Matthew Jarvis

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Prof Matthew Jarvis BA (York), MA (York), PhD (Wales)

Anthony Dyson Fellow in Poetry


I have been the Anthony Dyson Fellow in Poetry at Lampeter since 2007. 

I am primarily a critic of recent and contemporary poetry, with particular expertise in the English-language poetry of Wales since its revival during the 1960s. My research often focuses on the poetic construction of environment, space and place. 

Alongside my post at UWTSD, I also work for Aberystwyth University: I was a member of the research team for the Leverhulme-funded ‘Devolved Voices’ project (2012 to 2015) and am currently a teaching fellow in Aberystwyth’s Department of English & Creative Writing.

My research lies mainly in the field of Wales Studies, with my primary focus being on post-1960s Welsh poetry in English. Within this context, I am particularly interested in environmental approaches to literature and in ideas about the poetic construction of space and place.

I have written the monographs Welsh Environments in Contemporary Poetry (University of Wales Press, 2008) and Ruth Bidgood (University of Wales Press, 2012). I have also written a scholarly pamphlet, two dozen essays/articles, and fifty reviews (mainly of contemporary poetry).

Recently, I have concentrated on editorial work: I have co-edited special issues of two scholarly journals (published in 2014 and 2015) and, since March 2014, have led the editorial team of the International Journal of Welsh Writing in English (University of Wales Press). 

In the autumn of 2016, I finished work on an edited volume of essays, Devolutionary Readings: English-Language Poetry and Contemporary Wales, for the publisher Peter Lang.


In 2014, I took over the editorship of the International Journal of Welsh Writing in English (University of Wales Press) and I continue to lead the journal’s editorial team.


I am currently undertaking research/consultancy work for the Learned Society of Wales on the state of Wales Studies as a scholarly field.

Peer Reviewing

I have acted as a peer reviewer for:

  • the scholarly journals Green Letters, Almanac/International Journal of Welsh Writing in English, and Literary Geographies
  • University of Wales Press and Blackwell
  • the Welsh Books Council

Publication highlights are cited below. For full details of my scholarly publications, reviews, speaking engagements, and current projects, please see my personal website. 


  • Ruth Bidgood, Writers of Wales (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2012)
  • Welsh Environments in Contemporary Poetry, Writing Wales in English (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2008)

Edited Volumes

  • Editor, Devolutionary Readings: English-Language Poetry and Contemporary Wales (Oxford: Peter Lang); forthcoming
  • Co-editor, with Neal Alexander, International Journal of Welsh Writing in English, 3 (2015)
  • Co-editor, with Louise Squire, ‘Literature and Sustainability’ special issue, Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism, 19.1 (2015)
  • Co-editor, with Kirsti Bohata, ‘Literary Topographies: Mapping Welsh Writing in English’ special issue, International Journal of Welsh Writing in English, 2 (2014)


  • Becoming ‘Prifardd of English-speaking Wales’: The Reception of R. S. Thomas in the 1960s and Early 1970s (Lampeter: Trivium, 2009)

Recent Articles and Essays

  • ‘Devolutionary Complexities: Reading Three New Poets’, in Matthew Jarvis, ed., Devolutionary Readings: English-Language Poetry and Contemporary Wales (Oxford: Peter Lang); forthcoming
  • ‘In and Out of the Nation: Poetry Wales in the 1960s and 1970s’, in Kate McLoughlin, ed., Flower/Power: British Literature in Transition, Volume 2, 1960-1980 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press); in press
  • ‘Afterword’, in Ruth Bidgood, Black Mountains/Land-Music (Blaenau Ffestiniog: Cinnamon, 2016), 47-53
  • ‘Hard Hats in Heather: Barry MacSweeney’s North-East’, in Paul Batchelor, ed., Reading Barry MacSweeney (Newcastle upon Tyne: Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts; Tarset, Northumberland: Bloodaxe, 2013), 47-62
  • ‘Place under Pressure: Reading John Tripp’s Wales’, in Neal Alexander and David Cooper, eds, Poetry & Geography: Space and Place in Post-War Poetry (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2013), 49-60
  • ‘In/Human Place: The Poetry of John Barnie’, in Zoë Skoulding and Ian Davidson, eds, Placing Poetry (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2013), 149-68
  • ‘Iago Prytherch’s Mangels: Agricultural Contexts for R. S. Thomas’s “A Peasant”‘, Almanac: Yearbook of Welsh Writing in English, 15 (2010-2011), 70-83
  • ‘In and Beyond the City: The Places of Dannie Abse’s Ash on a Young Man’s Sleeve’, in Katie Gramich, ed., Mapping the Territory: Critical Approaches to Welsh Fiction in English (Cardigan: Parthian, 2010), 163-84
  • ‘Textual Variants in the Poetry of Leslie Norris’, Literature and Belief, 29.2 and 30.1&2 (2009-10), 141-51
  • ‘Repositioning Wales: Poetry after the Second Flowering’, in Daniel Williams, ed., Slanderous Tongues: Welsh Poetry in English 1970-2005 (Bridgend: Seren, 2010), 21-59

Recent Reviews

  • ‘Jonathan Edwards, My Family and Other Superheroes’, Red Poets, 20 (2014), 60–1
  • ‘Nigel Jarrett, Miners at the Quarry Pool and Margaret Lloyd, Forged Light’, Poetry Wales, 50.1 (Summer 2014), 66-8
  • ‘David Knowles and Sharon Blackie, eds, Entanglements: New Ecopoetry’, Green Letters, 18.2 (2014), 194-7
  • ‘Ruth Bidgood, Above the Forests’, Poetry Wales, 49.4 (Spring 2014), 68-9
  • ‘Cottage Ink: Moniza Alvi, At the Time of Partition; Maitreyabandhu, The Crumb Road’, Poetry Review, 104.1 (Spring 2014), 102-4

Current Committee Membership

  • Co-Chair, Association for Welsh Writing in English (January 2012 onwards)
  • Editorial Board of the scholarly journal Literary Geographies (2013 onwards)
  • Advisory Body of the National Library of Wales (2012 onwards)
  • Committee of The Welsh Academy (2009 to June 2014; January 2015 onwards)

Former Committee Membership

  • English Language Grants Panel of the Welsh Books Council (2008 to 2013)
  • Editorial Board of Poetry Wales (2006 to 2007)
  • Secretary, Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, UK (2004 to 2005) 


  • With Professor Peter Barry, I was co-author of a successful funding bid for £232,042 from the Leverhulme Trust for the three-year research project ‘Devolved Voices: Welsh Poetry in English since 1997’ (Aberystwyth University, 2012 to 2015)


  • I was a Mentor on the AHRC-funded project ‘Troubled Waters, Stormy Futures: Heritage in Times of Accelerated Climate Change’ (January 2015 to June 2016)


  • Winner, 2014 M. Wynn Thomas Prize for Welsh Writing in English (‘Open’ category)
  • Associate Member of Aberystwyth University’s David Jones Centre
  • Research Associate of Swansea University’s Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales (CREW)
  • Full member of The Welsh Academy (2009 onwards)