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Myfanwy Haycock

The Return: Selected Poems

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'here’s a book that makes for a pleasurable read, with poems that are straightforward and song-like. Many of these would be lovely if read aloud or shared with others. I hope that this poet’s ‘return’ means people will pick the book up.' Mab Jones, Buzz Magazine


Edited with an introduction by Jenni Crane

Myfanwy Haycock (1913-1963) mapped out a career as one of Wales’s most talented female poets during the mid-twentieth century and was dubbed as ‘Gwent’s second voice’ at the age of nineteen.

A skilled illustrator, journalist and broadcaster, Haycock explored the world around her through impressionistic poetry and often outspoken articles. However, in the years since her death, Haycock’s poetic landscape has largely been lost.

These poems of nature and love, dreams and mourning, transport the reader from the roaming South Wales valleys to the trampled grass of Kensington and back again.


'She found grace and beauty everywhere, distilling her impressions in vivid word-pictures of charm and tenderness, her imagery, often touched with elfin whimsicality, is free and appealing.' – A. G. Prys-Jones




Myfanwy Haycock (1913-1963) was one of the Eastern Valley of Wales’s most endearing and talented female lyric poets, publishing seven poetry collections and broadcasting her poems on radio and television.

In 1932, Haycock won the English Lyric entry at the National Eisteddfod, Port Talbot, for her poem ‘The Hill of Dreams’ and, later, two bardic chairs, at Ebbw Vale and Newport. Her poetry embodied her love of nature, places, and her hometown of Pontypool. She was a regular feature writer for the South Wales Argus, Western Mail and many other publications; illustrating her poems and short stories with scraperboard woodcuts. Moving to London in 1943, she worked for the BBC and became a member of The Society of Women Writers and Journalists.

Haycock was the youngest of three daughters born in Pontnewynydd to coalminer James David Haycock and his wife Alice Maud. In 1947, she married Dr Arthur Williams, settling in Surrey with three children. At the age of fifty, she tragically passed away after a debilitating illness.


Jenni Crane is a Pontypool-born BBC continuity announcer, broadcaster, TV and Radio Producer. With a BA Hons in Acting from The Italia Conti Academy, Jenni has worked on both sides of the camera.

She authored BBC Radio 4 documentary The Chaplain’s Suitcase. In 2023 she launched the Myfanwy Haycock Poetry Trail and presented My Hill of Dreams for BBC Radio Wales. Jenni has produced and introduced programmes: Your Home Made Perfect (BBC2), Escape to the Chateau: DIY and Penelope Keith’s Village of the Year (Channel 4). She lives in London with her husband and Cave the cat and hopes to make her own return home to live in Wales soon.