In Welsh Journal Jeremy Hooker recalls his life in the seventies when he was an English lecturer (in both senses) at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth. Delighting in his closeness to nature, life in a cottage in rural Llangwyryfon is delineated in delicate, poetic prose: the passing seasons, work in the garden, walking the mountains, the birth of his two children.
Yet though stimulated by the new surroundings, Hooker found himself isolated, unable to enter fully into the Welsh-speaking community, at odds with his position as an academic, haunted too by a longing for his Dorset homeland. As a writer he had to grapple with depression and a failure of poetic nerve. Consolation was found in the companionship of fellow poets and critics, in the hard-crafted completion of a sequence of poems, in the rain-borne scent of newly-turned earth.
Welsh Journal is a voyage of discovery, personal, professional and as a writer. It is also an important, beautifully written record of life in a certain part of Wales during the seventies.