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B I O G R A P H Y

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Nigel Jenkins was born on a farm in Gower, Wales in 1949. On leaving school he worked for four years as a newspaper reporter in the English Midlands, and then, after a period of travel, studied literature and film at the University of Essex (1973–76). For a short spell then he worked as a roustabout on a travelling circus in the U.S.A., an experience which formed the basis for his poem sequence Circus (1979; republished in Acts of Union, 1990). He returned to live in Wales in 1976 and has earned his living since then as a writer and lecturer, living in Mumbles, near Swansea. He has two daughters, the folk musician Angharad Jenkins (1986) and the paediatric nurse Branwen Jenkins (1989).
 

His volumes of poetry include Song and Dance (Poetry Wales Press, 1981), Practical Dreams (Galloping Dog Press, 1983), Acts of Union: Selected Poems 1974–1989 (Gomer Press, 1990), Ambush (Gomer, 1998), Blue (Planet, 2002), the first collection of haiku ever from a Welsh publisher, Hotel Gwales (Gomer, 2006) and O For a Gun (Planet, 2007), another haiku collection. In 2011, he edited – with Ken Jones and Lynne Rees – the first ever national haiku anthology, Another Country: Haiku Poetry from Wales (Gomer). His poetry has been translated into the languages of and published in France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Italy and Russia. His translations of modern Welsh poetry have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including The Bloodaxe Anthology of Modern Welsh Poetry (2003); his own poetry is also much anthologised. A collaborator with visual artists, he has undertaken commissions for Swansea City Council, the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival and others involving the composition of poems for public places, executed in stone, steel, neon, glass and other materials.
 

The University of Wales Press published his critical biography of the poet John Tripp in 1989. He has written two stage plays, Strike a Light!, based on the life of the nineteenth-century 'Welsh heretic' and 'inventor of cremation' Dr. William Price, and Waldo's Witness, about the Welsh poet and pacifist Waldo Williams. He has worked as a journalist for the BBC, Arcade, Planet, Radical Wales, the Western Mail and others; he was for a short time literary editor of the national weekly Wales on Sunday, and editor both of the Welsh Union of Writers' magazine The Works and the Union's tributary volume Thirteen Ways of Looking at Tony Conran (Welsh Union of Writers, 1995).
 

He was elected to the Welsh Academy in 1978, and was a founder member, and later chairman, of the Welsh Union of Writers. Awards include a Welsh Arts Council's Young Poets Prize (1974), an Eric Gregory Award for poetry (1976), two Welsh Arts Council bursaries and the John Morgan Writing Award (1991) which enabled him to travel to India to research the influence of Welsh missionaries on the Khasi hill-tribe, resulting in a BBC television film and an S4C documentary series, and two books, Gwalia in Khasia (Gomer, 1995) and an anthology of Khasi poetry and prose entitled Khasia in Gwalia (Alun Books, 1995). In 1996, he won the Arts Council of Wales's Book of the Year award for Gwalia in Khasia. He was elected to the Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain (lit. ‘the throne of bards of the Isle of Britain’), as a druid, in 1998.
 

Other publications include (with photographer Jeremy Moore) Wales: the Lie of the Land (Gomer), a book of the Welsh landscape, and a collection of essays, Footsore on the Frontier (Gomer). He was joint editor of The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales / Gwyddoniadur Cymru Yr Academi Gymreig (University of Wales Press, 2008), and has published Real Swansea, a personal account of Wales’s second city (Seren, 2008) and, with the photographer David Pearl, Gower (Gomer Press, 2009), a celebration in prose, poetry and photography of his native Gower peninsula. Two further works of psychogeography in Seren Books’ Real series are forthcoming: Real Swansea 2 (2012) and Real Gower. (2014)
 

As lecturer and tutor he has worked for many organisations and institutions including Trinity College, Carmarthen (where he co-directed the Creative Writing MA), the Workers' Educational Association, and Tŷ Newydd, the Taliesin Trust's centre for writers in Gwynedd. He is director of Swansea University’s creative writing programme, on which he has taught since 2003.
 

A frequent performer of his work (he is a past winner of the John Tripp Spoken Poetry Award), he has undertaken reading tours of the United States and other countries and has toured extensively with various groups including (since 1999) the blues and poetry bands The Salubrious Rhythm Company, Y Bechgyn Drwg and Llaeth Mwnci Madog / Madog’s Moonshine; he is a member of the jazz and poetry band Blue Gwales and the folk-inflected combo The Idrisiaid.



 

Wikipedia entry on Nigel Jenkins

Cofnod Wicipedia ar Nigel Jenkins

 

Photo: Branwen Jenkins

 

 

 

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