Damian Walford Davies

Damian Walford Davies is Professor English Literature and Head of the School of English, Communication and Research at Cardiff University. He joined Cardiff in 2013 from Aberystwyth University, where he was Head of the Department of English & Creative Writing and Rendel Chair of English. He is Chair of Literature Wales, the national company for the promotion of literature, and a Fellow of the Welsh Academy, as well as being a member of the Editorial Panel of University of Wales Press and serve on the committee of Wales’s premier poetry magazine, Poetry Wales.

Damian has co-organised three major international conferences: Romanticism, History, Historicism (2004); Romanticism, Environment, Crisis (2006); and The Wye Valley: Romantic Representations, 1640–1830 (2012). He welcomes the opportunity to co-organise Romantic Studies conferences, at Cardiff and elsewhere.


The main fields of Damian’s research are Romanticism, in particular the relation between literature and politics in the age of revolution; the wider material cultures of the Romantic period; Romantic historicism and the methodologies of Romantic Studies; Romanticism and geography/cartography; Welsh Writing in English; 20th-century poetry; and Creative Writing (in particular poetry and ekphrasis/word-and-image)—together, of course, with the interfaces between these periods/disciplines. Damian is currently completing the co-authored final volume of the Oxford Literary History of Wales, of which he is General Editor.

Damian is interested in theorising the methods we deploy as literary critics and editors to seek to know the Romantic period. One of his current projects is an edited collection entitled Counterfactual Romanticism, which explores the what ifs of literary history in order get a fresh purchase on the material contexts of Romantic literary production. Other projects include the Cambridge edition of Thomas Love Peacock’s novel, The Misfortunes of Elphin (1829); articles on Romantic-period cartography; the creative word-and-image project, Poets’ Graves (Gomer, 2014); and a book-length ghost story in verse, set in late Victorian Cardiff, entitled Docklands. He is also developing a project that explores the ways in which birds figure as both natural phenomena and symbols in the literature and culture of the Romantic period.

He welcomes PhD and postdoctoral applications in Romantic literature and culture; Romantic historicist theory; Welsh Writing in English; Creative Writing (in particular poetry); literature and geography.



  • Editor, William Wordsworth: Selected Poems (Dent, 1994; rptd 1995, 1999, 2000).
  • Waldo Williams: Rhyddiaith (University of Wales Press, 2001).
  • Presences that Disturb: Modalities of Romantic Influence in Twentieth-Century Literature (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2002).
  • Editor, Echoes to the Amen: Essays after R. S. Thomas (University of Wales Press, 2003).
  • Co-editor, The Monstrous Debt: Modalities of Romantic Influence in Twentieth-Century Literature (Wayne State University Press, 2006).
  • Co-editor, Cof ac Arwydd: Ysgrifau Newydd ar Waldo Williams (Barddas, 2006).
  • Co-editor, Wales and the Romantic Imagination (University of Wales Press, 2007).
  • Editor, Romanticism, History, Historicism: Essays on an Orthodoxy (Routledge, 2009).
  • Cartographies of Culture: New Geographies of Welsh Writing in English (University of Wales Press, 2012).
  • Editor, Brenda Chamberlain, The Protagonists (Parthian, 2013).
  • Editor, The Misfortunes of Elphin, Volume 5 of the Cambridge Edition of the Novels of Thomas Love Peacock (CUP, 2015 forthcoming).

Recent Articles and Essays

  • ‘“Yeats Said That”: R. S. Thomas and W. B. Yeats’, Almanac: A Yearbook of Welsh Writing in English, 13 (2009).
  • ‘Byron’s Cain and the “History” of Cradle Songs’, in Romanticism, History, Historicism: Essays on an Orthodoxy, ed. by Damian Walford Davies (Routledge, 2009).
  • ‘Romantic Hydrography: Tide and Transit in “Tintern Abbey”’, in English Romantic Writers and the West Country, ed. by Nicholas Roe (Palgrave, 2010).
  • ‘“This Alabaster Spell”: Poetry as Historicist Method’, in The Artist in the Academy: Creative Interfrictions, ed. Richard Marggraf Turley (D. S. Brewer, 2011).
  • ‘“Furious Embrace”: Clive Hicks-Jenkins Among the Poets’, in Clive Hicks-Jenkins, ed. by Peter Wakelin (Lund Humphries, 2011).
  • ‘Capital Crimes: John Thelwall, “Gallucide” and Psychobiography’, Romanticism, 18.1 (2012).
  • Co-author, ‘Romanticism’s Wye’, Romanticism 19.2 (2013).


  • Whiteout (with Richard Marggraf Turley; Parthian, 2006).
  • Suit of Lights (Seren, 2009)
  • Witch (Seren, 2012)
  • Alabaster Girls (Rack Press, 2014)
  • Judas (Seren, 2015)


  • Co-author, Ancestral Houses: The Lost Mansions of Wales/ Tai Mawr a Mieri: Plastai Coll Cymru (Gomer, 2012).
  • Co-author, Poet’s Graves/Beddau’r Beirdd (Gomer, 2014).