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Absolute Optimist
Absolute Optimist

Absolute Optimist

Remembering Eluned Philips


288 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Trade Paper, $15.99 (US $15.99) (CA $20.99)

Publication Date: July 2018

ISBN 9781909983809

Rights: US & CA

Honno Press (Jul 2018)

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This is an affectionate and yet critical biography of Eluned Phillips (1914 – 2009), an unsung heroine of Welsh literature, who led an incredible life at a time of great change – taking her from rural Carmarthenshire to bohemian Paris and urbane Los Angeles across the majority of the 20th Century. Eluned was a controversial figure, a passionate woman who ignited passionate responses in others, not always to her own benefit! She was only the second women to have won the National Eisteddfod crown and the only woman ever to have won it twice (1967 and 1983). Eluned Phillips was unusual among Welsh writers of her generation in that she embraced a bohemian lifestyle which took her to pre-war London and Paris, where she made the acquaintance of such major artists as Augustus John, Dylan Thomas, Edith Piaf, Jean Cocteau, Maurice Chevalier and Pablo Picasso, the last of whom showed her the unfinished ‘Guernica’ with the paint still wet on the canvas.

Author Biography

Menna Elfyn is an award-winning poet and playwright who writes with passion of the Welsh language and identity. She is the best known and most translated of all modern Welsh-language poets. She is the author of over twenty books of poetry, children's novels and educational books, numerous stage, radio and television plays, and she has written libretti for US & UK composers. She is a former Director of the Masters Programme in Creative Writing at UWTSD, Carmarthen and is a Swansea University Literary Fellow.