Professor Gerwyn Wiliams was brought up in Cheshire, Anglesey, Montgomeryshire and Cardiganshire. He attended Llangefni Secondary School and Welshpool High School before studying for a degree in Welsh at University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He went on to gain a doctorate under the supervision of Professor John Rowlands. Following a brief stint as Deputy Editor of the Welsh arts and current affairs magazine, Barn, he was appointed to a lectureship in the Department of Welsh at Bangor University in 1989. He served as Deputy Director of the School for Welsh Medium Studies (1996-98), Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (2000-02) and Deputy Head of the College of Arts and Humanities (2005-06). He was awarded a Personal Chair in November 2005.
His research into Welsh literature relating to the First World War is contained within two major publications: Y Rhwyg (‘The Rupture’) (1993) which considers the response of Welsh poets to the conflict and Tir Neb (‘No-man’s Land’) (1996) which considers prose accounts of the war. Tir Neb was named Book of the Year by the Arts Council of Wales in 1997 and was awarded the Ellis Griffith Memorial Prize and the Mrs L.W. Davies Award by the University of Wales Board of Celtic Studies in 1998. He has developed his research interest in the relationship between literature and war into an academic specialism: in 2005 he published Tir Newydd (‘New Territory’), a critical study of Welsh literature and the Second World War, and in 2006 he published an essay entitled ‘Cofio Rhyfel Anghofiedig’ (‘Commemorating a Forgotten War’) which sought to analyse and contextualise the responses to the 1982 Falklands/Malvinas conflict.
He made a name for himself as a poet at an early age: Tynnu Gwaed (‘Drawing blood’) (1983) and Colli Cyswllt (‘Losing contact’) (1984) were both awarded the Urdd National Eisteddfod Literary Medal and he has since published a further three collections of poems namely Rhwng y Cŵn a’r Brain (‘Going to rack and ruin’) 1988), Cydio’n Dynn (‘Holding on tight’) (1997) a Tafarn Tawelwch (‘Tavern of Tranquillity’) (2003). In the series of poems ‘Dolenni’ (‘Bonds’) for which he was awarded the National Eisteddfod Crown in 1994, he creatively exploits his interest in literature and war in a number of poems addressing the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the conflict in Bosnia and Serbia.In 2012 his volume Rhwng Gwibdaith a Coldplay (2011)was shortlisted for the Welsh Book of the Year award.
Position: Professor and Head of School
Phone: +44 (0) 1248 38 2241
Location: School of Welsh, Room 1, Professor’s Corridor
From 1993 until 1999 he co-edited Taliesin, the journal of the Welsh Academy, firstly with Professor John Rowlands and later with Dr Jerry Hunter, and between 2005 and 2011 he edited Ysgrifau Beirniadol (‘Critical Essays’) (for a period with Dr William R. Lewis as co-editor). He has acted as adjudicator in the Chair, Crown and Literary Medal competitions at the Urdd National Eisteddfod on a number of occasions. In the 1999 National Eisteddfod he was invited to adjudicate in the Prose Medal competition and in the 2003 and 2007 National Eisteddfodau adjudicated in the Crown competition.
He was invited to present the 2007 G.J Williams Memorial Lecture by the School of Welsh at Cardiff University. His study of the war poems written by Alun Llywelyn-Williams was published in 2007 in The Oxford Handbook of British and Irish War Poetry edited by Professor Tim Kendall. In November 2006, he organised a conference entitled Mwy na Rhywbeth i’w Wneud? Barddoni mewn Canrif Newydd (‘More than just something to do? Writing poetry in a new century’): among those taking part were Dr Gwyneth Lewis, first National Poet of Wales, and Emeritus Professor of Welsh, Gwyn Thomas, then National Poet of Wales. In 2013 he was invited to give the inaugural Islwyn Ffowc Elis Memorial Lecture at the first 'Gŵyl Golwg' in Lampeter.
Llên Gyfoes (‘Contemporary literature’) (Level 1): CXC1016
Llên a Llun (‘Page and screen’) (Level 1: Second Language Welsh): CXC1008
Gweithdy Creadigol (‘Creative workshop’) (Level 1): CXC1018
Gweithdy Barddoniaeth (‘Poetry workshop’) (Level 2 and 3): CXC2118 / CXC3018
Barddoniaeth Fodern (‘Modern poetry’) (Level 2 and 3): CXC2107 / CXC3007
Llenyddiaeth y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf (‘First World War literature’) (Level 2 and 3):
CXC2113 / CXC3013
Traethawd Estynedig (‘Dissertation’) (Level 3): CXC3009
Literature and war; modern Welsh fiction, particularly the novel; contemporary Welsh poetry; creative writing.