University of Wales Press Book Shortlisted For Top Literary Prize

Posted on 28 March 2011

‘In Shadow Of The Pulpit’ by Professor M. Wynn Thomas

Professor M. Wynn Thomas has been shortlisted for one of Wales' top literary prizes, owing to his study of the relationship between chapel and literature in Wales, ‘In Shadow Of The Pulpit’, published by the University of Wales Press.

He, along with three other authors, will be vying for the £3,000 Roland Mathias Prize for Welsh writing in English, which will be awarded on 8 April.

Professor Thomas is the Emyr Humphreys Professor of English at Swansea University. A Fellow of the British Academy, he has published twenty books on American poetry and on the two literatures of Wales.

‘In the Shadow of the Pulpit’ introduces us in simple terms to chapel culture, and shows us how heavily it has influenced modern Wales. In particular, it demonstrates how, from the nineteenth century onwards, the obsession of Welsh writers with the chapels came to shape their novels, plays and poems; it also reveals how their attitude towards them changed from sympathy to hostility and outright rivalry.

The winner for the 2011 Roland Mathias Prize will be announced on Friday 8 April in Brecon at a ceremony supported by BBC Cymru Wales and hosted by Nicola Heywood Thomas, presenter of The Radio Wales Arts Show. All the shortlisted writers are invited to talk about their work.

The prize was established in honour of the poet and author, Roland Mathias, who died in 2007, and who played a major part in establishing Welsh writing in English as a distinctive literary genre. The three previous winners were the poets Christine Evans and Dannie Abse, and Jane Aaron for a work of literary history.

The judges include novelist and poet Chris Meredith; literary historian Moira Dearnley; writer Catherine Merriman; writer and critic, Daniel Williams, and former TV journalist, Glyn Mathias.


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