Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Vernon Watkins

Vernon Phillips Watkins was a poet and painter, born 27 June 1906, died 8 October 1967. I know little about his work, although I was interested to read that he and his future wife Gwen at Bletchley Park where he was a member of the cryptographic team during the Second World War.

A Google search turns up numerous websites with information on Watkins and his work, so there's no need for me to go into any detail here. A small selection include:

Entry at Wikipedia.
Biographical sketch at Rhwydwaith Archifau Cymru.
'Dylan Thomas and Vernon Watkins' by Phil Davies at

A portrait of Watkins (painted by Alfred Janes) can be found here.

Watkins contributed a single piece of verse to Swift Annual 1962 (1961), one of the few credited pieces in these annuals. The illustrations are by Norman Thelwell.

Ballad of the Mari Lwyd, and other poems. London, Faber & Faber, 1941.
The Lamp and the Veil. London, Faber & Faber, 1945.
The Lady with the Unicorn. London, Faber & Faber, 1948.
Selected Poems. Norfolk, Conn., New Directions, 1948.
The Death Bell. London, Faber & Faber, 1954.
Cypress and Acacia. London, Faber, 1959.
Affinities. London, Faber, 1962.
Selected Poems, 1930-1960. London, Faber, 1967.
Fidelities. London, Faber, 1968.
Uncollected Poems, with an introduction by Kathleen Raine. London, Enitharmon Press, 1969.
I Was Born in Wales. A new selection from the poems of Vernon Watkins, ed. and introduced by Gwen Watkins & Ruth Pryor. Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1976.
Elegy for the Latest Dead, with an introductory note by Gwen Watkins. Edinburgh, privately printed, 1977.
Unity of the Stream. A new selection of poems. Llandysul, Gomer Press in collaboration with Yr Academi Gymreig, 1978.
The Ballad of the Outer Dark and other poems, ed. Ruth Pryor; with an introduction by Kathleen Raine. London, Enitharmon Press, 1979.
The Breaking of the Wave. Ipswich, Golgonooza Press, 1979.
The Collected Poems of Vernon Watkins. Ipswich, Golgonooza Press, 1986.
Poems for Dylan. Llandysul, Gomer Press, 2003.
Taliesin and the Mockers, afterword by Gewn Watkins; illus. Glenys Cour. Llandogo, Old Stile Press, 2004.
Vernon Watkins: New Selected Poems, ed. Richard Ramsbotham. Manchester, Carcanet Press Ltd., 2006.

The Influences. Hayes, Middx., Bran's Head Books Ltd., 1976.

Yeats & Owen: Two Essays. Frome, The Hunting Raven, 1981.

The North Sea by Heinrich Heine. London, Faber, 1955.
Selected Verse Translations, with an essay on the translation of poetry, ed. Ruth Pryor; introduction by Michael Hamburger. London, Enitharmon Press, 1977.

In the Green Tree by Alun Lewis, with a preface by A. L. Rowse, postscript by Gwyn Jones and a sonnet by Vernon Watkins; illus. John Petts. London, G. Allen & Unwin, 1948.
Adventures in the Skin Trade by Dylan Thomas, with a foreword by Vernon Watkins. London, Putnam, 1955.
[Dylan Thomas] Letters to Vernon Watkins, ed. Vernon Watkins. London, Dent, 1957; New York, New Directions, 1957.
Landmarks and Voyages. Poetry supplement Christmas 1957, ed. Vernon Watkins. London, Poetry Book Society, 1957.
A High Wind in Jamaica; or, The Innocent Voyage by Richard Hughes, with a foreword by Vernon Watkins. New York, New American Library (Signet Classic CP67), 1961.
Tribute to Vernon Watkins. Presented by Swansea Little Theatre and the University College of Swansea at the New Arts Theatre, March 9th, 1968. Swansea, 1968.
Exhibition. Two Swansea Poets: Dylan Thomas & Vernon Watkins (3rd-12th July 1969). Swansea, 1969.
David Jones, letters to Vernon Watkins, ed. with notes by Ruth Pryor; foreword by Gwen Watkins. Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1976.
Ceri Richards, text by Bryan Robertson, Vernon Watkins and Mel Gooding. London, Tate Gallery, 1981.

Vernon Watkins 1906-1967 by Leslie Norris. London, Faber, 1970.
Vernon Watkins: Poet of the Elegiac Muse. The W. D. Thomas memorial Lecture delivered at the University College of Swansea on November 13, 1973 by Gwen Watkins. Swansea, University College of Swansea, 1973.

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