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About Us

 

   

Parthian: A Carnival of Voices

‘For almost thirty years, [Parthian] have been one of the most consistently agile imprints in Wales.’Mike Parker, Planet Magazine

‘I'm always delighted to hear of new releases from Parthian because I know they will be of such a high standard. From the selection of its authors and topics covered through to the editing and production of the books, Parthian exudes quality. It puts out a dazzling, stimulating, thought-provoking selection of books on par with (if not better and more interesting than) the bigger publishing houses.’Jenny White, journalist  

‘a vital part of our publishing scene in Wales and great ambassador for the best of Welsh writing.’Rebecca Gould, Head of Arts at British Council Wales

 

 

About Parthian

New Voices

We have always published first time fiction and aim to give new writers as much development support as we can. Our recent success includes writers such Richard Owain Roberts (Not the Booker Award Winner 2020), Alys Conran (Wales Book of the Year Winner 2017).Tristan Hughes (Stanford’s Fiction Winner 2018), and Lloyd Markham (Betty Trask Award Winner 2018) Glen James Brown (shortlisted for the Orwell Fiction Award 2019).

“My novel—Ironopolis—exists today as the best-possible version of my novel, and this is entirely down to the bottomless reserve of enthusiasm, care, insight and attention to detail…from editorial and design, to post-publication support and marketing, the entire team went above and beyond what I expected as a debut novelist.” Glen James Brown, writer

The literary culture of Wales

An engagement with the culture of Wales through our Library of Wales series has reached fifty titles of classic writing. The Library of Wales has been a ten-year publishing project with support from the Welsh Government and the Welsh Books Council which has seen an investment of over £500,000 in the literary and educational culture of Wales, with sales approaching 100,000 copies across print and digital formats. It has changed the perception of Welsh writing, with the Poetry 1900-2000, a title commissioned by Parthian for the series being adopted onto the Welsh Joint Education GCSE English syllabus while many of the books are now studied at university level in Wales.

We have launched a new series Modern Wales in collaboration with The Rhys Davies Trust which takes a look at the recent history of Wales this includes the publication of major works of biography, Rocking the Boat: Welsh Women who Championed Equality 1840-1990 by Angela V John and Labour Country: Political Radicalism and Social Democracy in South Wales 1831 to 1985 by Daryl Leeworthy. The Rhys Davies Literary Trust have committed to a three-year investment in the series.

‘Parthian takes chances, moves fast, and because of that consistently surprises, enlightens, and excites with its lists. As a novelist, it's a publishing house that has given me the space to evolve as a writer out there in the open, which is such a rare thing nowadays. Parthian is an invaluable cultural institution, and one that puts the writers first.’Gary Raymond, author, critic and presenter of The Review Show

Our engagement strategy is to work collaboratively and look to develop new initiatives. We aim to produce attractive and readable books in our areas of interest: new writing, the heart of Welsh culture and a view to the wider world through our Parthian Carnival. 

“Parthian know their craft and have an eye for a really good book from many directions. One of the friendliest teams we work with and over a number of years. Passionate and confident in their art would cover it.” Simon Kingsley, Director of Compass IPS 
“To my mind Parthian Press is a publisher with an incredible eye for literary fiction with real heart and soul. Hummingbird by Tristan Hughes for example, was a sensational book for us. Beautifully published and just a stunning find – brilliant literary fiction with sense of place.” Nic Bottomley, Owner, Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights, Bath, President, Booksellers Association of UK and Ireland

 

 

The Classics of Welsh Literature

We also publish the Library of Wales series edited by Professor Dai Smith. The series includes books such as Border Country, The Black Parade and Dannie Abse’s Ash on a Young Man’s Sleeve. Recent books include Dat's Love and Other Stories by Leonora Brito and In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl by Rachel Trezise. Booker long-listed author Stevie Davies for her novel The Element of Water.

In Translation

Over the years we have developed good translation links throughout Europe and beyond, and our books have appeared in over thirty foreign-language editions including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Turkish, Danish, Turkish, Portuguese and Russian. New for 2021 will be The Blue Tent by Richard Gwyn in French and Gary Raymond’s The Golden Orphans in Turkish and Arabic, while we have just signed a deal with the Nigerian publisher Purple Shelves for Eric Ngalle’s memoir.

The Carnival of Voices 

A growing list of fiction in translation from European languages, which has included novels translated from Basque, Latvian, Catalan, Czech, French, Slovakian, and Turkish. We have been publishing a series of books with support from Creative Europe. An investment of £150,000 over three years, collaboration with the literature councils of five European countries and eleven new books in translation from some of the smaller languages of the European Union such as Greek, Danish and Irish.

Cortina Butler, Director Literature at British Council said, “I am delighted that Parthian Books has received this funding for their programme – a shining example of the way that independent publishers lead the way in identifying and promoting literature in translation in the UK.”

For all rights enquiries please contact Richard Davies: rich_parthian@yahoo.co.uk

 

The Parthian Team

 Gillian Griffiths

Gillian Griffiths is one the founding partners of Parthian and is the financial director. She has worked in fine art and photography and held a number of exhibitions in Wales including Child for a Moment and Freeways, both at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Her photography and artwork have appeared on a wide range of covers for Parthian including Grace, Tamar, and Laszlo the Beautiful and Tree of Crows

 

 

 Dr Carly Holmes

Carly Holmes is an editor and has been the publishing manager with Parthian since 2019, though her involvement with us goes back to 2013 when she started taking on freelance editing projects. She has a BA in English Literature and an MA and a PhD in Creative Writing. Her debut novel, The Scrapbook, was shortlisted for the International Rubery Book Award and her award-winning short stories have been widely published. Her debut 'Literary Strange' short story collection, Figurehead, was published by Tartarus Press in 2018 and her second novel, Crow Face, Doll Face, was published by Honno Press in October 2023. Before taking this role with Parthian, Carly worked as a freelance editor and proof-reader for a variety of publishing houses and literary agencies, and a mentor for CW students at TSD Lampeter University. She also event-managed the Penfro literary festival for three years, and managed and hosted 'The Cellar Bards' spoken word events for four years.

 

 Ravi Pawar

Ravi Pawar is the Headteacher of Bryntirion Comprehensive School in Bridgend. He was born in Merthyr and grew up in Neath before studying English at Cardiff University and education at Swansea University. He has taught in schools in Cardiff, Merthyr and Neath and was head of Blackwood Comprehensive from 2009 before taking up his current role at Bryntirion in 2018. He has edited a number of projects for Parthian. He is a keen cyclist, travelling anywhere, and reading anything! He is Chair of the board of Parthian Books Ltd.

 

 

 Dai Smith

Dai Smith edited the Library of Wales series and  is the current editor of the Parthian Modern Wales Series. He is the chair of the Dylan Thomas Award. He studied History at Balliol College, Oxford, and Literature at Columbia University, New York City, before a Phd at Swansea University for a thesis on the South Wales Miners' Federation, which subsequently became the subject of his book, with Hywel Francis, The Fed. He has written extensively about modern Wales, including Aneurin Bevan and the World of South Wales (1993) and Wales: A Question for History (1998). His critically acclaimed biography of Raymond Williams was published in 2008 as Raymond Williams: A Warrior's Tale. His debut novel of stories Dream On was published in 2013 as well as a novella What I Know I Cannot Say in 2015. His novel is The Crossing was published in 2021. A new work, a memoir, Off the Track will appear in 2022.

 

 Susie Wildsmith

Susie Wildsmith is Parthian's publishing editor specialising in poetry and fiction. With Parthian since 2007, she’s worked with award-winning writers and translators including Lloyd Markham, Richard Owain Roberts, Rae Howells, Mari Ellis Dunning, Miren Agur Meabe, Amaia Gabantxo and Rebecca F. John. Following an MA in Creative Writing from Swansea University and an MA in Journalism from Goldsmiths, Wildsmith has also built a portfolio career in the arts as a journalist, festival and events organiser, performer, editor and university lecturer.
Writing as Susie Wild, she is the author of two poetry collections (Windfalls and Better Houses), the short story collection The Art of Contraception, listed for the Edge Hill Prize, and the novella Arrivals.

   

 Dr Richard Lewis Davies

Davies is a founding partner of Parthian which he set up with Gillian Griffiths and Ravi Pawar in 1993. It was initially established to publish his first novel, Work, Sex and Rugby but quickly developed into a leading independent publisher based in Wales with a focus on Welsh writers working in English while also assembling a carnival of voices from many languages and cultures. Parthian received the inaugural Bookseller Small Publisher of the Year Award for Wales in 2019. He has worked as an editor on recent award-winning books including Pigeon by Alys Conran and Hummingbird by Tristan Hughes while project managing the Parthian India Wales Valley City Village venture. In addition to publishing, he has a parallel career as a creative writer. His work has received a number of awards, including the Rhys Davies short story prize and the John Morgan writing award. He has also worked extensively in Welsh theatre. Davies has been involved in the literary scene in Wales since 1990 and is the current commercial director of Parthian and the Library of Wales series.

 

 Gina Rathbone

Gina Rathbone is a freelance project editor who has worked with Parthian since 2020. She has worked on a wide range of books including the award-winning novel The Lake by Bianca Bellová and Charles – the King and Wales by Huw Thomas. Her background in corporate communications combined with her English Literature degree from Cardiff University led her into proofreading and copyediting. She is an outdoor enthusiast, and when she isn’t reading, can be found biking and hiking

 

 

 

 

 Ela Griffiths

Ela Griffiths is the Development and Engagement Editor at Parthian Books. Growing up in a house full of books in every room bar the toilet, she's always had a passion for storytelling and writing. Going on to study history at Manchester Metropolitan University, she has worked for Parthian since 2020. Her most recent work was producing a workshop between queer writers from both Wales and Vietnam in collaboration with the British Council Wales. The multimedia anthology Room/Ystafell Phóng was published in November 2023. Alongside her publishing career Ela works in film and television and was selected for The Grierson Trust’s 2023 Documentary scheme. 

 

 

  Professor Kirsti Bohata, Library of Wales Editor

Kirsti Bohata is Professor of English at Swansea University. She has published widely on Welsh writing in English including writing by women, queer writing, disability and industrialisation, and postcolonial approaches to Welsh literature. Her current work is focused on rural change and Welsh agriculture in the context of the climate and nature emergencies.
In addition to teaching and writing, Kirsti is co-Chair of the Association for Welsh Writing in English (with Matthew Jarvis), co-Chair of the Wales Arts and Humanities Alliance (with Claire Gorrara), and leads the Narrating Rural Change Network. At Swansea University she is Director of the Climate Action Research Network and co-Director of CREW, the Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales and of the Richard Burton Centre for the Study of Wales. (with Daniel Williams). She is co-editor of the Writing Wales in English series of academic studies of Welsh writing in English, published by University of Wales Press.

 

 Gwen Davies, New Welsh Review and Rarebyte Editor

Gwen Lloyd Davies grew up in a Welsh-speaking family in West Yorkshire, England. She returned to Wales after college and worked as the Literature Officer for the Arts Council before becoming the first editor at Parthian in 1998. She has specialised in developing new work from emerging writers including award-winning books from Tristan Hughes, Cynan Jones, John Sam Jones, Jo Mazelis, and Rachel Trezise's Fresh Apples which won the inaugural Dylan Thomas Prize.
In addition to her editing work she has developed a second career as one of the leading literary translators from Welsh into English. Her translations include the novels Martha, Jack and Shanco (Caryl Lewis, 2007) and The Jeweller (Caryl Lewis, 2019). She is the co-translator, with the author, of Robin Llywelyn’s White Star (2003). She is the editor of Sing Sorrow Sorrow, Dark and Chilling Tales (2010). She lives in Aberystwyth. Gwen became editor of New Welsh Review in March 2011, and instigated the New Welsh Writing Awards in 2015, the same year that her book imprint New Welsh Rarebyte was established which includes titles such as Woman Who Brings the Rain by Eluned Gramich, Slatehead by Peter Goulding and Birdsplaining by Jasmine Donahaye.

 

Board Members

Clare Davies
Clare Davies was born and brought up in Port Talbot. She studied English Literature and Welsh Writing in English at Swansea University, graduating with a PhD in 2019. She worked as English-language Grants Officer at the Books Council of Wales. She now works in HE policy and lives in Cardiff.
 
Niall Griffiths 
Niall Griffiths was born in Liverpool and has lived in mid-Wales for a long time now. Author of eight novels, a book of poetry, several works of non-fiction. The film of his third novel, Kelly+Victor, won a BAFTA. He has won the Wales Book of the Year twice, for the novels Stump, in 2004 and Broken Ghost in 2020. His work has been translated into around twenty languages and he has delivered readings from it all over the globe. 

 

 

 

 

David Lloyd Owen

David Lloyd Owen was born in London and spent his summers at the family house near Llangrannog, Ceredigion. After reading environmental biology at Liverpool University, he went to Jesus College, Oxford for his doctoral research on the behaviour and ecology of the chough. He put his animal behaviour research to good use by becoming an equity analyst in the City of London. He started following the water sector in 1989. Since 1996, he has been a water consultant, advising governments, multilateral institutions, companies, and banks about water policy, especially regarding finance and sustainability. He has written books on water management and finance and travel to Wales in the 17th and 18th century in Wilder Wales.

He now lives in Newcastle Emlyn with his wife, Polly, children Bethan and Trystan. As well as collecting books on Wales and south & central Asia, he dabbles in rural life, writing, epicure and local politics, serving as Mayor of Cardigan in 2003-4.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The Parthian publishing programme is produced with support from of the  Books Council of Wales.
The Library of Wales project is a Welsh Government and Welsh Books Council initiative.

Welsh Assembly Government logo

Welsh Book Council Logo

 

Parthian publishes the Modern Wales series with the support of the Rhys Davies Trust
The Parthian Carnivale project is funded by Creative Europe