James Kitchener Davies (1902-1952) spent most of his life teaching Welsh 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's fierce criticism of capitalist values was nevertheless 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 Chwythu (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.
M. Wynn Thomas is Professor of English and Director of the Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales, University of Wales, Swansea. His many books include studies of Morgan Llwyd, Emyr Humphreys, The Page's Drift: R. S. Thomas at Eighty, Internal Difference: Writing in Twentieth-Century Wales, DiFfinio Dwy Lenyddiaeth Cymru, and Corresponding Cultures: The Two Literatures of Wales. In 1996 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.