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Gwyneth Lewis
Instructor Languages Spoken

Gwyneth Lewis

Partial list of publications: Parables & FaxesZero Gravity, Keeping Mum, Chaotic Angels, A Hospital Odyssey, Sparrow Tree, and the three Welsh collections in Tair mewn Un (“Three in One”); non-fiction Sunbathing in the Rain, Two in a Boat; novella The Meat Tree
Genres: Poetry, nonfiction, radio plays, opera libretti, and stage plays
Awards: Recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, and the first National Poet of Wales
Languages: Welsh (fluent), English (fluent) French (fluent), German (conversational), Spanish (conversational)
Current residence: UK


D Phil in English Literature, Balliol College, Oxford
Harkness Fellow at Graduate Writing School, Columbia University, New York City
Harkness Fellow at Department of English, Harvard University
Double First Class Honours in English, Girton College, Cambridge
Rhydfelen Comprehensive School, Pontypridd (12 ‘O’-Levels, 11 A, 1B, and 3 ‘A’-Levels: English A, French A, History A)


Gwyneth Lewis was appointed Wales’s first National Poet in 2005 and was honored with the task of composing the six-foot-high words displayed on the front of Cardiff’s new Wales Millennium Centre, which is now a national icon. Gwyneth has published 10 books of poetry in Welsh and English, including Sparrow Tree, Parables & FaxesKeeping Mum, Zero Gravity, Tair mewn Un(“Three in One”), and Y Llofrudd Iaith (“The Language Murderer”). Zero Gravity, inspired by her astronaut cousin, was made into a documentary by the BBC. Her nonfiction books includeSunbathing in the Rain: A Cheerful Book on Depression and Two in a Boat: A Marital Voyage. She has written libretti for two chamber operas for children, an oratorio, and several radio plays, including Stardust: A Love Story, which explains the basic principles of particle physics. Gwyneth has studied at prestigious institutions including Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, and Columbia, and she has received numerous fellowships and awards for her work.

Teaching Experience

Gwyneth is a freelance teacher of Masterclasses and Workshops in poetry and creative nonfiction both in the UK and the US. Gwyneth has also been a Writer in Residence at the School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University.

Prizes & Honors

  • 2010, Society of Authors Cholmondeley Award for a distinguished body of work
  • 2010-11, Elected to Mary Amelia Cummins Harvey Visiting Fellow Commonership at Girton College, Cambridge
  • 2010, Elected Honorary Fellow, University of Liverpool
  • 2007, Sunbathing in the Rain radio adaptation wins Mental Health in the Media award
  • 2006, Awarded major Creative Wales award by Arts Council of Wales
  • 2006, Elected to the Gorsedd of the Bards of the National Eisteddfod of Wales (the highest honour in Welsh-language culture)
  • 2005, Appointed Wales’s inaugural National Poet
  • 2005, Elected Honorary Fellow, University of Cardiff
  • 2004, Named one of Poetry Book Society’s Next Generation poets
  • 2004, Sunbathing in the Rain short listed for Mind Book of the Year
  • 2001-06, Awarded NESTA Fellowship (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts)
  • 2000, Y Llofrudd Iaith (“The Language Murderer”) awarded Arts Council of Wales Book of the Year
  • 1999, Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
  • 1999, Zero Gravity short listed for Arts Council of Wales Book of the Year
  • 1998, Zero Gravity short listed for Forward Prize
  • 1997, Cyfrif Un ac Un yn Dri (“One and One Make Three”) short listed for Arts Council of Wales Book of the Year
  • 1996, Elected to Welsh Academy
  • 1995, Parables & Faxes awarded Aldeburgh Poetry Festival Prize
  • 1995, Parables & Faxes short listed for Arts Council of Wales Book of the Year
  • 1994, BAFTA Award for Best Feature television programme
  • 1988, Major Eric Gregory Award for poets under 30 years old
  • 1986-88, Gertrude Hartley Prize for poetry (Balliol College, Oxford)
  • 1982, Laurie Hart Prize for outstanding intellectual work, augmented Charity Reeves Prize
  • 1981, Charity Reeves Prize for distinguished performance at university examinations
  • 1981, Todd Memorial Senior Scholar (Girton College, Cambridge)
  • 1977, 1978, Awarded Literature Medal at Urdd National Eisteddfod


Welsh (fluent), English (fluent) French (fluent), German (conversational), Spanish (conversational)



  • 2011 Sparrow Tree (Bloodaxe Books)
  • 2010, The Meat Tree (Seren) novella
  • 2010, A Hospital Odyssey (Bloodaxe Books)
  • 2005, Two in a Boat: A Marital Voyage (Fourth Estate), subsequent hardback and paperback editions in US
  • 2005, Chaotic Angels (Bloodaxe Books)
  • 2005, Tair mewn Un (“Three in One”, Barddas)
  • 2002, Sunbathing in the Rain: A Cheerful Book on Depression (Flamingo), subsequent hardback and paperback editions in US
  • 1999, Y Llofrudd Iaith (“The Language Murderer”, Barddas)
  • 1998, Zero Gravity (Bloodaxe Books)
  • 1996, Cyfrif Un ac Un yn Dri (“One and One Make Three”, Barddas)
  • 1995, Parables & Faxes (Bloodaxe Books)
  • 1990, Sonedau Redsa (“Redsa’s Sonnets”) (Gomer)
  • 1978, Ar y Groesffordd (“On the Crossroads”, Urdd pamphlet)
  • 1977, Llwybrau Bywyd (“Life’s Paths”, Urdd pamphlet)


  • 2006, Dolffin, chamber opera for children, music by Julian Philips, commissioned by Welsh National Opera
  • 2005, Redflight/ Barcud, chamber opera for children, music by Richard Chew, Welsh National Opera
  • 2004, The Most Beautiful Man from the Sea, oratorio based on a short story by Gabriel García Márquez, music by Orlando Gough and Richard Chew, Welsh National Opera

Broadcasting & Journalism

  • 2007, Stardust: A Love Story, 45-minute play about particle physics, commissioned by BBC Radio 4
  • 2007, The L-Shaped Island, five talks for BBC Radio 4
  • 2006, Adaptation of Sunbathing in the Rain for BBC Radio 4
  • 2006, How to Knit a Poem, four talks for BBC Radio 4
  • 2005, Sailing without a Boat, three talks for BBC Radio 4
  • 1992-2007, Freelance feature writer and reviewer for Times Literary Supplement,IndependentGuardian Review, Prospect, Poetry Review
  • 1983-88, Freelance reviewer for the New York Times Book Review, the Village Voice and various BBC arts and news programmes

Stage Plays

  • 2011, Clytemnestra, new play, Sherman Cymru, Cardiff

Work Experience

  • 2009-10, Joint SiCa/ Stanford Humanities Center Fellow in the Arts and Humanities at Stanford University
  • 2008-09, Mildred Londa Weisman Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University
  • 2006, Writer in Residence at Department of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University
  • 2000 onwards, Freelance writer
  • 1997-2000, Chief Assistant to Controller of BBC Wales
  • 1993-97, Television Producer, Factual Programmes BBC Wales
  • 1992-93, Assistant Producer, Religious Programmes, BBC Wales
  • 1989-92, Television Researcher, Agenda Television