Christine James

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Christine James is a Welsh poet and academic who was Archdruid of Wales from June 2013 until June 2016, as the first woman to hold the title.[1] She first presided over the ceremonies at the National Eisteddfod in the 2013 Eisteddfod in Denbigh.[1] Like all holders, she qualified by winning one of the major literary prizes at a previous National Eisteddfod. She was elected Cofiadur (Recorder) of the Gorsedd of Bards at the National Eisteddfod in 2017, again as the first woman to hold the post.

Life and academic career[edit]

Christine James was born in Tonypandy, Rhondda, and educated at Porth County Grammar School, then later at Aberystwyth University, where she gained a first-class honours degree in Welsh and was subsequently awarded a PhD for a thesis on the Laws of Hywel Dda. She currently lives in Cardiff and is a professor in the Department of Welsh, Academi Hywel Teifi, Swansea University.[1] She is an elected Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and of the Academi Gymreig (the Welsh Academy).


She won the Crown at the 2005 National Eisteddfod for a poetry collection inspired by works of art, including a number in the National Museum Cardiff.[2]

Her first volume of poetry, Rhwng y Llinellau, was published by Cyhoeddiadau Barddas in 2013 and launched at the National Eisteddfod in Denbigh. It was awarded the prize for the best volume in the Poetry category in the Wales Book of the Year 2014 competition.


  1. ^ a b c Eisteddfod names Christine James first woman archdruid, BBC News, 23 June 2012
  2. ^ Daniel G Williams (20 August 2010). Aneurin Bevan and Paul Robeson: socialism, class and identity. Institute of Welsh Affairs. pp. 8–. ISBN 978-1-904773-53-5. Retrieved 13 October 2012.