Dr Jeni Williams in the running for International Poetry Prize


A poem written by Dr Jeni Williams, Senior Lecturer in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Lampeter, has been long-listed for the prestigious University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize 2016.

‘The White Room’ was chosen from over 1200 poems submitted by poets from across the globe and will be published in the Poetry Prize anthology this autumn

The prize celebrates the enduring significance of poetry to cultures everywhere in the world, and its ongoing and often seminal importance to world literatures.

A panel of judges headed by Simon Armitage will decide the winner, runner-up and shortlisted poems as part of Canberra University’s Poetry on the Move Festival in mid-September. The first prize is worth $15000 Australian dollars.

“I’m both pleased and surprised at being included in the longlist. ‘The White Room’ is one of a series of poems in which I am exploring language and expression by writing without consonants.  This particular poem is written without a ‘d’.

“It would be great to make the short list but I’m thrilled to have been considered for such a prestigious prize.”

Dr Williams is Academic Director of the MA Creative Writing Programme and teaches on the BA English Literature and BA Creative Writing programmes within the University’s School of Cultural Studies.

As a cultural critic she responds to issues of marginality, employing postcolonial, psychoanalytic and gendered critiques in relation to literature and fine art. Her publications range from Medieval Literature, Welsh Writing in English, Art History, and Women’s Writing. She is widely published as a poet and her first full collection, Being the Famous Ones, appeared in 2009.

Dr Williams’ interest in language reflects her extensive work researching and teaching creative writing to refugee women since 2004. These have led to public performances (e.g. Dinefwr Literature Festival, Llandeilo, 2014; Swansea Museum, 2012; AWEN  International Festival of Poetry and Film, Atrium, Cardiff, 2009;), academic papers (e.g. ‘Framing refugees: creative writing choices in a context of disbelief, paranoia and malicious rumour’, Brighton, 2015), and publications (e.g. ‘Place, Space and Self: Site-Responsive Art in a Globalised World’, JWCP 8.1/2 : 2016; Fragments from the Dark, Hafan, 2008). She organised and chaired a recent round table discussion with refugee writers at the Women at Sea medieval studies conference in Swansea in July of this year.

Jeni also provided the catalogue essay/afterword, 'Testifying to “time’s reckless melt”’, for the National Library of Wales touring exhibition of I.C.Rapoport’s photographs of Aberfan, Aberfan: The Days After, (Parthian, 2005).   She is the contributing editor of Sideways Glances: five off-centre artists in Wales (Parthian, 2005) and composed the introduction to Clyde Holmes, Feather Paths (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2004). 

If you’re interested in creative writing and would like more information on the courses taught by Jeni, please visit www.uwtsd.ac.uk/cultural-studies

Further Information

  1. For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Principal Communications and PR Officer on 01267 676908 / 07449 998476 / sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk