Born at Glyndŵr, Mount Pleasant, Pontnewydd, Monmouthshire on 23 March 1913, the youngest of the three daughters of James David Haycock, miner (known locally as Jim Pearce) and Alice Maud, née Perry (both natives of Monmouthshire). Educated at Cwm-ffrwd-oer primary school, Pontypool grammar school for girls and Cardiff Technical College (later Cardiff College of Art). Her skill as an illustrator in black and white, coupled with her early success with a lyric in English at the Port Talbot national eisteddfod of 1932, where W.H. Davies was the adjudicator, prompted her to reject a career as an art teacher and to take up one as a freelance journalist. From 1936 her poems and stories, illustrated with scraper-board drawings, appeared in The Western Mail and other newspapers and journals. On the outbreak of World War II she was in turn wages clerk in a munitions factory, assistant welfare officer in a factory in Cardiff's slumland, teacher, and information officer for the Institute of Agriculture at Usk. In 1943 she joined the B.B.C. in London : two of her radio plays were broadcast and her poems read over the air. Leaving the B.B.C. in 1945, she became a successful journalist in London, writing articles and poems, illustrating books, designing Christmas cards and becoming a member of the council of the Society of Women Journalists. In July 1947 she married Dr. Arthur Merion Williams of Borth (consultant anaesthetist at Redhill county hospital and the East Surrey group of hospitals) at the presbyterian church, Llanover, and lived after her marriage at Buckland, near Reigate, where she brought up their three children. Despite increasing ill-health, she continued to write and not infrequently read her poems on television. She died on 9 November 1963. The four volumes she published were Fantasy and other poems (1937), Poems (1944), More poems (1945) and (posthumously) Mountain over Paddington (1964). A fluent impressionistic poet, ‘her imagery often touched with elfin whimsicality ' (A.G. Prys-Jones), she used traditional forms with an effect which occasionally echoed W.H. Davies, leading ‘Wil Ifan’ (William Evans) to call her ‘Gwent's Second Voice’.
Published date: 2001
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