Dominic Williams has been involved in literature, creative writing and publishing for nearly twenty years. His academic engagement was the study of “Welsh writing in English” and “Welsh Literature in translation” while reading for his first degree at University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD). He has worked as a senior bookseller with Ottakars (the UK’s “chain of independent bookstores”) and for two years was the officer responsible for promotion of Welsh writing in English at the Welsh Books Council.
In publishing he has worked in Wales, London and New York; made regular visits to the Frankfurt book fair and taken part in trade missions to Dublin and Tokyo. During his time as marketing director for Parthian Books he developed the marketing strategy that won Parthian the contract for publication of the prestigious Library of Wales series. As well as developing the brand for this imprint of classics of Welsh writing in English, he also worked with editor Lucy Llewellyn to develop an identity for the Bright Young Things, another exciting new literary imprint and he increased the company’s annual turnover from £30,000 to £143,000 between 2005 and 2007.
Williams individually project managed the production, sales and marketing of the best-selling title World Leaders’ Favourite Poems to which Hans Göran Persson contributed The path on which you are walking alone by Pär Lagerkvist. In 2006 Williams created the first Welsh Writing for the World Festival a week-long festival in bookshops, bars and university venues across New York city. He also worked very closely supporting the team who established the international EDS Dylan Thomas Prize in 2006.
Williams edited his first volume, Carmarthen, in 2002 which was published by Tempus the UK’s largest Local History publisher. Since 2007 he has run his own publishing house, Iconau, and has been the publisher of a variety of fiction and non-fiction works from collections of poetry and short stories to biography of Wales’ greatest poet Dylan Thomas, A Map of Love and a social history of the 1984/85 miners’ strike in Wales, History on our Side.
Since post graduate qualifications at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Williams has lectured in publishing and marketing and, for six years, led a mentoring programme to direct creative writing students at MA level through the process of commercially publishing an anthology. Williams developed the Trinity Arts Festival and he has also lectured to both professional and community led groups at libraries and adult education centres as well as chairing various panels at literary and trade events and festivals.
More recently Williams has coordinated a series of literary initiatives for a European funded project called Coracle; including arranging and delivering workshops, organising various events, cultural exchanges and mentorships. In 2012, as coordinator for Coracle, he was one of three partners; the other two being national bodies; Literature Wales and the National Trust; in establishing the inaugural Dinefwr Literature Festival.
Since 2010 Williams has been part of a community interest company called write4word. This group has delivered a wide variety of writing workshops to adults and children in Ireland and Wales. These workshops have been delivered both independently and on behalf of clients such as The Hay Festival; Literature Wales; Universities and Schools; Local Government and even drug and alcohol abuse charities.
write4word runs a regular monthly community-led performance event called Poems and Pints at the Queens ; have arranged poetry slams in Ireland and various venues in Wales; and in 2013 curated international literary programmes for the Pili Pala Festival and the Old Town Festival. In 2013 Williams set up the Wales Ireland Spoken-word and Poetry Alliance, theWISPA, and this network is facilitated in Wales by write4word.
Williams was previously on the editorial board of the New Welsh Review, Wales’ foremost literary magazine; a poet and writer, one of his poems is framed and on permanent display alongside a complementary painting by the Welsh artist Iwan Bala in a bar in Wexford. He has poetry published by Irish publisher Tara Press and in 2013 was commissioned by UWTSD to research and write a creative article to launch the newly formed Faulty of Performance.
Since 2012 Williams has been working with cultural organisations in Sweden and Ireland within a partnership structure called Coracle Europe. In 2014 he managed the International Dylan Thomas International Summer School with Menna Elfyn in Lampeter, West Wales and later that summer curated the Dylan Thomas International Literature residency in Tranås, Sweden. He has performed his poetry at events in Wales, Sweden and Ireland, most recently performing at the 2014 Laugharne Poetry and Theatre weekend and the Wexford Opera Fringe Festival.
In 2015 Williams will be once again be managing the Dylan Thomas Internatinal Summer School, curating the W B Yeats International Literature Residency in Tranås and performing at the Tramore Promenade Festival and the Shellshock Café Ireland. He will also be undertaking a short poetry reading tour of Swedish cites in March 2015.