The Writers of Wales Database
Poet, novelist, critic, translator. Native of Crickhowell, Powys. Richard studied anthropology at the London School of Economics, where he became interested in the threatened cultures, languages and music of peripheral communities. Desiring to become a poet, he made several appearances at punk gigs in the late 1970s, including a memorable support act to The Cure. Richard then spent some time in London, working as a milkman and sawyer. After becoming injured in an industrial accident, he moved to Crete and bought a fishing boat. For the next nine years he travelled around the Mediterranean but after a long and reflective walk across northern Spain, Richard decided to return to Wales in 1990. He settled in Cardiff, where he married and had two daughters. In 1993 he began a study of illness, language and the body, an interest which he pursued professionally until 2003.
As well as a number of volumes of poetry, Richard has also published poetry in translation from Spanish, Greek and Lithuanian, has read his work at many venues internationally, and has collaborated extensively with visual artists in Britain, Spain and France. He is a regular columnist for Poetry Wales, and has discussed his work on Television and radio. His novel, The Colour of a Dog Running Away (Parthian, 2005) is set in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona. His latest novel Deep Hanging Out (Snowbooks, 2007) was published in 2007. Richard was formerly Director of Creative Writing Studies at Cardiff University.
With respect to The Vagabond's Breakfast (Alcemi, 2011)
"…Richard Gwyn's memoir...takes us on a terrifying, funny and erudite journey...One hell of a good read..."
"...Takes us through a Madame Tussauds thronged with addicts, misfits, lovers, all extreme people who may (or may not) have been part [of Gwyn's] past..."
Lloyd Jones, New Welsh Review
Defying Gravity (Red Sharks Press, 1992)
One Night in Icarus Street (Red Sharks Press, 1995)
Stone Dog, Flower Red: Gos de Pedra, Flor Vermella (Cyhoeddiadau Cranc, 1995)
Walking on Bones (Parthian, 2000)
Iwan Bala & Lluís Peñaranda (Cyhoeddiadau Cranc, 2001)
Communicating Health and Illness (Sage Publishing, 2001)
Being in Water (Parthian, 2001)
Discourse, the Body, and Identity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002)
The Colour of a Dog Running Away (Parthian, 2005)
Deep Hanging Out (Snowbooks, 2007)
Sad Giraffe Cafe (Arc Publications, 2010)
The Vagabond's Breakfast (Alcemi, 2011)
The Pterodactyl’s Wing: Welsh World Poetry (editor) (Parthian, 2003)
Deep Hanging Out (Snowbooks, 2007)
It is 1981 and while Britain enjoys the full impact of Thatcherism, Cosmo Flute, a brilliant and dissolute young painter, and his friend Ruben Fortuna, a street-wise Argentinian photographer, flee to the Greek island of Crete to indulge in alternating spells of painting, drinking, and some really Deep Hanging Out. Much of their leisure time is spent in neighbourhood taverna The Unspeakable, where waiter Igbar Zoff serves squid, pig’s testicles and dodgy wine to the local loafers, and sows confusion in the minds of unsuspecting customers with his improbable tales.
Events turn serious when Cosmo and Ruben accidentally witness secret US military activity on the island and are drawn into a shadowy world of espionage and counter-espionage. When Cosmo becomes involved with a young woman who carries an explosive secret, the fallout will propel Cosmo and Ruben through the death throes of the Cold War, and Crete’s bloody history of sacrifice and betrayal, to a stunning climax amid the running of the bulls in Pamplona.
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