Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Sarah Jane Rees (1839 - 1916) - Welsh

With grateful thanks to Deb Fisher of the Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship, I can now bring you news of a Welsh woman poet - Sarah Jane Rees - Bardic name "Cranogwen".

Sarah was a Welsh teacher, poet and editor.  Born on 9th January 1839 in Llangrannog in Cardiganshire, the daughter of a master mariner, Sarah often accompanied her father on his sea voyages.  She became interested in navigation and ended up studying and then teaching navigation herself.  In 1865 Sarah won the coveted Eistedfodd poetry prize and her Bardic name was "Cranogwen". Her first collection of poems - entitled "Caniadau Cranogwen" - was published in 1870.

 Sarah set up a Welsh language magazine for learned women - "Y Frythones" - which she edited from 1878 - 1889 and toured America giving lectures mainly to Welsh communities and travelling as far as California.  She was also a founding member of the South Wales Women's Temperence Union.

Sarah died in 1916 and is buried in the churchyard at St. Crannogs.

I am trying to find a copy of the poem Sarah wrote about the First World War shortly before her death and will post extracts when I manage to find it.