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Rhian Edwards

Welsh poet & single mum, twitcher & horror film nut

Born and based in Bridgend, Wales, UK

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About

A multi-award winning poet, Rhian’s first collection Clueless Dogs (Seren) won Wales Book of the Year 2013, the Roland Mathias Prize for Poetry 2013 and Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice 2013. It was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2012.

Rhian also won the John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry 2011/2012, winning both the Judges and Audience award.

Her pamphlet Parade the Fib, (Tall-Lighthouse), was awarded the Poetry Book Society Choice for autumn 2008.

Rhian’s poems have appeared in the Guardian, TLS, Poetry Review, New Statesman, Spectator, Poetry London, Poetry Wales & London Magazine.


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Bibliography

Brood, 2016, Seren (Pamphlet of poems, due for publication)

A Fiction Map of Wales, 2014, Wales Arts Review & H'mm Foundation (Anthology of short stories)

Rarebit: New Welsh Writing, 2013, Parthian (Anthology of short stories)

Clueless Dogs, 2012, Seren (Collection of poems)

25/25 Vision Welsh Horizons Across 50 years, 2012, IWA (Anthology of essays) 

Parade the Fib - 2008, Tall Lighthouse (Pamphlet of poems)

Extract: 'The Birds of Rhiannon'

Before I was mortal, I was haloed
in feathers, my trinity of familiars;
whose birdsong was legend, serenading
the dead from their dreams, lullabying
the living to torpor.  For the sake
of this world and him, I swallowed
my guardians, let them nest in my belly
and take turns in my throat. The sparrow
became my repartee, my grappling chatter
that flutters away the dead air. The mockingbird
staked claim as my mimicking tongue, parodying
the world as it heard it, to be droll,
to belong. And the thrush was poetry,
my childsong, my verse-voice, the brittle
thread to my blueprint life.

For the sake of my world and him,
I crowded my belly with children,
each deafened in utero by the neverending
twittering. My birds heckled my sons
for mirroring the man that caged
them within this ungenerous flesh.
My unborn tried walling their ears,
even taking their leave before
they were finished. My pets pecked
and fought over what remained.
But now that a girl is unfurling,
the facsimile of me, their familiar,
they coo and brood over her, sing her
to flower, while laying eggs of their own
under her unspeakable tongue.

Extract: 'Return of the Native'

The wooden bench is sinking, reclining
back to nature, reassuming root
in the cradling mud. Long grasses
have ambushed the concrete feet,        
jaded mosses upholster the wolfing rot.     

The latitude of the grain, the benchmark
of time when it thrived, is fading now.
Arrowed nettles loom through the parallel
cracks, their splayed, praying hands
cushioning the horizontal plain.

Even as a fraction of its elemental self,    
it is defying the guise, the grand design
and callous return to earth. It shrinks
to its knees in the quickening soil,
swallowed by the shade of what it once was.

Soon the camouflage of this pew
will be absolute. And the skeletal fingers
of cow parsley that have locked their grip
to its backbone, will drag it back
to the grave where the ascendancy began.