Jones, Glyn, 1905-1995.

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Jones, Glyn, 1905-1995.

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Morgan Glyndwr Jones was a poet, novelist and writer of short stories. He was also the author of prose works, a radio broadcaster, translator of Welsh literature, librettist, and contributed a number of articles and reviews to various books and journals.

Glyn Jones was born in Merthyr Tydfil in 1905, the second son of William Henry Jones, a Post Office clerk, and Margaret Williams, who was a teacher in Merthyr prior to her marriage and during World War I. The language of the home was Welsh, although both Glyn and his elder brother David Tydfilyn were educated through the medium of English. Nevertheless, Glyn Jones was evidently proud of his Welsh roots and eventually fluent in the language. He attended the Castle Grammar School in Merthyr and St Paul's College, Cheltenham, where he completed a teachers' training course. In 1935 he married Phyllis Doreen Jones.

Glyn Jones held teaching posts in Cardiff, Bridgend and Caerphilly, the first being Wood Street School, located in a slum area of Cardiff, which had a profound effect on him. In 1942, he was registered as a conscientious objector on humanitarian and Christian grounds and, in accordance with the policy of the Cardiff Education Authority who refused to employ conscientious objectors, he was dismissed from his teaching post. In 1944, he took up a post at Twyn School in Caerphilly, and later, in 1952, moved to Glantaf County School in Cardiff, where he retired as Head of the English Department in 1965.

Glyn Jones became interested in English romantic poetry whilst at grammar school and during subsequent years admired and was influenced by poets such as D. H. Lawrence, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Dylan Thomas. His first poems appeared in The Dublin Magazine in 1931 under the pseudonym M. G. J. Gower, and his first collection of poetry was published in 1939. A collection of short stories, The blue bed was published in 1937 to critical acclaim, and the first of his three novels, The valley, the city, the village, appeared in 1956.

During the 1930s he met a number of Anglo-Welsh writers including Idris Davies, Caradoc Evans, Gwyn Jones, Jack Jones, Keidrych Rhys and Dylan Thomas. A memoir of literary life in Wales during this period was published in 1982 entitled Setting Out. In 1968 one of his best known works, The dragon has two tongues : essays on Anglo-Welsh writers and writing, was published, and the book was awarded a Welsh Arts Council prize in 1969. He also co-wrote, with John Rowlands, a volume of essays profiling Welsh writers in both English and Welsh published in 1980.

Glyn Jones began broadcasting on radio in 1946 and introduced various programmes, reviewed books and translated works for radio over a number of years. In addition he wrote the libretto for The beach of Falesá, with music by Alun Hoddinott, which was performed by Welsh National Opera in 1974.

Glyn Jones was the first Chairman of Yr Academi Gymreig (English Language Section) and later its President, and he became the first honorary member of the Academi in 1985. Several awards were bestowed upon him during his lifetime. He was honoured by the Welsh Arts Council in 1971 for his contribution to the literature of Wales, and made an honorary member of the Gorsedd of Bards of the Isle of Britain (Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain), 1988. He also received an honorary degree of D.Litt. from the University of Wales, 1974, and an Honorary Fellowship of Trinity College, Carmarthen, 1993. He died in 1995.


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