Christopher Meredith

Novelist and poet from Wales
Nofelydd a bardd o Gymru


 I'm Christopher Meredith, a novelist and poet. I work mainly in English, though one of my books for children is in Welsh.  I also translate from Welsh into English and have edited several books.  I live in Brecon and am an Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at The University of South Wales.  My most recent book is Brief Lives - six fictions. Novels include Shifts and The Book of Idiots, and my newest collection of poems is Air Histories.

If you need publicity material about me you'll find biographical notes in the third person at three different lengths on the 'About me' page.  You'll find quotations from reviews of my books on the 'Press Cuttings' page. Click on the links in the strapline above.

Contact: Scroll to the bottom of this page or go to 'About me' for contact details

Croesawaf ohebiaeth yn Gymraeg neu Saesneg - I welcome emails in Welsh or English.  


Next books 
A new short novel, Please, and a new collection of poems, Still, will be published simultaneously in spring 2021. 

Next readings

Watch this space...

Hawthornden Fellowship
From 9 Feb. till 9 March 2020 I was in Scotland in Hawthornden Castle where I took up a Hawthornden Fellowship. The remarkable writers I shared this remarkable experience with were: Keggie Carew, Carin Clevidence, Lydia Syson, Nina von Staffeldt, and Felicia Yap.

At last!

A couple of years ago, the Brecknock Art Trust asked me to compose some words in Welsh and English for wall inscriptions on Brecon's new complex of library, museum and galleries, y Gaer, which incorporates a brand new library building and lavishly refurbished museum connected by an atrium.

It was a tricky commission, having to fit the words into finite spaces and difficult shapes on a large scale, both indoors and out, and in two languages. The inscriptions have been in place for a while and at last, after delays and ongoing controversies, y Gaer opened early in December 2019.  The main inscription runs through the atrium in a single line, starting high on a wall outdoors on the south side in Captain's Walk, going through the glass wall, running the length of the atrium, and emerging on the north side in Glamorgan Street. It reads: 


I managed to organise it so that people outdoors on the Captain's Walk piazza on the south side would see 'MEWN LLÊN A LLUN MAE BYDOEDD' with a glimpse of the rest through the glass, then, entering, follow the line of text through the building. On the north, outside the building the words 'COME WAKE A WORLD' appear. Whichever entrance people use, I hope those who happen to look up will piece together the words as they move through the space.

The second inscription is on large copper-coloured panels outside the building on Glamorgan Street. Have a look for yourself to see the detail. As well as some words of my own I've managed to mix in a few stunning lines of Henry Vaughan in English and Dafydd ap Gwilym in Welsh. I've intended these inscriptions to say something about what the building is for and touch on wider truths, but above all to welcome people in.  The library, the museum and its galleries must belong to all the people.

4 Jan. 2020 

New book  in 2018 - Brief Lives - six fictions

 'Six stellar stories' - Buzz Magazine

 'Intensely achieved and confirms his reputation as a writer of fierce intelligence and razor-sharp observation.' - Suzy Ceulan Jones on the Gwales website

 'A moving, mature kaleidoscope of human experience, each story a polished stone that sits in the memory and begs to be turned over and examined anew.'  -Jenny White in The Western Mail

Brief Lives, a set of six short fictions, was published by Seren in June 2018. Launch event at the Hay Festival on 2 June with others in Cardiff and Brecon. Here's the cover blurb:

From the nightmarish first story set in The South China Sea in 1946 to the final piece, set nowhere at the end of time, Brief Lives demonstrates in a short compass a huge range in technique and milieu and a unity of theme and sensibility. It opens naturalistically but is distinctly non-realist by the close. Betweenwhiles we meet an ex-collier in 1950 anguishing over whether to return to the pit, a young mother in the early 1960s quietly shepherding those around her through a bleak Christmas day, an industrial chemist in this century plunged into vortices of memories that cause him to question his grasp of the world, and more. 
Brief Lives is an intense distillation of Meredith’s abiding concerns to explore how memory shapes the present and the present shapes memory, the interplay between beautifully realised individual lives and the wider historical process, and the paradox of simultaneous human isolation and community.


'Superbly written...Beautifully achieved fictions.' - New Welsh Review

'Fantastic' - Jafar Iqbal, BBC Radio Wales Review Show

 'I loved this collection. Really clever.' - Emma Schofield, Review Show


Brief Lives is not available in the USA and Canada for copyright reasons. For rights in these regions contact this website.    

New in spring 2018 - Christopher Meredith by Diana Wallace

In May 2018 Diana Wallace's critical book Christopher Meredith is published by the University of Wales Press in their 'Writers of Wales' series. Details on the UWP website here. 

Still air 

Poems by Christopher Meredith, linocuts by Sara Philpott

Published by Singing Nettle Press in 2017.

A hand-printed limited edition of fifty copies containing nine new poems and six linocuts printed directly from the original blocks by the artist, each in a unique, handmade marbled envelope.

Poems and images respond to the landscapes, plants and bird life of mid Wales. 

 Designed, hand-printed and hand-sewn by Sara Philpott. Edition limited to 50 numbered copies, all signed by the artist and author, each presented in a complementary envelope, hand-made and marbled by the artist.

Text: 12 pt Garamond with display lines on title page up to 36 pt, hand-printed from magnesium plates, text set by Callum Johnston. Linocuts printed by the artist directly from the original blocks. Cover printed from one large linocut, into which the artist has hand-cut the titling.

Paper: Fabriana Rosaspina, 220 gm

16 pp., 140 mm x 330 mm

 One poem, ‘In this stilled air the turning trees’, with a linocut image hand-printed by the artist from the original block  was printed as a single print signed by artist and author, limited to 12 numbered copies only. 290 mm x 335 mm.

This edition has sold out.

In mags and anthologies,2015 - present (selected)

Two poems in Scintilla 23, spring 2020

'Statues of comedians' - poem in Poetry Wales 55.2, winter 2020

'Borderland' appears in Poems from the Borders (ed. Amy Wack), Seren, spring 2019

Two poems riffing on the theme of stillness and movement: 'Still' and 'Even in dreamscapes', in The Lonely Crowd no. 11, 2019

'Cam Ymlaen' stori fer - fersiwn Cymraeg o 'Progress' - yn O'r Pedwar Gwynt rhifyn 8, Chwefror 2019. ('Cam Ymlaen' short story - a version in Welsh of 'Progress' - in O'r Pedwar Gwynt no. 8, Feb. 2019.)

Interview with Glyn Edwards and poem in The Lonely Crowd no. 10, October 2018.

Poems in Scintilla no. 21, spring 2018.

Poem in Envoi  no. 177, October 2017.

Poem in Planet November 2017.

Still Air - a booklet of new poems and images in collaboration with artist Sara Philpott. Details above.

Poems in the summer 2016 issues of Poetry Wales (Vol. 52 no. 1) and Agenda (Vol. 50 nos 1-2), and in Agenda's online supplement.

Poem in At Time's Edge: 'Standing place' appeared in this anthology in memory of Anne Cluysenaar, edited by Fiona Owen and published by The Vaughan Association, 2016. 

Short story in Best European Fiction 2015 

 'Somavox', in Best European Fiction 2015, edited by West Camel and published by The Dalkey Archive, a leading US publisher of European literature.

Review by Aiden O'Reilly in The Short Review here.

Read the Guardian review here.

Latest poetry collection - Air Histories



June 2013. The first full-length collection since The Meaning of Flight. Has poems from the Bog~Mawnog project. There's a poem to go with the cover picture, which combines a few of the meanings of both words in the collection's title. See the Gallery for the original photo, taken on Crete in 2012.





The Latest Novel

The Book of Idiots 

April 2012

'A darkly comic triumph, full of uncomfortable truths'  - ShortList Magazine

'A literary masterpiece' - Western Mail

Western Mail review by Gwen Davies here and Sheenagh Pugh's review here. It's reviewed in the Serving House Journal by Walter Cummins here.

 The cover image, 'We All Fall with Icarus' a digital print by London artist Martin Barrett, is perfect for the book. Not many writers get that lucky with their covers:


The Book of Idiots is not yet published in the USA. For US rights, contact us via this website.


Contact: Contact me at my University of South Wales email address, which you'll find listed here .
Croesawaf ohebiaeth yn Gymraeg - I'm happy to receive contacts in Welsh. 


Any poetry, fiction, translations or other creative work or criticism I put on this site is copyright © Christopher Meredith, and in many cases publication rights will belong to one of my publishers. Images are copyright the artists or photographers.