A-Gender
Living Published Women Poets in the UK
Merryn Williams
Categories: W

Merryn Williams poet and critic

Merryn Williams grew up in Hastings and now lives in Oxford.

Publications

The Georgians 1901 – 1930 An Anthology editor (Shoestring, 2009)

The First Wife’s Tale (Shoestring Press, 2006)

The Latin Master’s Story (Rockingham, 2000)

The Sun’s Yellow Eye (National Poetry Foundation, 1997)

Fiction

The Watsons (Pen Press, 2005) – continuation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel

The Chalet Girls Grow Up (Plas Gwyn Books, 1998)

Clare and Effie (Honno Press, 1996) – children’s historical fiction

Non Fiction

Effie: A Victorian Scandal (The Book Guild 2010)

Wilfred Owen (Seren, 1993)

Preface to Hardy (Macmillan, 1993)

Six Women Novelists (Macmillan, 1987)

Margaret Oliphant: A Critical Biography (Macmillian 1986)

Women in the English Novel 1800 – 1900 (Macmillian 1984)

Nineteenth Century Novel and its Legacy (Open Up, 1973)

Thomas Hardy and Rural England (Macmillian 1972)

Contributed to:

The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow (co-writer) (Peresphone Books, 2010)

Translations

Selected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca (Bloodaxe, 1992)

After studying English at New Hall, Cambridge, Merryn Williams gained a doctorate for her thesis on Thomas Hardy’s Novels. It was studying at Cambridge that introduced her to Victorian writers, a period in writing that she frequently returns to.  She taught at the Open University and WEA and founded The Interpreter’s House magazine in 1996, the editorship of which has now been handed over to Simon Curtis. In an editorial she set out her credo for poetry, “I believe that modern poetry has drifted dangerously far from the common reader and admire work which is technically accomplished, has powerful images, and appears to mean something.”

She edited the anthology The Georgians 1901 – 1930 for Shoestring Press including 24 poets, explanatory novels and biographical information as well as a substantial introduction, a significant update on James Reeves’ slender anthology published in 1962.

Merryn Williams’ interest in First World War poets not only prompted her to write a biography of Wilfred Owen but also she also edits the newsletter of the Wilfred Owen Association.

Merryn Williams’ website: http://www.poetrypf.co.uk/merrynwilliamspage.html

“As a poet Merryn knows precisely what she is doing, chooses exactly the right registers for what she has to say, shows a command of cadence and a mastery of structure,” Peter Stileman

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