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Poet Vernon Watkins (1906 - 1967) was born in Maesteg, and moved to Bridgend and Llanelli during childhood before settling in 1913 in Swansea, followed by Redcliffe, Caswell Bay ten years later and finally, in 1931, to Heatherslade on Pennard Cliffs. The shoreline of Gower provided the illustrative material of Watkins' poetry. He read French and German at Magdalene College, Cambridge but left at the end of his first year and failed to pursuade his father to allow him to travel to Italy to develop his blossoming poetry. In 1925 Watkins became a junior clerk in the Butetown branch of Lloyds Bank in Cardiff, but suffered a nervous breakdown. He subsequently relocated to the Lloyds Bank branch at St. Helen's, Swansea so that he could live and be cared for at home. Watkins remained in that employment, except for military service during the Second World War, until his retirement and he lived the rest of his life at Pennard. His first volume of poetry was published in 1941 soon after he had left the bombing in Swansea for service in the RAF Police. Numerous other collections, selections and long poems followed. At the time of his death in Seattle, during a second visit as Professor of Poetry at the University of Washington, his name was being canvassed, with others, for the Poet Laureateship. Information taken from Meic Stephens' New Companion to the Literature of Wales (University of Wales Press, 1998)

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