My Shoulder to the Wheel: An Autobiography
Meic Stephens Other books by Meic Stephens
In "My Shoulder to the Wheel" Meic Stephens looks back on his life as an author, poet and editor, literature director of the Welsh Arts Council, university lecturer, and family man. Meic's remarkable contribution to the two literatures of Wales is well known; he's written, translated or edited more than 170 books. He's worked tirelessly for many decades and, despite having reached three score years and ten, he still works diligently. In 2000 he started writing poetry in the Welsh dialect of Gwent, and has come within a hair's breadth of winning the crown at the National Eisteddfod on several occasions.
He was raised in an English-speaking home in Trefforest, near Pontypridd. He relates the story of his early years, as well as his attempts as an adult to solve the mystery surrounding his family's roots in Radnorshire. It was his Cockney grandfather who was mainly responsible for encouraging him to take an interest in the country of his birth. He's been active in Nationalist campaigns over the years, especially during his time living with Plaid Cymru members in Garth Newydd, Merthyr. He took part in the first demonstration by Cymdeithas yr Iaith at Trefechan Bridge in 1963.
He lived for a while in Brittany, and taught French in Ebbw Vale. Later he lectured at Brigham Young University in Utah before being awarded a chair at the University of Glamorgan.
He also writes obituaries of notable Welsh people for The Independent. He is Secretary of the Rhys Davies Trust and his biography, "Rhys Davies, a writer's life", was the non-fiction Wales Book of the Year in 2014.
"Stephens's book — amiable, generous, often good fun and wonderful company — is like the man himself." - Gwyn Griffiths, Morning Star