Literature in Wales

We do love to turn an elegant phrase, whether it’s Dylan Thomas’s immortal “Do not go gentle into that good night”, or the equally stirring “Oh, what’s occurin’?” (Nessa from Gavin and Stacey). 

It’s not by chance that the Hay Festival is one of the world’s top literature events. Playing with words is a national sport. The first national eisteddfod – a bardic ‘X Factor’, essentially – was held in 1176 in the court of the Lord Rhys, and today still attracts 150,000 visitors each year. 

There’s also plenty of top-drawer writing in English: think of great poets like RS Thomas and Dylan Thomas. Then there are writers like Roald Dahl and Martin Amis, whose work was shaped by childhoods in Wales. Today, a new generation of TV writers, like the team behind Dr Who and Torchwood, are creating a new wave of cutting-edge drama.