The Welsh publishing house Gwasg Gomer published Gillian Clarke's first full collection of poems, The Sundial, in 1978. In the twenty years since then the poet has become one of the best-loved and most widely read writers of Wales, well-known for her readings, for her radio work and her workshops. 'Gillian Clarke's poems ring with lucidity and power . . .her work is both personal and archetypal, built out of language as concrete as it is musical,' the Times Literary Supplement said. 'She combines traditional skills with an original voice and outlook, and with a history which includes the unwritten stories of Welsh women. Her Selected Poems has proven one of the most popular volumes of modern Welsh poetry, having gone through seven printings in a dozen years. Her language has a quality both casual and intense, mundane and visionary,' the Listener said of Letter from a Far Country. There is no gaudiness in her poetry; instead, the reader is aware of a generosity of spirit which allows the poems' subjects their own unbullied reality. Gillian Clarke is a severe critic of her own poems. Collected Poems includes all that she wishes to preserve of her work to date.
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