Ceri Shaw



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Category: News


In honor of St. David's Day, the North American Festival of Wales and Undeb Cymru a'r Byd (Wales International) are co-sponsoring two NEW virtual Eisteddfod competitions for Youth Solo Voice... Ages 7-11 and Ages 12-16.  Three top prizes in each category (£100 - £50 - £25 for UK entrants, otherwise paid out in the local currency equivalent).

Please go to the link below for all details/rules/guidelines (in English and Welsh)!

The adjudicating panel includes some greats from the Welsh cultural sphere... Edward Morus Jones, Mary Jones McGuyer and Catrin "Toffoc" Jones!

Each entrant is asked to submit a video of one song in Welsh, created in 2021 and three minutes or less in length, during a strictly limited, 24-hour window (Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, between midnight and midnight Eastern Time).  Winning entries will be announced and posted at the North American Festival of Wales (NAFOW) website,  www.nafow.org , on February 27, 2021.

We look forward to seeing some great performances soon! 

LINK TO COMPETITIONS PAGE:  http://festivalofwales.org/gan-o-gymru---eisteddfod-competition.html

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Senedd Cymru / Welsh Parliament (Alternate)

Dear        ,

The Senedd is going to debate the petition you signed – “Legislate to prevent people from changing Welsh house names ”.

Senedd Wales Petition 200105

The debate is scheduled for 20 January 2021.

You’ll be able to watch online on Senedd TV

Once the debate has happened, we’ll email you a video and transcript.

The Petitions team

You’re receiving this email because you signed this petition: “Legislate to prevent people from changing Welsh house names ”.

Annwyl         ,

Mae’r Senedd yn mynd i drafod y ddeiseb a lofnodwyd gennych – “Deddfu i atal newid enwau Cymraeg tai.”.

Deiseb Senedd Cymru 200105

Mae’r ddadl wedi’i hamserlennu ar gyfer 20 Ionawr 2021.

Gallwch chi wylio’r ddadl ar-lein ar Senedd TV

Ar ôl i’r ddadl ddigwydd, byddwn yn e-bostio fideo a thrawsgrifiad atoch.

Y tîm Deisebau

Rydych chi’n derbyn yr e-bost hwn oherwydd i chi lofnodi’r ddeiseb hon: “Deddfu i atal newid enwau Cymraeg tai.”.

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We are delighted to be celebrating the 50 th anniversary of Planet: the Welsh Internationalist magazine this year. This will culminate in the publication of issue 240 on 1 November 2020, and will be marked by a celebratory party and symposium. The party and symposium will now be postponed until next year, and will be an opportunity to look forward to the next 50 years. In the meantime, we are planning imaginative ways of commemorating half a century of the magazine later in 2020, and will stay in touch as these projects develop.

Planet’s story

“Time and again Planet has taken me upwards and outwards from the fulcrum of Wales to the furthest reaches of discussion and discovery.”

“I know of no other magazine which collates Welsh ideas and values so thoughtfully with intellectual developments in the world at large, and interprets the results in such excellent
journalism.” Jan Morris


Despite the scale suggested by the magazine’s masthead, Planet is run as a micro-organisation, albeit one that seeks to over-reach the limitations of Wales’ political status to offer Welsh perspectives on the world and vice versa. Planet’s authors have included R.S. Thomas, Jan Morris, Raymond Williams, Chinua Achebe, Menna Elfyn, Leo Abse, Gwynfor Evans, Mererid Hopwood and Stevie Davies, and each issue has featured both ground-breaking established authors and emerging talent in its pages.

While sometimes perceived as a ‘cultural magazine’, Planet has always found ways to be a vessel for often radical political perspectives, from the first issue’s opening challenge to the then Secretary of State for Wales George Thomas onwards. The magazine arose out of the publication of The Welsh Extremist: a Culture in Crisis by its founding editor Ned Thomas – an appeal to the English New Left as to why they should be in solidarity with the Welsh-language movement. It has provided a platform for pioneering work on topics from political independence to climate change and species loss – often long before these issues were on the mainstream media agenda.

The magazine has also always had a core role of bridging different cultures within an often very fractured nation. This has sometimes taken the form of bringing Welsh-language material to an English-language readership for the first time in translation, including Saunders Lewis’ seminal Tynged yr Iaith speech, and work by writers including Kate Roberts and J.R. Jones. Latterly this ethos of unifying language cultures has been expressed through our ‘Welsh Keywords’ series, inspired by Keywords – by one of our former Patrons Raymond Williams.

At the same time, from the start, Planet has played an important role in the development of Welsh Writing in English, being one of the first outlets to publish pioneering work from Anglophone areas of Wales by writers including Ron Berry and Alun Richards; and latterly authors such as Rachel Trezise and Gee Williams. Our recent ‘Retracing Wales’ and ‘Reading Between the Lines’ series take the reader on journeys to different corners of Wales, and are examples of how Planet gives insights into very diverse narratives of Welsh experience.

The magazine has also taken a pioneering approach to championing distinctively Welsh visual culture, being an early platform for art critics such as Peter Lord and Osi Rhys Osmond, and continues to offer rigorous critique of Welsh contemporary arts from the most challenging and avant-garde to the most popular.

Planet’s internationalism has taken many forms from the beginning. The magazine has featured articles that connect Wales to other European stateless nations, from a feature by Sartre on the rights of minority language speakers, to works by writers from Catalonia, Brittany, Scotland, Northern Ireland and beyond. Another, recent form of internationalism has been a series that juxtaposes the cultural and political experiences of coalfield communities in Wales and across the world. From the start, when the field of ‘Postcolonial Literature’ was in its infancy, Planet has provided a platform for writers from post-colonial nations worldwide including Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Jean Rhys and Naguib Mahfouz; and in latter years voices representing perspectives from the Global South – India, Cameroon, Iraq, Kurdistan and beyond in the work of (e.g.) Manoranjan Byapari, Eric Ngalle Charles, Rabab Ghazoul and Ciwanmerd Kulek.

In its politics and social justice coverage, Planet has offered unique, in-depth commentary on a tumultuous half century for Wales, chronicling its anxieties and hopes throughout eras of the Cold War, Welsh-language direct-action protest, the emergence of feminism, the Miners’ Strike, Thatcherism, European integration, the development of devolution, the Iraq War, climate change, austerity, the EU referendum, Black Lives Matter and Covid-19, the latter discussed in our new series Breathing Freely: Possibilities for a Post-Pandemic Society.

Since 2009 we have published topical features, podcasts and videos online as Planet Extra, and in 2016 launched Planet Platform – a dedicated online space for work by students we have mentored in writing for publication. Our role in fostering the next generation of journalists and writers is also manifested in our annual Young Writers’ Essay Competition.

This inter-generational dialogue on the past and future of Wales will be marked through several special features in our 2020 celebratory issue, which will be published at the beginning of November.

Planet is published with the financial support of the Books Council of Wales and the Public Interest News Foundation. It is hosted within Aberystwyth University, and receives financial sponsorship from the School of English, Communication and Philosophy, and the School of Journalism, Media Studies and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. For more information about Planet, please see our website: www.planetmagazine.org.uk

What others say about Planet

“Planet is an outstanding publication that is absolutely vital to the public sphere in Wales.” Desolation Radio’s Dan Evans.

For more testimonials about Planet, from figures including Charlotte Williams, Mike Parker, Menna Elfyn, Jan Morris and Rachel Trezise see https://planetmagazine.org.uk/endorsements

Media Enquiries

If you would like to feature coverage of our 50 th anniversary celebrations, or to arrange an event in conjunction with our anniversary, please contact Emily Trahair (editor) at

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The third #SingForWales anthem sing

By Ceri Shaw, 2020-06-07

Introducing Cardiff's very own 'Tiny Trumpeter Steffan Raynor Owen and Sing For Wales event anthem coach Gwenno Dafydd. This will be the third time that the anthem is performed worldwide to thank everyone for the part they have played in Wales during the covid crisis.

Gan gyflwyno 'Trwmpedwr Tidli Twt' unigryw Caerdydd, Steffan Raynor Owen sy'n cyfeilio i anogydd anthem digwyddiad Sing For Wales Gwenno Dafydd. Hwn fydd y trydedd tro i'r anthem gael ei fferfformio led-led y byd i ddiolch i bawb am y rhan mae nhw wedi ei chwarae yng Nghymru yn ystod y cyfnod cofidus.

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We have always had a great  lineup for Dylan Day in the past but because of lockdown this year the Birthplace is closed to visitors so we decided to bring the Birthplace to your living room! And what a response we have had from performers, musicians and poets from all over the world - so much so that we have another two programmes line up for later in the year. On top of that a previously unseen interview with the 39th President of the United States -  Jimmy Carter (beginning of programme 1) . See just why he is Dylan's Number One Fan.

Orange Circus Band * Tia McGraff * Lost Hollow * Oliver Lomax * Adrian Metcalfe * Daisy Owens * Rafa Bocero * Lorraine King * Iqbal Malik + many more

It's all set to go live at 7.00am on the  Birthplace YouTube channel on Thursday 14th May where the programmes will remain for you to view at your leisure  www.youtube.com/ dylanthomasbirthplace

Other Events on Dylan Day
Take a look at www.discoverdylanthomas.com for other Dylan Day events including the virtual International Dylan Thomas Prize hosted by Michael Sheen.

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Message from Gwenno Dafydd

Enunciation (with subtitles)

The Anthem performed by the Morriston Orpheus Choir

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Join the Facebook Group here:- SING FOR WALES

A message from Sarah Evans, 'Sing For Wales' organiser:- 

"SKY NEWS have come on board  # singforwales  and will be televising you singing the WELSH NATIONAL ANTHEM on MONDAY 4TH MAY, 8PM!

They may even be doing a live feed from one of your streets, so make sure you spread the word and get everyone out and singing.

MONDAY 4TH MAY, 8PM stand on your doorsteps and SING the WELSH NATIONAL ANTHEM for all those affected by Covid-19.

For the NHS and keyworkers, for everyone staying at home, for everyone self isolating, for the businesses that have had to shut, for the children missing their schools and friends, for everyone doing their part in the fight againsy Covid-19 and for those who were sadly taken by Covid-19. 

Keep joining, keep sharing, keep practising and STAY SAFE!"

Feel free to download, print and display the official event posters below. It's a great way to stimulate interest and participation. A few posters in your front/bedroom window and the whole street knows about the event!





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Ffred Ffransis, a prominent Welsh language campaigner has been featured in the news recently courtesy of bone headed BBC TV presenter Dan Walker. This character, in the course of reporting on Ffred's current dangerous predicament, thought it most important to mock the spelling of his name (see this news report ). Ffred and his wife Meinir are currently,  ".... stuck in Peru and have no way of coming home. They are in the city of Cusco which is at 11,200 feet above sea level. Ffred suffers from Left Ventricular Systolic Disorder which affects the heart, and has to take medication and have regular blood tests. The disease also makes it difficult for him to breathe and with Cusco's altitude, it’s having a big impact on him, and his health is deteriorating. Both are also in their 70s and therefore in the high-risk category for the Covid-19."

Under the circumstances we have no hesitation in:

1   Asking the Senedd to devote emergency funds to the repatriation of Ffred and Meinir. A couple of plane tickets wont break the bank!

2   Calling on Dan Walker to resign! ( UPDATE: It should be noted in mitigation that Dan Walker has apologised for his absurd remarks and has taken a lead in alerting the world to Ffred's situation via his Twitter feed:-  https://twitter.com/mrdanwalker/status/1240974016174788610 )

Asking our readers to spread the following message as widely and as quickly as possible. 

Llythyr Ffred a Meinir - Peru


Ysgrifennaf atoch ynglŷn ag achos Meinir a Ffred Ffransis sy’n sownd ym Mheriw, a heb unrhyw ffordd o ddychwelyd adref. Mae Meinir a Ffred yn ninas Cusco sydd 11,200 troedfedd uwch lefel y môr. Mae Ffred yn dioddef o Left Ventricular Systolic Disorder sy’n effeithio ar y galon, ac mae’n gorfod cymryd meddyginiaeth a chael profion gwaed yn rheolaidd. Mae’r afiechyd hefyd yn ei gwneud hi’n anodd iddo anadlu oherwydd bod Cusco yn uchel yn yr Andes, yr aer yn dennau, ac mae’n cael effaith fawr arno a’i iechyd yn dirywio. Mae’r ddau hefyd yn eu 70au ac felly yn y categori risg uchel i’r Covid-19. Pryderwn yn fawr beth fyddai’n digwydd pe byddent yn dal y firws allan ym Mheriw. 

Ar Fawrth 15 fe wnaeth Periw gau'r holl ffiniau gyda dim ond 24awr o rybudd, doedd hyn ddim yn ddigon o amser i drefnu ffordd allan gan fod pob hedfaniad yn llawn. Golygai hyn fod miloedd o bobl wedi’u gadael yno heb ffordd allan.

Mae llywodraethau Israel, UDA, Ffrainc, Yr Almaen, Gwlad Pwyl a Sbaen wedi trefnu hedfaniadau i ddod â’u dinasyddion yn ôl adref. Lle mae’r cymorth gan y DU? Mae’r llysgenhadaeth ym Mheriw wedi bod yn aneffeithiol hefyd, pan gyhoeddwyd bod y ffiniau yn cau fe wnaeth y swyddfa gau ac felly doedd dim modd mynd yno am gymorth nac arweiniad. 

Mae’r sefyllfa yn Cusco yn dirywio’n sydyn; mae’r fyddin ar y strydoedd yn atal pobl rhag gadael eu gwestai, mae curfew rhwng 1pm-8am, does dim llawer o fwyd ar ôl yn yr archfarchnadoedd ac mae tensiwn yn cynyddu rhwng y twristiaid a’r bobl sy’n byw yno. Mae wir yn mynd yn waeth bob dydd.

Rydym yn erfyn ar y llywodraeth i drefnu hedfaniad adref i Meinir a Ffred a’r 400 arall sydd ym Mheriw, mae angen i hyn ddigwydd cyn bod hi’n rhy hwyr.


I write to you regarding the case of Meinir and Ffred Ffransis who are stuck in Peru and have no way of coming home. Meinir and Ffred are in the city of Cusco which is at 11,200 feet above sea level. Ffred suffers from Left Ventricular Systolic Disorder which affects the heart, and has to take medication and have regular blood tests. The disease also makes it difficult for him to breathe and with Cusco's altitude, it’s having a big impact on him, and his health is deteriorating. Both are also in their 70s and therefore in the high-risk category for the Covid-19. We are very concerned about what would happen if they caught the virus out in Peru. 

On March 15 Peru closed all borders with only 24 hours’ notice, this was not enough time to arrange an exit as all flights were full. This left thousands of people stranded.

The governments of Israel, the USA, France, Germany, Poland and Spain have all organised flights to return their citizens. Where is the Uk’s response? The embassy in Peru has also proved ineffective, when they announced that the borders were closing, the office also shut its doors and it was therefore impossible to go there for guidance and advice. 

The situation in Cusco is deteriorating rapidly; the army on the streets are preventing people from leaving their hotels, there is a curfew between 1pm-8am, there is not much food left in the supermarkets and tension is increasing between the tourists and the people who live there. It really is getting worse every day.

We urge the government to organise a flight home for Meinir and Ffred , this needs to happen before it’s too late.

Cysylltiadau pwysig / Important contacts:

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs:
Dominic Raab MP

Secretary of State for Wales:
Simon Hart MP

Prif Weinidog Cymru:
Mark Drakeford AC

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Lundy Li-Lo Dash 2019

By Ceri Shaw, 2019-04-01

lundy lilo dash.jpg

geograph5069930byAlanHughes.jpg geograph4433132byPhilipHalling.jpg

    SULLY ISLAND (Starting point) <-------------------  (65.1 miles)  ----------------------> LUNDY ISLAND (Destination)      

Competitors from all over Wales and the world will be descending on the small Glamorganshire village of Sully today for the annual Lundy Li-Lo (air mattress) Dash. The event which has been held in the Glan Mor Hafren ( Severn Estuary) since 1966 is a gruelling test of endurance and physical fitness which brings hundreds of athletes together in an attempt to beat the world record for butterfly stroking on an air mattress the 65.1 miles between Sully and Lundy Island.

AmeriCymru spoke to competitor (and last years runner up) David Jones as he wrestled a keg from his locker. When asked why he put to sea with a 40 pint pressure barrel strapped to his back he replied:- "You've gotta stay properly hydrated. It's a long way and it's hard work and you've got the sun on your back too."

RAF Air Sea Rescue captain Llywelyn 'Biggles' Jones said:- "We are always very busy at this time of year and we strongly advise competitors to behave responsibly and observe all necessary safety precautions. So....don't forget the sun screen."

Rescue teams are standing by on the cliffs at Lundy Island in case competitors make landfall in an awkward spot. Most of the island is ringed by cliffs and there is only one safe landing point. Spotters with binoculars and telescopes will also be watching to detect any competitors who, having missed the island altogether, are washed out into mid-Atlantic by the strong tides and currents.

If you would like to take part in next years Lundy Li-Lo Dash please follow the link below to register on the official website.



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Adjudication from Peter Thabit Jones

Americymru 2018 Poetry Competition results

It was a real pleasure to read such a variety of poetic voices among the submitted poems. Most of the entries pulled me into their worlds and kept me there for the duration of their unfolding. Many fine lines settled into ‘the larder of my heart’, to quote my dear American friend Vince Clemente, an emeritus professor and poet. As always, I was looking for a poet whose work revealed an individual and an original voice, something fresh in their offering of a compact and crafted use of language, a poet whose observations and feelings are brought together in a seamless way.

I was truly impressed by the poems of Peter Lewis, Peter Lautz, K. S. Moore, Paul Steffan Jones, and Michael Madden. They are all poets with a controlled array of strong writing skills and with very engaging approaches to their subject matter. It was a tough decision, but the somewhat delicate and yet deep poems of Peter Lewis are my choice for the winner of the 2018 Americymru Poetry Competition.

  The winner of the 2018 competition is Peter Lewis.

   Peter Thabit Jones
   Poet, dramatist, and publisher

Read the winning entries here:- Poems by Peter Lewis

Congratulations/Llongyfarchiadau to this year's winner Peter Lewis

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