John K. Bollard

Editor  *  Medievalist  *  Translator  *  Lexicographer


To contact me, click here.                                                       For a list of publications, click here.

New from

Gwasg Carreg Gwalch (2019)

To his friends he was 'the peacock of poetry', 'the nightingale of Dyfed', and 'the hawk of chief poets.' Today Dafydd ap Gwilym is widely recognized as one of the finest poets of the European Middle Ages. He was the driving force in a poetic revolution which made the newly developed cywydd form a fluid medium for his favorite topic -- the vicissitudes of love, its joys, its fears,its comedy and its ever-present uncertainties.

This book presents in Welsh and in English translation a variety of Dafydd's poems to his lovers, his friends, and his patrons, with particular attention to places throughout Wales that he knew and loved -- all brought into visual focus through the photographic artistry of Anthony Griffiths.

It also includes a Preface by Dafydd Johnston, Director of the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies in Aberystwyth, a brief Introduction, Notes to the Poems, an Afterword on 'Dafydd the Person, Dafydd the Poet, and Dafydd the Persona,' and a brief Introduction to Welsh Metrics.

Also available from
Gwasg Carreg Gwalch (2015)

Verses on the Legendary Heroes of Wales


The Black Book of Carmarthen


Edited and translated by John K. Bollard

Photographs by Anthony Griffiths

from Liverpool University Press (2013)

This casebook presents 101 documents, poems, letters, chronicles, etc., relating to Owain Glyndŵr and the rebellion he led during the first decade of the 15th century.  All texts are presented in their original languages (Welsh, Latin, French, Anglo-Norman, Middle and Early Modern English) with translations and explanatory notes.  Essays by an international team of experts provide multiple contexts for a thorough reevaluation of Owain and his times.


"...the definitive collection of texts... relating to the great Welshman’s uprising."

   --Prof. John France,
Swansea University

 For more information, click here.

Also available from Liverpool University Press (2011):

Includes among its 53 selections, editions of two texts of the Old English poem on the battle, the Welsh texts Armes Prydein, and Glaswawt Taliesin, the Old Norse Egil's Saga, and numerous Latin, English, Welsh, and French chronicle accounts of the battle.

"... a massive and admirable volume on the Battle of Brunanburh. It is designed as a casebook - a teaching tool and a scholarly examination in one. It is as definitive as it is possible to be about the battle and succeeds admirably as a case study of how to examine an obscure medieval battle."--Journal of Military History

The Native American Biography Project

Native American Biography Project 

 John K. Bollard, Editorial Director 

We regret to say that the Native American Biography Project is at present not in operation, due to lack of funding.

The Native American Biography Project is a major research project established to produce a four-volume collection of some 2,000 biographies of Native North Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians, First Nations, Inuit, and Metis figures of note throughout history.  The Editorial Board is comprised of fifteen of the top experts in the field.   


from Gomer Press and
John K. Bollard and Anthony Griffiths

  The Mabinogi: Legend and Landscape of Wales (Llandysul: Gomer, 2006) is a new translation of this medieval Welsh masterpiece of myth, mystery, magic, and wonder.  This translation includes sixty stunning photographs of places named in the tales, taken by the renowned Welsh guitarist and prizewinning photographer Anthony Griffiths.  Dr. Bollard is a leading authority on the Four Branches of The Mabinogi and other medieval Welsh tales.



Companion Tales to The Mabinogi (Llandysul: Gomer, 2007) includes translations of four medieval Welsh tales, illustrated by photographs of the places mentioned in them: 

How Culhwch Got Olwen -- the wildly exuberant story of how young Culhwch, with Arthur's help, came to marry Olwen, daughter of Ysbaddaden Chief Giant.  This tale, packed with traditional lore, is rightly renowned as the earliest surviving Arthurian tale.

The Dream of Maxen Wledig, Emperor of Rome -- a tale with its roots in Roman and early British history and its charm stemming from the skill of the traditional Welsh storyteller.

The Story of Lludd and Llefelys -- a brief tale of three mysterious plagues on the Island of Britain, including the origins of the buried dragons later revealed by Myrddin (Merlin, Merlinus Ambrosius).

The Dream of Rhonabwy -- a satirical look at both the historical world of twelfth-century Wales and the colorful gilded and bejeweled world of Arthur and his companions.

The third volume of the Legend and Landscape of Wales series,
Tales of Arthur,
contains three tales of Arthur's knights,
Peredur son of Efrawg,
Owain, or The Lady of the Spring,
The History of Geraint son of Erbin.
Named the Best Photography/Art Book published in Wales in 2010-2011 by the Welsh Books Council.
For more information about The Mabinogi 
and to order copies of these books, 
click here to go to The Mabinogi web page. 


 Additional research projects and forthcoming books 
by John Bollard

The First Valentines
The Love Poems that Inspired Valentine's Day

The First Valentines will be a coffee-table gift book containing translations of the first hundred years of Valentine's Day poetry alongside photographs of the original texts in various medieval manuscripts.  Valentine's Day began in the fourteenth century when Geoffrey Chaucer and other English and French poets in his circle began to write love poetry  set on February 14, Valentine's Day -- the day the birds choose their mates, as so humorously depicted in Chaucer's Parliament of the Birds.


Writing the Declaration of Independence

 Writing the Declaration of Independence will present photographic copies and transcriptions of documents related to the preparation, publication, and influence of this central document in US history.  Pride of place will be given to various fragments and drafts of the Declaration in the hands of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Richard Henry Lee, along with the various early printed versions and other documents, such as Abigail Adam's famous letter to John Adams abjuring him to "remember the Ladies."  Side-by-side presentation of transcripts of Jefferson's draft copy of the Declaration and the text adopted by the Continental Congress will demonstrate much about the thought processes that went into the document, and will also reveal some surprises about some of the most often repeated phrases in American history.


Awards and Honors

Tales of Arthur
was named the Best Photography/Art Book published in Wales in 2010-2011 by the Welsh Books Council.

From 2002 through 2005 Dr. Bollard was executive editor and managing editor of the African American National Biography, an ongoing research project at Harvard University directed by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham.  In 2004 African American Lives, a collection of over 600 biographies of both famous and lesser known African Americans, was selected as a Booklist Editor's Choice for Best Reference of 2004.


The Pronouncing Dictionary of Proper Names (Omnigraphics, 1998) is an award-winning reference work giving the pronunciations of over 28,000 proper names of people, places, and things from around the world.  On the publication of the first edition in 1993, it was named an Outstanding Reference Source by the American Library Association and Best Reference Book of 1993 by the Library Journal.


Reference Works for Young Readers and Writers




The Scholastic Children's Thesaurus, the Scholastic Student Thesaurus, and the Scholastic Pocket Thesaurus are innovative thesauruses designed to introduce students to the joys and complexities of the the intricate web of the English vocabulary.


Return to top of page


Links of Related Interest 

A Moment in the Field
Voices from Arthurian Legend
Poems by Margaret Lloyd 


Readers interested in Arthurian Legend and its continuing resonance in our own time should read Margaret Lloyd's A Moment in the Field (Plinth Books, 2006). 

For more information, go to A Moment in the Field.


Anthony Griffiths
Photography and Music

A selection of photographs of the Welsh landscape can be seen on -- and ordered from -- Anthony Griffiths' website.  Anthony is also one of the foremost guitarists in Wales, and samples of his music can be heard on his website.  His CD Ysbryd: The Spirit of the Celtic Guitar can be ordered from that website, or in the US from here.