About

Grandiloquent Wretches

A poetry project exploring the cultural identity of modern Wales

Grandiloquent Wretches is a poetry blog that promotes the writing of a Welsh metrical tradition in the English language. Formal Acquaintances (Poetry Lessons) is a series of introductory tutorials to a Welsh metrical tradition in the English language that has been developed to teach the craft and its history.

The dictionary defines ‘grandiloquent’ as pompous or extravagant in language, style, or manner, especially in a way that is intended to impress. ‘Wretch’ is defined as an unhappy or unfortunate person. I believe that a grandiloquent wretch is someone who has been underestimated by their community and even by themselves. I hope to engage a wide audience with the craft of poetry and strengthen people’s connection to Wales through the Welsh metrical tradition in English.

The Aim is to empower modern voices that identify as Welsh by teaching a Welsh metrical tradition in the English language.


This Website will Include:

  • An introductory series of workshops to a Welsh metrical tradition in the English language.
  • Access to:
    • Poetry influenced by a Welsh metrical tradition in the English language.
    • Articles about a Welsh metrical tradition in the English language, and their history in Wales.

This website is interdisciplinary and select poems have been placed alongside audio and visual material (illustrations are from The Scrapyard Art Collection).


Who is Rhea Seren Phillips?

downloadDr Rhea Seren Phillips studied for a PhD at Swansea University (2016-2020). Her research centred on the way in which the Welsh metrical tradition could be adapted to reinterpret the cultural identification of modern Wales.

She is Reviews Editor for The International Journal of Welsh Writing in English, in addition to Honorary Research Fellow at Swansea University (2022). 

Her debut collection, Grandiloquent Wretches, published by Boiled String and Hafan Books, was released in 2020. You can listen to a reading of the poems here. She has also published a pamphlet titled SHumbert SHumbert, published by The Literary Pocket Book (2020).

Her poetry and academic research has recently appeared in Molly Bloom, Tears in the Fence and Blackbox Manifold (2021). Previous publications (2017-2021) include: The Edge of Necessary: Welsh Innovative Poetry 1966 – 2018 published by Boiled String and Aquifer Press (October 2018), Molly Bloom, Poetry Wales , Envoi (Cinnamon Press) The Lonely Crowd, Gogoneddus Ych-a-Fi: an exhibition of work by contemporary Surrealists (Cardiff Metropolitan University, February – April 2018)The Conversation (two articles in 2017) and The Luxembourg Review (2017), among other publications including the Cheval anthologies. She has read for Molly Bloom (2020) which can accessed here and Multilingual Poetry – Tears in the Fence Festival 2020. Also, she has read at The Blackbox & CP&P Reading: Welsh Innovative Poetry (2021).

Rhea completed a short-term development project in January 2019 with Parallel.Cymru introducing Welsh poets throughout history. 



Published in Poetry Wales, Issue 54.1.


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