James Kitchener Davies
Distributed for University of Wales Press
James Kitchener Davies (1902-1952), a seminal and charismatic figure in twentieth-century Welsh-language culture, spent most of his life in the Rhondda. He first attracted public attention as a dramatist at the National Eisteddfod of 1934 with his controversial play Cwm Glo, which dealt with the social consequences of the Depression in the mining valleys of south Wales. Considered by the Eisteddfod adjudicators to be morally offensive and unsuitable for performance, Cwm Glo was a fierce criticism of capitalist values and a revolutionary work in both political and theatrical terms.
A significant cultural and political figure of the second quarter of the twentieth century, Kitchener Davies was a versatile author whose talents encompassed poetry, drama and the essay. He tirelessly promoted the cause of Plaid Cymru and his Swn y Gwynt sy’n Chwthu (1952) was described by Gwenallt as ‘one of the greatest poems written in Welsh in the twentieth century’. This literary biography interweaves the author’s life and writings to offer a memorable portrait of Kitchener Davies and his vision of Wales.