About

rgwyn_photo-by-rhiannon-gwynRicardo Blanco is a version or translation of poet, novelist, essayist and translator Richard Gwyn. Richard grew up in Breconshire, Wales, and following several years in London, spent a decade travelling on and around the Mediterranean, chronicled in his memoir The Vagabond’s Breakfast (a Wales Book of the Year, 2012). After falling seriously ill in Barcelona, he returned to Wales and in 1996 completed a PhD in the semiotics of health and illness at Cardiff University, where he is currently Professor of Creative Writing. His books include the novels The Colour of a Dog Running AwayDeep Hanging Out and The Blue Tent, and the poetry collections Walking on Bones, Being in Water, Sad Giraffe Café, and, most recently, Stowaway: A Levantine Adventure. He also compiled and edited an anthology of contemporary poetry from Wales, titled The Pterodactyl’s Wing (2003). He spent much of the time between 2011-2015 travelling in Latin America, preparing and translating a major anthology, The Other Tiger: Recent Poetry from Latin America, which was published by Seren in 2016. His other translations include collections by the Argentinian poets Joaquín O, Giannuzzi and Jorge Fondebrider, and the Colombian Darío Jaramillo Agudelo (forthcoming, 2019).

He divides his time between Cardiff and a small village in Catalonia.

Richard is represented by Ivan Mulcahy at MMB Creative.

6 Comments on “About

  1. Thanks for the review. I’m interested in your comment about having no desire to read novels, as I’m feeling much the same. And yet I keep going back, like to one of those bad all-you-can-eat buffet bars where the food is mediocre at best and you always leave feeling slightly sick. Is it because so few modern novels get beyond the cliched? Or because the marketing and promotions promise so much more than is ever delivered? Are our expectations too high? Conrad and Flaubert were not only supreme narrative artists striving to penetrate and transpose reality, but also interpreters of the moral issues of their times. That’s a tall order in this age of viral information and moral relativism. As a teacher of creative writing, what do you tell your students about the work they aspire to?

    • Hi Tom Thanks for this comment, and your earlier one, which I failed to respond to, although that too had me thinking. I didn’t look at the blog during August as I was (ironically, in view of the last post) working on a novel. The thing about not reading novels came out of chats with friends, some of whom are violently anti-novel (which I am not). That is to say, they value the short story and poetry far more. In general terms I am inclined to agree with them, but it all comes down to specific cases in the end. I have read a few novels over the past couple of years that I value very much, though I can’t think of more than one or two that were written in English. Interpreting the moral issues of the times – or at least reflecting them – is, perhaps, something that novelists do even without consciously attempting to. Presumably Fifty Shades of Grey does this, no? It is what the novel does, even when it does it badly. As for teaching Creative Writing (a rather suspect occupation, don’t you think?) I tell my students to read as widely and indiscriminately as possible at first so as to discover their own predilections, not to be constrained by any kind of canon (but to be aware of them, at the very least). Most of all I advise them to read as much literature in translation as possible (because, contrary to what the UK/USA publishing industry seems to believe, not everything of value happens in English first) and finally I tell the fiction/prose writers to read poetry. All best Richard

      > Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2012 23:38:40 +0000 > To: richard.gwyn@hotmail.com >

      • Bravo. The older I grow, the sadder I get when I think of the poets and writers that kids in the US are never introduced to. A group of young people visiting Machado’s grave recently gives hope some voices will never be lost.

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