Transatlantic Vistas

Engagements with the Literatures of Wales and the United States

Author(s) M. Wynn Thomas

Editor(s) Kirsti Bohata,Daniel G. Williams

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

  • August 2024 · 408 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781837721597
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781837721603
  • · eBook - epub - 9781837721610

About The Book

An edited collection of essays, interviews, and book reviews by M. Wynn Thomas.

For more than half a century, M. Wynn Thomas has been Wales’s foremost literary critic. His ground-breaking work – on subjects ranging from Welsh Puritanism to Walt Whitman, from religious Dissent to contemporary poetry – has opened up new vistas and literary correspondences for his readers. Thomas’s writings combine a deep historical knowledge, a commitment to pluralism and a relationship to the literary text that is both sympathetic in approach and detailed in analysis.

Made up of previously unpublished and uncollected essays, interviews, and reviews on Welsh and American writers, the writings in Transatlantic Vistas engage with some of the abiding interests of Thomas’s career: Walt Whitman, Dylan Thomas, R. S. Thomas, and American authors such as Charles Bukowski, Rita Dove, Anne Stevenson and more. Including a foreword by Helen Vendler and essays by Daniel G. Williams and Kirsti Bohata, this volume celebrates M. Wynn Thomas’s immense contribution as a literary and intellectual historian, critic, translator, lecturer, institution builder, editor, broadcaster and literary executor as he enters his eightieth year.


‘M. Wynn Thomas is such a giant among scholars that the scale of his achievement is difficult to see in the round. His mastery over at least four literary fields – the American, the Welsh-language, Welsh writing in English and the European traditions – is breathtaking. His criticism is above all humane but written with the clarity of the author’s commitment to democratic discourse. Without him, our understanding of Wales’s literary history and its connection to the world would be definitively impoverished.’

Gwyneth Lewis, former National Poet of Wales

‘It has been this way for over forty years now: a new book or essay by M. Wynn Thomas appears, and immediately scholars, teachers, and students of Welsh and American poetry and culture prepare for another set of fresh revelations and challenging new insights, always delivered in Wynn’s glorious prose. This is emphatically the case once again with Transatlantic Vistas, a marvellous gathering of Wynn’s work – a mix of the new and old and revised and expanded – covering the formidable range of his interests. A book made to honour Wynn on his 80th birthday, Transatlantic Vistas is in fact a gift for all of us who, over the decades, have read, admired, and learned so much from this brilliant critic.’

Ed Folsom, University of Iowa


Foreword by Helen Vendler
Introduction by Daniel G. Williams
On Walt Whitman
‘Till I hit upon a name’: Calamus and the language of love
Whitman and the Labouring Classes
States United and United States: Whitman’s national vision in 1855
Whitman, Tennyson, and the poetry of old age
The pioneer: D. H. Lawrence’s Whitman.
On Dylan Thomas
‘A Sweet Union?’: Dylan Thomas and Post-War American Poetry.
‘There’s words’: Dylan Thomas, Swansea and language
On R. S. Thomas
The Real Manafon of R. S. Thomas
Bury My Heart: R. S. Thomas and Native America
Rita Dove
Jorie Graham
Helen Vendler
Dannie Abse
Charles Bukowski
Jorie Graham
Geoffrey Hill
Gwyneth Lewis
W. S. Merwin
Sharon Olds
Keidrych Rhys
Anne Stevenson
Afterword by Kirsti Bohata
Bibliography of M. Wynn Thomas since 2004

About the Author(s)

Author(s): M. Wynn Thomas

M. Wynn Thomas is Professor of English, and Emyr Humphreys Professor of Welsh Writing in English, at Swansea University.

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About the Editor(s)

Author(s): Kirsti Bohata

Kirsti Bohata is Professor of English and co-director of the Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales, Swansea University.

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Author(s): Daniel G. Williams

Daniel G. Williams is Professor of English and Director of the Richard Burton Centre for the Study of Wales at Swansea University. He is the author of Wales Unchained: Literature, Politics and Identity in the American Century (2015), Black Skin, Blue Books: African Americans and Wales (2012) and Ethnicity and Cultural Authority: from Arnold to Du Bois (2006).

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