Jonathan Edwards’s first collection of poems, My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren, 2014) received the Costa Poetry award and the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice award. It was shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection prize. His second collection, Gen (Seren, 2018), also received the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice award, and in 2019 his poem about Newport Bridge was shortlisted for the Forward prize for best single poem. He was a 2020 Gladstone’s Library writer in residence.
Jonathan’s poems are accessible and often comic, focusing on subjects like family, community, history, pop culture and animals. His writing is rooted in the life of the South Wales Valleys, the crammed terraces and abandoned high streets where a working-class and Welsh nationalist politics is hammered out. A compassionate, realist observation of the lives of this area is combined with a surreal imagination. He is currently at work on his third collection of poems, which deepens his commitment to these subjects.
Jonathan has read his poems on BBC radio and television and recorded them for the Poetry Archive. His professional life has been dedicated to facilitating the development of writing. A secondary school teacher for more than a decade, he has led workshops at festivals, in universities and in prisons, and is a Literature Wales mentor of emerging writers. As editor of Poetry Wales magazine, he is committed to celebrating the poets of Wales, and to bringing the poems of the magazine leaping off its pages in readings and workshops.