A significant new award has been launched to recognise the best critical work in the field of Welsh writing in English.
Supported by Parthian, The Library of Wales, Swansea University and the Learned Society of Wales, the prize is for the best critical essay in the field of Welsh Writing in English, published or unpublished, in the calendar year 2011.
The prize will be £250 and a full set of Parthian’s Library of Wales titles, with two specially commended essays receiving additional book prizes from the series. The prize will be announced at the annual Association for Welsh Writing in English conference in March 2012.
The prize is named in honour of Professor Wynn Thomas, the former Director and founder of CREW (the Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales) at Swansea University. Professor Thomas is currently Chairman of the Welsh Books Council, and holds the Emyr Humphreys Chair of Welsh Writing in English at Swansea University. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1996, received the highest honour of the National Eisteddfod of Wales in 2000, and in 2007 was received an OBE for services to the two literatures of Wales. He is currently serving as Vice-President of the Learned Society of Wales, with particular responsibility for the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
The judging panel for the 2012 prize will be Dr Katie Gramich, Dr Alyce von Rothkirch and Professor Susan Bassnett. Dr Katie Gramich is a Reader in English Literature at Cardiff University. A specialist in the literature of modern Wales and in rediscovering neglected Welsh women writers. She has served as Chair of the Association for Welsh Writing in English and edits the Almanac series. Dr Alyce von Rothkirch is a lecturer at Swansea University. She teaches English Literature on DACE's parttime degree programme and on the Prepare for Higher Education programme, and coordinates the M.A. in Lifelong Learning.
Professor Susan Bassnett is Professor of Comparative Literature in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. She has lectured in universities around the world, moving via the United States to the University of Warwick.