Welsh Identity cover I encouraged a group of people to write and publish their own work with this book. Other eminent authors were also invited to contribute their views on the subject.  The book was forwarded by some of Wales’ foremost  people on Welsh affairs to whom I was once privileged and honoured to be a student of, on one of the courses that they had designed: Wales – A Study of Cultural and National Identity

It was their influence and the enthusiasm of the Rhiwfawr Writers’ Group that was mainly responsible for my decision to publish the bilingual book Hunaniaeth Gymreig/Welsh Identity.

Here are a few responses to the book:

J. Hart from Gloucester wrote:

I wish to say how much I enjoyed the stories of your writing group. They were a breath of fresh air after reading The Book of Modern British Short Stories.

Dr W.T.R. Pryce of Cardiff  wrote:

Of the many hundreds of adult students (thousands if we count my TV, radio programmes and my written texts) that I taught in my 30 years as a member of the academic staff of the Open University, apart from my numerous research students, none has ever published anything, that I am aware of, based or derived from their studies with us at the OU.  So, I am particularly appreciative of what you have achieved. 

A review of the book by the Llais (The Swansea Valley Welsh Newspaper):

Cyfrol i'w chadw ar y bwrdd yn ymyl y gwely yw hon. Diau y gwna i bob un a'i darlleno holi pa ddylanwadau sydd wedi bod ar waith yn nyfnder ein bod ac a sicrhaodd na fedrwn ddianc rhag ein hunaniaeth Gymreig.

Contents of the Book

Yr Awduron a’u Gwaith
The Authors and their Works
Identity (Roger Whatcott)
Dylan Thomas & Gwynfor Evans (Cefnfab)
The Welsh Gentry (1750 -1850) (Brian Davies, Ystradgynlais)
Llwynrhydowen (Cefnfab)
The Great Escape (Marjorie Showalla)
Warmth (Jean E. Williams)
A  Shot in the Dark (Leon)
Picking up the Pieces  (Bryan Davies, Ferndale)
Welsh Identity without Illusion (Brian Davies, Pontypridd)
Home is Where the Heart is (Phyllis Wagstaff)
An Epynt Shepherd (Annette Thomas)
In my Soul I am Welsh (Maggie Wagstaff)
Dylanwad Mewnlifiad ar Bentrefi Cymru (Maggie Wagstaff)
Urdd Gobaith Cymru (Cefnfab)
Y Golygydd yng Nghwmni Clive Rowlands
Rhwydi (Iwan Bryn Williams)
(Karen Owen)
Murddun (J. Beynon Phillips)
Y Gymraes Newydd (J. Beynon Phillips)
Amgueddfa Werin Cymru (Cefnfab)
Very Welsh (Euros Jones Evans)
Beth yw’r Ots (Y Prifardd Dylan Iorwerth)

The Authors and their Works

The first mentioned authors comprise the Rhiwfawr Writers’ Group.  Leon is a former miner and has written a story about an incident at a colliery . . . and, as to be expected, it is black humour.  Roger Whatcott has written about what ‘Welsh identity’ means to him, through his experience of moving from Portsmouth to Wales.  Phyllis Wagstaff, our octogenarian writer, recalls her school days in Derbyshire and how they eventually proved to be beneficial in adapting to a Welsh way of life.  Maggie Wagstaff compares her earlier life in Chesterfield with the one that she enjoys now in Wales. Her first story is in English whilst she has written the second one entirely in Welsh. Jean E. Williams writes about the warmth of the Welsh people that were so supportive to her during a domestic crisis. Marjorie Showalla relates her experience as a matron in the Middle East.  She explains how she was continually caught up in the conflict that occurred there from the 1960s onwards and how her Welsh feelings caused a conflict within herself during this particular time.  Preceding this story is an article written by Cefnfab about events that happened in Cardiganshire during the Nineteenth Century, which are similar to Marjorie’s feelings whilst she was escaping from Aden. Cefnfab has also contributed poetry and articles in both English and Welsh about the Saint Fagan Folk Museum, Urdd Gobaith Cymru and Dylan Thomas’ involvement with Gwynfor Evans.

The authors who have been invited to contribute to the book include J. Beynon Phillips, a highly successful poet, who writes about the demise of the Welsh language. Iwan Bryn Williams is another brilliant poet who relates what he remembers of the late Emrys Davies, who played cricket for Glamorgan. Rugby is also mentioned in the book through the Editor’s conversation with Clive Rowlands in the Swansea Valley dialect. Clive recollects how Welsh singing has always been so inspirational to him.  It is interesting to note that three of the authors share the name Brian Davies.  One of them is an Ystradgynlais man who writes about how former Welsh squires attempted to copy the lifestyle of their English counterparts, whilst Brian Davies, Curator of the Pontypridd Museum, focuses on the complex identity of a valley’s mixed origin. The subject of music has not been forgotten, for there is a most informative and interesting article that examines the various sources of Welsh music.  This has been written by Bryan Davies of Ferndale, the well-known accompanist.  Annette Thomas of Upper Chapel has written about her grandfather who was ‘An Epynt Shepherd’.  Euros Jones Evans’ article reveals another facet  regarding this complex subject.  There is a superb poem in the form of cynghanedd by the established poet Karen Owen.  It is a cywydd in memory of Wmffra a very much loved eisteddfod singer. Y Prifardd Dylan Iorwerth, winner of the Crown at the Llanelli National Eisteddfod in the year 2000, has also kindly contributed a fine piece of work on the Welsh identity.

Rhiwfawr Writers’ Group

Rhiwfawr Writers’ Group

Video/audio files of the book launch are available on the media page

Available soon ...

As Time Goes By

Funny and sad stories, poetry and Anglo-Welsh articles about the last century.

Details of how to obtain these books can be obtained by writing to Cefnfab


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