Iris Davies, nee Richardson, pen name Iris Gower
Iris was a well-known writer of books and novels based on local history and stories from around the Swansea and the South Wales region. She was born in the centre of Swansea town although at a young age moved to Mayhill. She met and then married pattern-maker William Tudor Davies on her 21st birthday. Iris and Tudor settled in Courtney Street, Manselton where they had 4 children, Tudor Jr, Angela, Susan and Paul. As a young woman, Iris worked as a nursery teacher and a few other jobs, mostly part-time. Her love of writing started in her early twenties and she had several short stories published in the magazines Jackie and Woman’s Own, her 1st novel was Tudor Tapestry in 1974. In 1983 Iris wrote the novel Copper Kingdom based on the historical industries and life of the region, this would set the stage for many of her books and stories to follow. Iris was awarded an MA for Creative Writing from Cardiff University and an Honorary Fellowship at Swansea University in 1999. Iris, spent the latter part of her life living in Derwen Fawr, Swansea where she continued to write successful works. Sadly on 15th April 2002 Tudor, her husband of 48 years passed away. Iris was always interested in mentoring and encouraging other writers and was to become a Patron of the Year of Literature and as an active member of the Swansea Writers’ Circle welcomed and encouraged the novelist Catrin Collier. Iris Gower passed away at Singleton Hospital, Swansea, on 20th July 2010 at the age of 75.
You can learn techniques but not creativity. There were no lessons when I started.
So I put my children to bed at 7pm and wrote. I wouldn’t pay for a course. If people were so damn good at writing, why are they teaching and not writing? I research a lot and talk to people. People’s anecdotes are like gold nuggets.
On a personal note, I met Iris for the first time in 1997 when she purchased two of my paintings that were on display at The Dublin Arms, Brynmelyn. Ivy and Don were the proprietors and introduced us.
In 1983 Roger Warren Evens set up the “New Swansea Business Club”, and Iris and myself both started there the same day. We became very good friends both with a love of Swansea and it’s history. I will never forget her fiery red hair and her sense of humour. Jeff Phillips author.