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last update:
29 Sep17

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Merryn Williams website

poetry favourites:
Poems for Jeremy Corbyn


from ppf online shop…
Poem Cards –
“Black Mountain Cairns…”
“The First Person to Stop Clapping will be Disciplined”
“New Year’s Eve”

shop elsewhere…
collections –
“The Fragile Bridge”,
“Letters to My Rival”
“The First Wife’s Tale”,
Shoestring Press;
“The Latin Master’s Story”,
anthology & other –
“The Georgians”
Shoestring Press;
“Effie: A Victorian Scandal, From Ruskin’s wife to Millais’ Muse”,
as editor –
“Poems for Jeremy Corbyn”
Shoestring Press



this poet is taking part in the poetry pRO project


Merryn Williams: I went to grammar school in Hastings in eleven-plus days, studied English at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, and got a doctorate for my thesis on Thomas Hardy’s novels. After that I taught adult students for the Open University and the W.E.A., living for several years near Cranfield University where my husband worked as a physicist. I am literary adviser to the Wilfred Owen Association, having a great interest in the poets of the First World War.
For some time I was more used to writing criticism than poetry and my books include Six Women Novelists (Macmillan 1987), Preface to Hardy (Macmillan 1993) and Wilfred Owen (Seren 1993). I’ve also published translations of the Selected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca (Bloodaxe 1992), a semi-serious novel, The Chalet Girls Grow Up (Plas Gwyn Books 1998), and a continuation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel The Watsons (Pen Press 2005).
My first collection, The Sun’s Yellow Eye, was published by the National Poetry Foundation in 1997, followed by The Latin Master’s Story, Rockingham, 2000, and in 2006, Shoestring Press published my 3rd collection The First Wife’s Tale. My 4th collection, Letter to my Rival, was published by Shoestring Press in November 2015. The cover reference is to Katherine Mansfield.
The Georgians 1901-1930, An Anthology, (2009, Shoestring Press, ed Merryn Williams) is the first anthology of its kind since James Reeves’ slender Georgian Poetry, published by Penguin in 1962, and includes a substantial Introduction as well as explanatory notes and biographical information about the 24 poets included:
           Lascelles Abercrombie, Ferenc Bekassy, Edmund Blunden,
           Rupert Brooke, G.K. Chesterton, W.H. Davies, Walter de la Mare,
           John Drinkwater, James Elroy Flecker, Wilfrid Wilson Gibson,
           Robert Graves, Ivor Gurney, Francis Ledwidge, D.H. Lawrence,
           John Masefield, Charlotte Mew, Harold Monro, Wilfred Owen,
           Isaac Rosenberg, Siegfried Sassoon, Charles Sorley,
           J.C. Squire, Edward Thomas and T.P. Cameron Wilson.
This is one of the most ambitious enterprises undertaken by Shoestring Press in its fifteen year history.
In 2016 I edited Poems for Jeremy Corbyn (Shoestring, £10), an anthology of fifty poets which was a surprise bestseller.
My poetry rhymes more often than not and I am keen that it should be accessible. Influences include Ruth Bidgood, Charles Causley and Norman Nicholson.