Writer, Critic, Editor, Guru. 'Meic Has Become a Great Welsh Institution' Eminent Welsh Writer Meic Stephens Marked His 70th Birthday This Week with a Literary Gathering Organised by Academi and the Launch of His Latest Book. Karen Price Asks Industry Insiders about His Contribution to Literature in Wales Box Office Arts & Entertainment

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Byline: Karen Price

"MEIC STEPHENS made a substantial contribution to the development of literature and publishing in Wales as the founding literature director of the Arts Council. His unrivalled knowledge of the field, coupled with his energy, drive and dedication, ensured that literature was given an influential and respected place high on the Arts Council's agenda. His name has become synonymous with the literary culture of Wales in both languages."

Gwerfyl Pierce Jones, Welsh Books Council director "I was lucky to meet Meic soon after returning to Wales in the 1960s, and luckier still to be invited to work with him on Poetry Wales.

He had the instinct to recognise the time was right foranational poetry magazine and the confidence, editorial skill and extraordinary knowledge of writers and writing to bring it off. The success he made of Poetry Wales and other highly significant literary projects over the years cannot be put down to flair alone. Hewas then, and still is, a prodigious worker and, quite wonderfully, one eager to encourage and involve others."

Sam Adams, poet, critic and former editor of Poetry Wales "Meic Stephens' 40-year contribution, as author, editor and Arts Council officer, to the development of both the English and the Welsh literary cultures of Wales has been immense. The Cydymaith/Companion to the Literature of Wales he edited remains a landmark reference work. Welsh publishing houses still depend on the financial basis he established, while generations of writers have been indebted to the periodicals, prizes, bursary schemes and touring programmes he initiated. International in vision (and a scholar of Europe's minority languages), he dedicated his distinguished, multifaceted career to the valuing and nurturing of Welsh cultural distinctiveness.

He has himself become a great Welsh institution."

Professor MWynn Thomas, Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales, Swansea University "Meic Stephens has been at the centre of Welsh literary activity for more than 40 years. Midway through the '60s he not only launched PoetryWales but played a large part in bringing Welsh writers together - whether they wrote in Welsh or English. …