Friends of the Welsh Books Council

The Friend

Celebrating the work of Alun Lewis

One of last year's highlights for the Friends of the Books Council was the successful annual meeting held at Aberdare.

At the meeting, Professor M. Wynn Thomas was in conversation with Dr John Pikoulis, a specialist on the work of poet and writer Alun Lewis, who was born in Cwmaman in the Cynon Valley.

The discussion was most informative focusing on Lewis' life in the local area and his experiences during the Second World War and how he is now recognised as one of the most significant writers to emerge from that sad episode.

M. Wynn Thomas a Dr John Pikoulis

Professor M. Wynn Thomas and Dr John Pikoulis at the friends Annual Meeting 2015


By joining the Friends you will be helping to promote the book industry in Wales, in both languages, and supporting the work of the Welsh Books Council. 

As part of your membership you will receive:

  • Three information packs a year
  • Y Cyfaill/The Friend newsletter
  • An invitation to meetings with some of our most eminent authors
  • A voucher to the value of £2.50 in each pack, to be exchanged for any book of your choice.
  • Copies of any books catalogues produced by the Books Council, together with catalogues and lists produced by various publishers, listing their latest publications.

Membership Fee Annual – £15.00 Ten Year – £125.00

Click here to download a membership form or contact:

The Secretary of the Friends
Welsh Books Council
Castell Brychan
Ceredigion SY23 2JB
Tel: 01970 624151 Fax: 01970 625385

Officers of the Friends

Chair: Ion Thomas
Vice-Chair: Bethan Gwanas
Secretary: Ian Lloyd Hughes
Members of the Steering Committee:
Marian Delyth
Meinir Pierce Jones
Dyfrig Davies

The Friends of the Welsh Books Council was established in 1995 and are going from strength to strength, holding annual meetings at which some of our foremost writers are guest speakers. To date, Jan Morris, Emyr Humphreys and the late R. S. Thomas have been discussing their work and the influences on their creative writing.

Professor M. Wynn Thomas presenting a gift to R. S. Thomas during the first General Meeting of the Friends, April 1997

Professor M. Wynn Thomas presenting a gift to R. S. Thomas during the first General Meeting of the Friends, April 1997.

The first Chairman of the Friends was the late Alun Creunant Davies, former Director of the Books Council who died in 2005.

Alun Creunant Davies

Honorary Presidents

Three of Wales's most prominent authors have been presented with the title of Honorary Presidents of the Friends of the Welsh Books Council, namely Emyr Humphreys, Jan Morris and Islwyn Ffowc Elis. It was with great sadness that the Friends note the death of Islwyn Ffowc Elis in January 2004.

The contribution of all three to the literatures of Wales has been immeasurable. Islwyn Ffowc Elis was regarded as a pioneering Welsh-language novelist and was also known for his contribution as a literary critic. Emyr Humphreys also came into prominence as a young novelist, developing later as a poet and prolific television dramatist. Jan Morris became internationally recognised for her travel writing but has also produced numerous volumes that deal specifically with Wales.

The three Honorary Presidents noted their appreciation on receiving the honour:

Islwyn Ffowc Elis

'One of the most exciting stories in the history of our culture is the development of the Welsh Books Council, and now the Council has a strong bond of Friends to support its work. It gives me great pleasure to be one of their Honorary Presidents.'
Islwyn Ffowc Elis

Emyr Humphreys

'In an age of hectic technological development and global communication, the book remains by far the most effective literary vehicle. It is, therefore, very reassuring to know that in Wales we have a bilingual Books Council devoted to the well-being of the book.'
Emyr Humphreys

Jan Morris

'The Books Council is not just an invaluable instrument for the distribution and understanding of books in both the language of Wales: it is a declaration that the nation really does care about that fundamental of civilized life, the written word.'
Jan Morris

The Friends at Work

The Friends are represented on the Council's main governing body, giving them an opportunity to convey the opinions and wishes of the members.

Any gifts or contributions received by the Friends are utilised to support the work of the Books Council.