B.A. (Wales), F.B.A., O.B.E. Emyr Humphreys Chair of Welsh Writing in English
Professor Thomas holds the Emyr Humphreys Chair of Welsh Writing in English, and is the former Director and founder of CREW. He is a specialist in American poetry and in the two literatures of modern Wales. He is also Chairman of the Welsh Books Council and has held visiting professorships at Harvard and at Tubingen, was Chairman of the Welsh Arts Council's Literature Committee for five years, and has acted as Chairman of the Welsh Academy of writers, Yr Academi Gymreig, becoming a Fellow of the Academy in 2000. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1996, and received the highest honour of the National Eisteddfod of Wales in 2000. The twenty books of which he is author/ editor include the prize-winning Morgan Llwyd: ei gyfeillion a'i gyfnod (1991), The Lunar Light of Whitman's Poetry (1987), Internal Difference: writing in Twentieth Century Wales (1992), Corresponding Cultures: the two literatures of modern Wales (1999), 'The Page's Drift': R.S.Thomas at Eighty (1993) and DiFfinio Dwy Lenyddiaeth Cymru (1995).
Recent books of his include a study of Welsh culture in the century of America; a monograph on the poet and dramatist Kitchener Davies; a joint publication with the novelist Emyr Humphreys; Residues (posthumous poems of R. S. Thomas); and Welsh Writing in English, the first authoritative survey of this body of literature. Professor Thomas's important study of Walt Whitman's poetry in the context of both the US and the UK, Transatlantic Connections: Whitman US-Whitman UK, was published in 2005. Until recently Chair of the University of Wales Press, Professor Thomas is at present Chair of the Welsh Books Council Grants to Publishers Panel and is the executor of R. S. Thomas's unpublished literary estate. In June 2007 he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the two literatures of Wales.