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David Lloyd

poet, fiction writer, anthologist



SUNY Press 2018

The Moving of the Water

Anchored in the community of first-, second-, and third-generation Welsh Americans in Utica, New York, during the 1960s, the stories in David Lloyd’s The Moving of the Water delve into universal concerns: identity, home, religion, language, culture, belonging, personal and national histories, mortality. Unflinching in their portrayal of the traumas and conflicts of fictional Welsh Americans, these stories also embrace multiple communities and diverse experiences in linked, innovative narratives: soldiers fighting in World War I and in Vietnam, the criminal underworld, the poignant struggles of children and adults caught between old and new worlds. The complexly damaged characters of these surprising and affecting stories seek transformation and revelation, healing and regeneration: a sometimes traumatic “moving of the water.”


Over the Line

Over The Line is a brilliant debut novel centering on Justin whose generation finds itself overwhelmed by the moral chaos of a society on a downward spiral. David Lloyd searches for direction back to World War II, even as he recognizes that the consequences of the Vietnam War remain to unsettle today's young. Not least Lloyd depicts the violence and brutality brought home  by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. "Over The Line" is resonant with meaning and is a page turner as well!

Joan Mellen

author of Our Man In Haiti: George de Mohrenschildt and The CIA In The Nightmare Republic


David Lloyd in these poems asks us to measure our appetites, our time, and ourselves against the history and hubris of the great potentates, gods, warriors, and fathers. He sounds the limits of knowing and loving, and maps both the “North American forest of aboriginal danger” and the interior. His aim is at the heart. He is unafraid to ask the large questions of love and loyalty, mutability and awe. In these bold and essential poems he reveals the “secret markings” of creatures and returns – skillfully, subtly – to the stories of our forming.

Bruce Smith

author of Devotions


Stories and a Novella

Boys run. Boys fight. Boys are skinny. Boys are fat. Boys are cruel and kind and indifferent. Boys have secrets. Boys struggle to survive rhemselves. Boys in complex incarnations fill the pages of David Lloyd's beautiful stories. This is tender, graceful fiction, lit with humor and wisdom.

Joanna Scott

author of DePotter's Grand Tour

Spare, simple stories that accrue winningly, reminding us of the Machiavellian complexities of childhood, and its occasional quiet victories.

George Saunders

author of Tenth of December

The Gospel

According to Frank

The figure of Frank Sinatra is a myth that draws other myths to it. David Lloyd has capitalized upon this fact and found analogies from ancient legend that help to visualize the glamour that surrounds the man. Exploying parable, proverb, psalm, and tall tale, The Gospel According to Frank places the singer in a more universal context than ever Sinatra might have imagined. Daring, enjoyable, wryly ironic.

Fred Chappell

Winner of the Bollingen Prize

The Everyday Apocalypse

David Lloyd is a master of surprise. His subjects are various, but scenes from family life, with images of photographs, recur in his poems. What he conveys, however, is a sense of the depths of reality, which cannot be seen or known, although strongly felt.  Sometimes this crystallizes as a sense of the Welsh past, before his parents emigrated to America, and of an elusive but strong, other identity. ... The world he depicts is genuinely mysterious: familiar, but strangely elusive, unreliable, and unknown.

Jeremy Hooker

author of Scattered Light


Imagined Greetings:

Poetic Engagements with

R. S. Thomas

For the centenary of Welsh poet R. S. Thomas' birth, this anthology gathers poems written over the last five decades that respond to his life and work.

Other Land:

Contemporary Poems on Wales and Welsh-American Experience

This book features ten poets, each with an American background and an active, creative engagement with Wales. The poetry deals with the 'matter of Wales' and the 'matter' of being Welsh-American, developed through divergent poetics and perspectives.

Writing on the Edge:

Interviews with Writers and Editors of Wales

Complex and controversial issues have accompanied the development of English-language literature in Wales. The thirteen interviews with writers and editors based in Wales in Writing on the Edge explore those issues and ongoing debates relating to literary and cultural identity in contemporary Wales. 

The Urgency of Identity:

Contemporary English-Language Poetry from Wales

This anthology of poems and interviews presents the important English-language Welsh poets of the 1980s and 1990s, illuminating the complexity, constant flux, and political implications of the poet's sense of inherited culture. The poems showcase the Welsh poets' skill, and the sensuous density of their language, which offers the reader a striking depiction of the landscape and society.


David Lloyd’s “Sestinas for the Everyday Apocalypse” takes one of the most rigid forms – one that in most hands is clumsy and boring – turning it flexible, muscular and dramatically satisfying. Despite Lloyd’s range of variations, we have the sense of an established poetic “line” and of a working correspondence between syntax and music. More important, the best of these ten poems – above all, the final sestina – address the fearful dilemmas, our common losses and triumphs, with an unforced wisdom at once convincing and beautiful.




In Warriors “the tensions between the familiar or inevitable and the unfathomable are explored with formally inventive concentration, never more so than in the collection’s three sestinas, prizewinning standalone poems of apparently effortless dexterity….”


 “Lloyd’s poems are a journey of the spirit. They aim, in the words of his sestina on St. Peter, to ‘listen well’. … David Lloyd’s intense, spare, final poem gives brief entry into a place very close to heaven.”



“Sharply observed, [Lloyd's] stories are filled with scenes both mundane and shocking that capture those strange, private moments of shame, fear, pride, and creativity - moments that become the secrets we rarely tell. A memorable debut.”


Lloyd captures the simultaneously singular and universal conflicts in the lives of adolescent boys in a collection of stories set in upstate New York in 1966. In spare, direct prose, Lloyd depicts scenes that frequently skirt the edge of danger, both social and physical.


While a host of good things can be written about the details of the poems – line breaks, cadence, et cetera – the genius is in the structure and the use of religious/biographical metaphor.  That is, the real beauty of this work is the way Lloyd uses Sinatra’s life and prior religious imagery to create a mythopoeic tale about Sinatra, to make Sinatra immortal on a grander scale than he already is …. Lloyd’s skill with the tools of language, myth, and biography in The Gospel According to Frank have resulted in one of the most potent powers of poetry: It doesn’t become a part of you—you become a part of it.



Over the Line is a spare and magnificent novel, humorous and heartbreaking to the end.  Drawing on his native Central New York with an eye as keen as William Kennedy’s or Richard Russo’s, David Lloyd gives us a timely character in the person of Justin Lyle, who is being raised in the economic and moral crucible of small town America.  Yet, the story is as classic as it is contemporary, for what emerges is a boy’s coming of age and his realization that morality means nothing outside of the embrace of ambiguity. 

… there are splendid poems in this chapbook: the fine sestinas, “Bedtime Stories,” “The Artist,” “Thinking of John Glenn,” and his moving concluding poem, “Giving It All Away,” in which he forsakes all the mundane, ridiculous, and terrible things of our lives—photographs, letters, history, Albert Schweitzer and Eydie Gorme, the equations on our blackboards, the maps, bodies in our backyards, “the nuclear waste in my neighbor’s basement.” He strips off his clothes and lets “all fly from my fingertips.”





In The Press


David Lloyd is the author of eleven books, including four poetry collections (The Body's Compass forthcoming, Warriors 2012, The Gospel According to Frank 2009, The Everyday Apocalypse 2002) and three works of fiction (Boys: Stories and a Novella 2005, Over the Line 2013, and The Moving of the Water 2018). In 2000, he received the Poetry Society of America’s Robert H. Winner Memorial Award. In 2001 he was a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in residence at Bangor University, Wales, UK. He returns to Wales as a Cardiff University Fulbright Scholar in 2021. He directs the Creative Writing Program at Le Moyne College, in Syracuse, NY. (For more information about the program, click Here.)

News and Events



Readings sponsored by the Creative Writing Program at Le Moyne College will be listed here.

Newly publishd in journals




“Devil on Wheels”

Poetry Wales website, May 29, 2024.


“The Dead Children”

translation of “Y Plant Marw,” and “The Moment,” translation of “Yr Eiliad”: poems by Welsh-language poet Waldo Williams, Massachusetts Review (forthcoming 2024).


“In Two Fields”

translation of “Mewn Dau Gau” by Welsh-language poet Waldo Williams, Image (forthcoming 2024).


“Aneirin,” “Safeway,” “War and Peace”

translations of poems by Welsh-language poet Iwan Llwyd, War, Literature & the Arts (Vol. 35, 2023)


“A Man Who Would be King,” “Dream Time”

Scintilla: A journal of literary criticism, prose and new poetry in the metaphysical tradition

(No. 26, 2023).


“No I in the Storm,” Red Poets 29 (2023).


“Miraculous Body,” “Open House,” “Beavermind,” “The List,” “This Unfamiliar Place”

in the special “Writer’s Corner” of Weaving Words Into Worlds, ed. Caroline Durand-Rous and Margot Lauwers (Vernon Press Series in Literary Studies, 2023).


“Alchemy,” Remembering “The Wasteland”

anthology of poems responding to 100th anniversary of publication of T. S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland,”

ed. Nathalie Anderson (Moonstone Arts Center, 2023).

And they say that the world lacks romance

Poetry Wales (59.1) Spring 2023.


“Show and Tell”

Bright Flash Literary Journal (February, 2024): .


"The Moving of the Water"

Virginia Quarterly Review (summer fiction issue 94.2) 2018


New Welsh Review (#117) 2018


“How David Lloyd Writes a Poem”

interview with Poetry Wales editor Zoe Brigley about writing the poem “Devil on Wheels”

(also published on the website), May 29, 2024.


“The Moving Of The Water - An Interview With Welsh American Author David Lloyd” (December 20, 2018). 


“An Interview With David Lloyd - WCE Short Story Competition Winner 2015” (February 21, 2016).


“James Laughlin, American Modernism and Post World War II Welsh Writing in English”

International Journal of Welsh Writing in English (Vol. 10, Issue 1, 2023):


“‘Giving ‘Wings to the Mind’: ‘The Green Woodpecker’ and the Poetry of Jeremy Hooker”

Poetry Salzburg Review (No. 40, 2023): 146-156.


“‘The Way to Know the Bobolink’: Emily Dickinson’s Birds”

In One World: The US and the World We Inhabit,

Sylvia Guslandi, Adele Tiengo, and Paulo Loreto, eds.,

Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020: 289-301.


 “Dylan Thomas and Kenneth Rexroth: ‘something terribly unbritish’”

Paideuma: Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poets (Vol. 45, 2018): 163-187.

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