March 06, 2007

Ruth McElroy on Gwyneth Lewis

In a recent essay on ‘Contemporary Anglo-Welsh Poetry’, Sam Adams highlighted the cosmopolitan nature of poets whose careers began in and after the 1970s. Having won the Literature Medal in the Urdd Eisteddfod in 1977 and 1978, Lewis is a good example of such a trend. Educated in a Welsh-medium secondary school – a definitive stage in Welsh education policy, of course – and at Cambridge and Oxford, Lewis has lived and travelled in the USA and Australia as well as Europe. She is thus representative of a contemporary generation of women and men whose sense of Welshness emerges from a privileged, educated access to Welsh culture and history, which combines with an intimate knowledge of the limitations and strictures which that can bring, as well as the mundane experience of being Welsh in different parts of the world.

Ruth McElroy. ‘The Rhyming Detective’. Planet: the New Internationalist. 141. 21-26.

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