Mathias, Roland 1915–2007

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Mathias, Roland 1915–2007

(Roland Glyn Mathias)

OBITUARY NOTICE—

See index for CA sketch: Born September 4, 1915, in Talybont-on-Usk, Breconshire, Wales; died August 16, 2007, in Brecon, Powys, Wales. Historian, educator, poet, critic, and fiction writer. As the child of a military chaplain, Mathias moved frequently from one place to another. As an adult schoolteacher, he also moved about through Lancashire, Berkshire, Cumberland, and London, England, between 1938 and 1948. He served as a headmaster at schools in Wales from 1948 to 1958, then in Derbyshire and Birmingham, England, from 1958 to 1969. Finally he settled down as a full-time writer in 1969, although he had previously dabbled in poetry. Mathias once told CA that the concept of place in poetry was something he had to fight for, and therefore an element that he valued. The place that figured in his writing most often was Wales, but the voices that drew his attention spoke in English. Mathias wrote several volumes of poetry, most recently gathered in The Collected Poems of Roland Mathias (2002). Even more diligently, he promoted the work of other Welsh poets writing in English. He edited the Anglo-Welsh Review for several years, contributing his own essays on history and literature. His critical writings include A Ride through the Woods: Studies in Anglo-Welsh Writers (1985), and his historical material appears in Anglo-Welsh Literature: An Illustrated History (1987). Mathias also wrote short stories as early as 1956. These and newer works are published in The Collected Short Stories of Roland Mathias (2001). Mathias, an English-speaker himself, was an active member of the English-language section of Yr Academi Gymreig and a committee chair of the Welsh Arts Council.

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Times (London, England), September 22, 2007, p. 64.

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