camera (In Camera Series) (Quotes, 1993)

Borderlines (Lucky Duck, 1994)
In the Teeth of the Dragon (Quotes, 1994)
Penarth Pier 1894-1994 (Town Book Series) (Quotes, 1994)
The Write Way: Creativity and Personal Development (Lucky Duck, 1996)
Welsh Islands (Wish You Were Here) (Quotes, 1997)
Cautionary Tale (And Other Golf Poems) (Meadow Press, 1998)
Shooting the Sacred Cows (The Meadow Press, 1998)
The Bosun’s Secret (Pont Books, 2000)
The Pirates of Thorne Island (Pont, 2001)
Ghostly Riders (Pont, 2002)
Exploring the Pembrokeshire Coast (Gwasg Gomer, 2002)
Hannah Goes to War (Pont, 2005)
Life Choices: Teaching Adolescents to Make Positive Decisions About Their Own Lives (Lucky Duck, 2005)
Coming Home: Wales after the War (Gwasg Gomer, 2005)
Wales at War (Gwasg Gomer, 2005)
A Town Built to Build Ships (Accent, 2006)
Black Bart’s Treasure (Pont, 2007)
Highlights of Welsh History (Inside Out) (Gomer, 2007)
A Town in Conflict: Penarth the Story: Volume 2 (Penarth Press, 2007)
People’s Poetry of the Great War (Cecil Woolf Publishing, 2007)
People’s Poetry of World War Two (Cecil Woolf Publications, 2008)
The Black Chair (Pont, 2009)
Pembroke Dock Through Time (Stroud, 2009)
Nautical Training Ships (Amberley, 2009)
Writers of Wales: Herbert Williams (University of Wales Press, 2010)

The Great War: An Illustrated History (Amberley, 2010)
Saving SS Shannon (Pont, 2011)
Snapshots of Welsh History - without the Boring Bits (Accent Press, 2011)
A Pembrokshire Childhood in the 1950s (Amberley, 2012)

Contributed to:
The Unsaid Goodnight: A Poetry Anthology for Barnardo’s (editor) (Stride, 1989)
Welsh Sailors of the Second World War (co-writer) (Glyndwr Publishing, 2007)
Golf in Wales: A Pictorial History (co-writer) (Amberley, 2010)

The Bosun’s Secret (Pont Books, 2000)

The Bosun’s SecretA short novel relating the story of nine months in the life of an eleven year old orphan boy caught begging on Newport streets in 1870, and sent to receive instructions in a naval school from a kind schoolteacher and a cruel boatswain. Nat Thomas, a young orphan boy, is sent to the Industrial School Ship ‘Havannah’ in Cardiff . The conditions on the ship are brutal, most of the brutality being carried out by Bosun Jayne, who singles Nat out and subjects him to a reign of terror. For 9-12 year-old readers.

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

Wales at War (Gwasg Gomer, 2005)

Wales at WarPeople living in Wales during the Second World War have a fascinating tale to tell and in Wales at War. Phil Carradice interviews people from all walks of life about their experiences. School children, evacuees, Home Guard, Land Army Girls, factory workers, Bevin Boys, soldiers, conscientious objectors and prisoners of war are all featured. The book accompanies the BBC Radio Wales series of the same name.

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


The Black Chair (Pont, 2009)

Danny raised his arm to show the wound stripes on his sleeve. 'German machine gun at Passchendaele. Three bullets in the thigh and groin.' With injuries serious enough to get him sent home to Wales - and his beloved Angharad - Danny's recovery cannot really begin until he has fulfilled a promise to a friend. For that he must travel north to the National Eisteddfod at Birkenhead, where the appearance of a black-draped Bardic Chair chills the audience…This is Phil Carradice's tribute to Ellis Evans, better known by his bardic name, Hedd Wyn, and to all those young men who lost their lives in the First World War. A work of fiction, The Black Chair draws on careful research for its military authenticity and its determination to convey the suffering and courage of a lost generation.

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


A Pembrokshire Childhood in the 1950s (Amberley, 2012)

As the author says in this hugely entertaining and evocative book 'the memories of childhood have no order'. What they do have, however, is a resonance and an ability to quicken the heart beat and transport you back to a time when all the world was young and free and intriguing. Phil Carradice's account of growing up in Pembrokeshire in the years after the Second War is one of adventure and discovery - all while bordered by a warm and loving family that provide the security needed to grow and test the limits imposed by society. In many respects the childhood and adolescence described here are no different from many others - look at them in another way and they are a unique and fascinating period, caught in a time long gone and a way of life that is now as distant as the moon. Pembroke Dock was a wonderful combination of rural and urban living. It offered an amazing range of experiences. Phil Carradice grabbed them with both hands. And we are lucky that he has the words and the images to describe what he experienced, making this book an invaluable piece of social history.