Writing on the Edge

Interviews with Writers and Editors of Wales


Complex and controversial issues have accompanied the development of English-language literature in Wales, generating a continuing debate over the nature of Welsh writing in English. The main issues include the claim of some Welsh-language writers to represent the only authentic literature of Wales, the question of whether or not an extended literary tradition in English has existed in Wales, the absence (until fairly recently) of a publishing apparatus for English-language writers, the rise of a Welsh nationalism committed to preserving the Welsh language, and the question of whether English-language literature in Wales can be distinguished from English literature proper. The primary impulse for the interviews with the thirteen writers and editors in Writing on the Edge was to explore these and other issues relating to the literary and cultural identity in Wales in the last decade. The book's title reflects these ongoing debates about the nature and direction of contemporary Welsh literature in English, which is often perceived as peripheral both to Welsh-speaking Wales and to the literary culture of England. As one of the contributors to the volume says This is what it is to be Welsh ... It's an edge. There's no moment of life in Wales that hasn't got that edge, unless you decide you're not Welsh.

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An Introduction. Interviews. Ned Thomas. Raymond Garlick. Meic Stephens. Jeremy Hooker (I). Jeremy Hooker (II). Robert Minhinnick. Cary Archard. Dyfed Elis Gruffydd. Sally Roberts Jones. John Barnie (I). John Barnie (II). Tony Curtis. Peter Finch. Mike Jenkins. Gillian Clarke. Notable English-language Anthologies and Literary Magazines. Notes on Contributors.