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This report is taken from PN Review 114, Volume 23 Number 4, March - April 1997.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

On 21 September, the Welsh Academy celebrated the seventieth birthday of Raymond Garlick. The venue was Trinity College, Carmarthen, where for many congenial years Raymond taught, first within the English Department and later as lecturer in charge of Welsh Studies, a course of his own devising, which, uniquely at the time, offered students in higher education a substantial experience of Anglo-Welsh literature. The celebration was a modest affair, but full of warmth and affection. It fitted the man, whose courtesy, gentleness, soft-spoken eloquence and love of literature inspired generations of students. I once sat mesmerised by a talk he gave to a group of sixth formers who were setting out from the college to explore locations in the neighbourhood - notably Fern Hill and Laugharne - associated with Dylan Thomas. He had a similar effect year after year on the trainee teachers and students from Iowa participating in the college's American Programme who were his regular audience. His gentleness is not of the namby-pamby sort. Raymond Garlick is acutely discriminating and tenacious in argument. As one who, virtually throughout his life, has struggled to overcome physical disability and set the highest standards for himself, he has little time for those who lack industry and grit. Like his good friend Tony Conran, he is a pacifist of the kind that does not back away from confrontation but strenuously opposes colonialism and bullying, large-scale or small.

There is every reason for celebrating the life of a gifted teacher (it ...
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