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Category: Book News


walesfirstandfinalcolony.jpg Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price today publishes an anthology of notable writings which can be seen as a ‘manifesto’ for Welsh independence.

Wales – The First and Final Colony by Adam Price, published this week by Y Lolfa, is a collection of writings by the politician and Plaid Cymru leader on the politics, history and culture of Wales. In it, Adam offers his ideas for securing a brighter future for Wales.

Adam Price was born to a working class family in a council house in Carmarthenshire the son of Rufus, a miner and Welsh champion boxer, and Angela, who moved to Wales from Worcester.

At 31 years old, he was elected an MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr in 2001 and within a year he was uncovering dodgy dealings between Tony Blair and international steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal. Shortly after, he led a campaign to impeach Mr Blair following the invasion of Iraq – eventually leading to the Chilcot Inquiry.

However, in 2010 he stood down from Parliament and headed to the Kennedy School of Government in Harvard, before taking up a role in an innovation foundation.

He returned to frontline Welsh politics in 2016 when he was elected as an Assembly Member in his home patch of Carmarthen before subsequently becoming leader of Plaid Cymru on 28 September 2018.

Speaking ahead of the book’s publication Adam Price said,

“I grew up in the shadow of the miners’ struggle of 1984. A struggle which shaped the politics I retain today.

From council house to House of Commons and from Harvard to Cardiff is not a well-trodden path, but I now face the biggest challenge of my political career – leading the Welsh national movement. But mine and Plaid Cymru’s message to the Welsh people must be simple: Yes Wales Can.

As the first openly gay man to lead this party and indeed any party in Wales, I am a modern, inclusive leader for a modern, inclusive Wales.

I am confident that we can compose a new future for a new Wales. Labour will not be its author. And nor will it be written for us in the marbled halls of Whitehall and Westminster. It will be written in the streets and shops, the pubs and rugby clubs, the homes and hearts of our nation.

Some may shrug off our hope as blind optimism. I say to you that a successful, independent Wales is not a far-off, unachievable aspiration. It is a firm, near-term, realisable goal.”

Over the coming months, Adam Price will be embarking on a Wales-wide tour aimed at sharing his ideas with the people of Wales with the tour launching on Monday 26th November in Insole Court, Llandaf in Cardiff.

Wales – The First and Final Colony by Adam Price is available now (£9.99, Y Lolfa).

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AmeriCymru: Hi Helena and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. What can you tell us about the history of Honno Press? How did it get started?

Helena: Back in 1986 a group of determined women from all over Wales got together to discuss the possibility of establishing a Welsh Women’s Press. It was felt at the time that existing male-dominated publishing houses in Wales discriminated against women writers and were not particularly interested in women’s issues or interests. Nowhere was this better illustrated than in the publication around that time of an anthology of twentieth century Welsh poetry: Blodeugerdd o Farddoniaeth Gymraeg yr Ugeinfed Ganrif. Of the 170 poets included only six were women. (By contrast, Honno published an anthology in 2003, Welsh Women's Poetry 1460-2001, which collected together 70 key Welsh women poets, writing in both Welsh and English and has become a staple of University reading lists.)

One of the first considerations for the founders was to work out how they might raise funds to launch the publishing house. So they wrote to women across Wales explaining their aims and within weeks over 400 had demonstrated their support by buying shares, raising around £4000 – an early form of crowdfunding! This allowed them to publish Honno’s first two titles. One in Welsh, Buwch ar y Lein by Hafina Clwyd - her diaries from the golden era of the London Welsh in the 1950s and 1960s, and an English language Classic, An Autobiography of Elizabeth Davis, a Balaclava Nurse, transcribed originally in 1857 by the well-known historian Jane Williams (Ysgafell), but with a new introduction by Deirdre Beddoe. Honno was launched on the 1st March 1987 in the then HTV studios in Cardiff.

AmeriCymru: What is the main goal of Honno Press.? What is its mission?

Helena: In the words of co-founder Luned Meredith the original aim of Honno was ‘To promote creative writing by women with a connection to Wales, past and present, in Welsh and English.’ When Honno was set up it was with four core aims to - provide a feminist perspective; to give Welsh women writers an opportunity to see their work published; to get earlier important, but neglected, writing by Welsh women back into print; to provide employment in publishing for women in Wales.

AmeriCymru: You have recently re designed your website. Care to tell us something about the new site and its features?

Helena: When Honno was on the verge of turning 30 we felt that it was a good time to affirm our core values and update our image. One thing I learnt from talking to people about what Honno stands for is that there are a lot of people who are passionate about what we do, and our contribution to the social, political and cultural life and literature of Wales and beyond. We looked at many rebranding ideas and website designs and eventually found a look we all loved – reflecting the history of our original logo, but updating it. Our new website has all our books on it of course, with special offers from time to time and from where you can sign up to our e-newsletter. You can now have a book gift wrapped and sent directly to the recipient anywhere in the world, look at any events we are holding or read our new blog with monthly articles on different aspects of writing and publishing.

AmeriCymru: You have recently republished Margiad Evans' Creed in your 'Welsh Women's Classics' series. Care to tell us a little about this title?

Creed front only final.jpg Helena: Creed is the 27th Welsh Women’s Classic brought back into print by Honno, and the second by Margiad Evans. Published in 1936 it is a compelling portrait of violence and dissipation in a fictional border town. Margiad Evans was a unique and interesting writer who also liked to explore the possibilities and limitations of language but who had fallen out of print, as so many great Welsh women writers of the past had. Classics Editor, Jane Aaron, Emeritus Professor of Welsh Writing in English at the University of South Wales, describes the Classics as returning to Welsh women a part of their history that otherwise would have been lost. Each of the titles published includes an introduction setting the text in its historical context and suggesting ways of approaching and understanding the work from the viewpoint of women’s experience today. We select works which are not only of literary and cultural merit but which remain readable and appealing to a contemporary audience. Thanks to the Classics series the lost voices of these important women – like Rachel Barrett who made a hugely important contribution to the suffragette movement, and nurse Betsy Cadwaladyr, both previously forgotten - have been restored. “[It is] difficult to imagine a Welsh literary landscape without the Honno Classics series [...] it remains an energising and vibrant feminist imprint.” (Kirsti Bohata, New Welsh Review)

“[The Honno Classics series is] possibly the Press' most important achievement, helping to combat the absence of women's literature in the Welsh canon.” (Mslexia)

AmeriCymru: You have also recently published One Woman Walks Wales by Ursula Martin. What can you tell our readers about this author and her work?

onewoman397x610.jpg Helena: Aged just 31, Ursula Martin was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After being treated, and determined not to sink into self-pity, she decided to walk between her home in mid-Wales to follow-up hospital appointments in Bristol – a distance of around 150 miles. Ursula’s journey took her across, around, up, over and through all of Wales, as she walked over 3,700 miles, raising almost £12,000 pounds and awareness for the need for early detection of the disease.

One Woman Walks Wales is the inspiring story of Ursula’s walk, based on her popular blog: of the generosity of strangers who offered her meals and accommodation; of her core belief which wouldn’t let her give up even at the point of exhaustion and acute physical discomfort; of her intense love for, and joy in, nature; of the following she attracted on her popular blog which she wrote on her phone whenever there was signal; of how walking and the physical connection with the landscape gave her self-discovery.

'A rare combination of an epic tale of an extraordinary adventure and a delicately woven study of the kindness of random strangers. Hugely enjoyable' Clare Balding

AmeriCymru: Are there any new titles or authors that you would like to give a special mention?

Helena: Coming out in July in the UK, and being launched in September at the North American Festival of Wales is Absolute Optimist: Remembering Eluned Phillips. Eluned Phillips was a passionate woman who ignited passionate responses in others. The second woman ever to wear the National Eisteddfod crown – Wales’ most prestigious Welsh language literary prize – she is the only woman to have won it twice. Unusual among Welsh women of her generation, Eluned embraced an unconventional lifestyle which took her to pre-war London and Paris, where she met artists Augustus John, Edith Piaf, and Pablo Picasso. This is an affectionate and yet critical biography of an unsung heroine of Welsh literature during at a time of great change – taking her from rural Carmarthenshire to bohemian Paris and urban Los Angeles. She was often frowned upon, but never less than true to herself. Award-winning poet Menna Elfyn examines Phillips’ life and work and argues convincingly that Eluned’s poetry is undoubtedly hers and more than worthy of two Crowns. Absolute Optimist was shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year on publication in Welsh and Honno are delighted to be introducing it to the English speaking audience. Menna will be launching it at the North American Festival of Wales, in Alexandria, VA,on Saturday, September 1.

We have just published the wonderful Albi, by Hilary Shepherd, A poignant, compassionate glimpse into the life of a child caught up in the Spanish Civil War, a country at war with itself. We have A Different River, the sixth novel from Jo Verity, to look forward to in June, the story of a woman caught up in family duty who finds a way to get out of her comfort zone. And also coming out in July we have Nansi Lovell, the latest title in our Welsh language Classics series.

One of our titles, Light Switches Are My Kryptonite, has just been shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year 2018 in the Fiction Category and we are also delighted to announce – and not a little overwhelmed – that the Honno founders were chosen as one of Women’s Equality Network Wales’s 100 legendary women!

AmeriCymru: Any final message for the members and readers of AmeriCymru?

Helena: When asked to sum up what Honno’s achievements, it’s easy to see only what we haven’t done. The authors we haven’t recovered yet, the writers we want to find, the histories we want to tell. But the texts we haven’t managed to publish yet will be, with luck, the books we will publish next year. Honno is tiny; to have survived for over 30 years is a great achievement and a testimony to all the women who have contributed. It’s also, hopefully, just the beginning.

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www.honno.co.uk

facebook.com/honnopress

twitter.com/honno

Instagram: @gwasghonnopress

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New Welsh Review is excited to announce the opening of the fourth iteration of the New Welsh Writing Awards. The 2018 award is the Aberystwyth University Prize for an Essay Collection. To complement the awards, a companion Readers’ Poll for the best essay collection ever published in the English language (including in translation) around the world, is also being launched.

Now in its fourth year, the Awards were set up to champion the best short-form writing in English and have previously run non-fiction categories with the WWF Cymru Prize for Writing on Nature, won by Eluned Gramich in 2015 and the University of South Wales Prize for Travel Writing, won by Mandy Sutter in June 2016. In 2017 the awards ran two categories for the first time: the Aberystwyth University Prize for Memoir, and the AmeriCymru Prize for Novella. The winners were Catherine Haines (Memoir), and Cath Barton (Novella).

For the 2018 prize, New Welsh Review editor Gwen Davies acts as main judge, with the help of students from Aberystwyth University. The Awards are open to all writers based in the UK and Ireland plus those worldwide who have been educated in Wales. Entries opened on 02 October 2017 and will close on 02 February 2018. Entries for the prize will be longlisted and announced online on 3 April 2018. The shortlist will be announced at an event at Aberystwyth Arts Centre Bookshop on Thursday 03 May 2018, and the winner will be announced at a ceremony at Hay Festival on Friday 01 June 2018.

Judge Gwen Davies writes that ‘As judge I will be looking for essays written in a style that is literary and rigorous (rather than academic), with a personal voice and elements of present docu-journalism. Some of my favourite models for essay collections include No Man’s Land by Eula Biss, Margaret Atwood’s Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature, and Geoff Dyer’s Yoga for People Who Can’t be Bothered to Do It.’

First prize is £1,000 advance, e-publication by New Welsh Review on their New Welsh Rarebyte imprint in 2016, a positive critique by leading literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes at WME. Second prize is a weeklong residential course at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre in Gwynedd, north Wales. Third prize is a weekend stay at Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire, north Wales. All three winners will also receive a one-year subscription to the magazine.

In addition, New Welsh Review will consider the highly commended and shortlisted nominees for publication in a forthcoming edition of its creative magazine New Welsh Reader with an associated standard fee.

Nominations for the Readers’ Poll will be open until early 2018, and can be submitted via Twitter (#newwelshawards), email, or through the New Welsh Review Facebook page. The winner of the Readers’ Poll will be announced at the longlisting event for the awards

The Call for Entries video can be found here: https://vimeo.com/230047799
For a selection of New Welsh Readers’ Poll videos, visit the New Welsh Review Vimeo page here: https://vimeo.com/newwelshreview

To request a more information, please contact Jamie Harris, Marketing Officer at
marketing@newwelshreview.com/07812804505




Call for Entries: New Welsh Writing Awards 2018 Aberystwyth University Prize for an Essay Collection from New Welsh Review on Vimeo .


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the life of carwyn james.jpg A new, comprehensive and revelatory biography of Maestro Carwyn James is published just as Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions take on the All Blacks in the latest test series. As Gatland’s Lions take on the mighty New Zealanders, thoughts inevitably go back to the one and only time that the Lions have beaten them in a Test series, under the leadership of the inimitable Carwyn James. Under his coaching, they secured a historical 3-1 victory in 1971.

Into the Wind: the life of Carwyn James  by Alun Gibbard, is a thoroughly researched, comprehensive look at the life of a man who influenced rugby throughout the world. It contains new material relating to various aspects of his life, such as his time working for the Secret Services and his life in Italy. It also contains photographs and documents not seen before.

‘He was, say many, the greatest coach rugby has known. Not only did he mastermind the Lions first ever series victory on New Zealand soil, he then went on to coach his club side, Llanelli, to beat the All Blacks at Stradey Park Llanelli’ said biographer Alun Gibbard.

‘And, as this book confirms, he was also unofficially asked to prepare the Barbarians to face the All Blacks, as traditionally the Barbarians are not supposed to be coached. He therefore guided three teams to victory over the All Blacks’ added Alun.

The book has already recieved praise from the likes of Professor Dai Smith who praised it as being ‘Revelatory in its fresh information and sensitive in its interpretation, so that now, at last, we can see Carwyn whole. A triumph of a book.’

This book looks at the way his rugby acumen and insight developed from his wartime Primary School days, through Grammar and University education, National Service and teaching at Llandovery College, to the time he then became the coach of Llanelli, one of the first first class coaches in Wales. In doing so, it sheds light on rugby in three different decades in Wales and beyond, before we get to the decade the whole rugby world got to know of his genius, the Seventies.

But this biography argues that rugby was not the only drive in Carwyn’s life, in fact, Alun Gibbard argues that rugby wasn’t indeed the main love of his life.

‘He was, at heart, a man or literature with a poet’s spirit. He loved the literature of his native tongue, Welsh, but also the English classics’ explained Alun, ‘When he learned Russian in the Navy, he fell in love with Russian literature and when he coached Rovigo in Italy, he turned to the written word in that country’s language. He was also a prolific broadcaster from the late Fifties onwards and he stood as a Welsh nationalist candidate in a General Election.’

Into the Wind deals with the episode in his life when he was rejected as coach of Wales, making the point that he actually wasn’t rejected because he withdrew his own application. It then goes on to argue however that this does nor excuse the WRU for not utilising the rugby talent that Carwyn had more than others. It argues that he was let down by this Welsh organisation.

Into the Wind also argues that he was let down by another Welsh establishment, the BBC. This leading sporting figure and academic was employed to present sports bulletins are every hour of the day by the BBC, in a way that abused his obvious talents.

On a personal level, Into the Wind looks in depth at the popular, sometimes sensationalist claim that Carwyn James was gay. Alun Gibbard rejects any pressure to conclusively prove that he actually was gay, saying that it is not the biographers duty to come to a conclusion that the person himself had not come to.

Into the Wind doesn’t hold back however. It honestly analyses the battle with sexuality that raged inside Carwyn and which caused him such painful turmoil towards the end of his life. It states that Carwyn was facing a struggle to understand what he could feel happening to him, both rejecting and accepting sexual tensions that were raging inside. He never got to the point where he could resolve such tensions. His death in a bath in Amsterdam happened before he could reach such a resolution.

‘He was a genius but also a tortured soul’ added Alun, ‘Into the Wind brings Carwyn James to life once again, in all his genius and complexities.’

Alun Gibbard is a full time author from Llanelli who has published almost thirty non-fiction titles and one novel. He contributes weekly to the Welsh magazine Golwg. A broadcaster for over 25 years before he began his writing career, he still contributes to radio and television.

Into the Wind – The Life of Carwyn James by Alun Gibbard (£14.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.

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New Welsh Review, in association with Aberystwyth University and AmeriCymru, announced the winners of the New Welsh Writing Awards 2017: Aberystwyth University Prize for Memoir, and AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella, at a ceremony at the Hay Festival on Thursday 1 June.

The Prizes celebrate the best in both Memoir and Novella from emerging and established writers, and received entries from both new and established writers based in Wales, England and the US. New Welsh Review editor Gwen Davies judged both categories with the help of students from Aberystwyth University. The Novella Prize was co-judged by Welsh-American writer David Lloyd. David is the author of nine books including poetry collections, a novella and novels, and directs the Creative Writing Program at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.

Catherine Haines, a dual English-Australian citizen, won the Memoir Prize, for her account of a young woman’s experience of anorexia while at Oxford University, entitled ‘My Oxford’. Cath Barton, from the English Midlands and now living in Abergavenny, south Wales, won the Novella Prize for her story ‘The Plankton Collector’, a gentle pastiche of an idyllic world populated by archetypes who will help us heal and learn.

Both writers were given cheques for £1,000, as well as e-publication by New Welsh Review on their New Welsh Rarebyte imprint. They will also receive a positive critique by leading literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown

NWR Editor Gwen Davies said ‘In our two winning entries in the novella and memoir categories, chosen from nearly all-woman shortlists (putting our political parties to shame), healing, trauma and the fluidity of memory and experience predominate as themes.

‘On our memoir shortlist were true accounts of bad luck, eating and Cold War paranoia, all taken to extremes. From it triumphed a rigorous, philosophical case for regarding eating disorder as pilgrimage. Our four-minute animation [https://vimeo.com/219528361] of ‘My Oxford’, made by Aberystwyth University graduate Emily Roberts, uses typography to show the to-and-fro of academic discourse and the skull of Yorrick from Hamlet to illustrate Catherine’s experience of how anorexia started turning her into ‘a floating head… devoid of emotion.’

‘On our novella shortlist were dark stories of sexual abuse, grooming and escaping domineering fathers. From it triumphed a beautifully controlled mix of magical realism and nature writing about time, healing, trauma and the fluid, unreliable nature of memory. Our four-minute animation [https://vimeo.com/219525617] of ‘The Plankton Collector’, made by Aberystwyth University graduate Emily Roberts, deploys 1960s-style children’s book illustration to depict a lost natural golden world of childhood and the healing Everyman that Cath’s mysterious Plankton Collector represents.’

Second Place in the Memoir Prize was awarded to Mary Oliver for ‘The Case’, a ‘cross-genre fictionalised memoir’ that is ‘innovative, affecting, with depth of heart and breadth of research’. In the Novella Prize, Second Place was awarded to Olivia Gwyne for her story ‘The Seal’, a tale of ‘complex, nuanced characterizations and a narrative that expertly builds tension and suspense’. Mary and Olivia will both receive a weeklong residential course at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre in Gwynedd, north Wales

Third Place in the Memoir Prize was awarded to Adam Somerset for ‘People, Places, Things: A Life With The Cold War’, a memoir that ‘paints a sweeping landscape of the Eastern Bloc as experienced through the eyes of a British backpacker.’ Nicola Daly was awarded Third Place in the Novella Prize, for her ‘innovative style and the masterfully-created, surreal world’ in her novella ‘The Night Where You No Longer Live’. Both Adam and Nicola win a weekend stay at Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire, north Wales.

All twelve nominees will be published in extract form in upcoming editions of New Welsh Reader; all six shortlisted writers will also receive a one-year subscription to the magazine.

New Welsh Review also reminded those present of the winners of their New Welsh Readers' Poll 2017: Best Memoir & Novella, originally announced in spring. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (Vintage Books) is the winner of the Best Memoir category and received 50% of the vote. Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter (Faber) is the winner of the Best Novella category with 55% of the vote. Congratulations to Marjane Satrapi and Max Porter.

http://www.newwelshwritingawards.com/ #newwelshawards

The 2017 New Welsh Writing Awards are sponsored by Aberystwyth University, the core sponsor and host of New Welsh Review, and US online magazine and social network AmeriCymru. The Awards are run in partnership with Curtis Brown, Gladstone’s Library and Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre.

For images, more details on the Prizes, Readers’ Poll and for interview requests please contact Jamie Harris on marketing@newwelshreview.com or 07812 804505. Please note that Catherine Haines is currently in Hong Kong but is available via email and video.



Gwen Davies (judge)'s adjudication plus author biographies



FISRT PLACE MEMOIR

CATHERINE HAINES (CHARING, KENT), ‘My Oxford’

A young woman’s experience of anorexia while at Oxford University enriches a lively account of student life with literary, philosophical and existential questions. As the Cambridge Weight Plan spins out of control, a post-grad’s academic subject, ‘the mind-body problem’, goes through an existential phase to become ‘extraordinary morality’ rather than a mental health problem. Catherine Haines developed anorexia and underwent religious conversion while facing extreme academic pressure at Oxford University. She wrote it in tribute to a male friend who died from the condition, to explore her own experiences deeply and as self-vindication against friends’ harsh judgement of her in the light of her work at the time as a model. She feels that eating disorders may be regarded as a ‘pilgrimage’ rather than being a ‘media-inspired dysfunction’. ‘My Oxford’ augments a cool, detached style in order to emphasise the rigour of the author’s academic training and the physical process of anorexia which made her ‘something of a floating head… devoid of emotion’. This is a rigorous, perceptive, original and truly felt piece of writing from a very fine mind.

Catherine Haines is a dual English-Australian citizen. She studied Philosophy at the Australian National University and took her Masters Degree in English at the University of Oxford. Catherine currently lives in Hong Kong, and will shortly begin a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Nottingham. Her work has been published in Needle in the Hay, Cherwell and Woroni. Her debut novel, The Wicked and the Fair, is currently being circulated.

SECOND PLACE MEMOIR

MARY OLIVER (NEWLYN, CORNWALL), ‘The Case’

Jim, an emigrant from England to Canada, awaits release from a progressive mental hospital and reconciliation with his baby daughter. He is in turns hopeful migrant, stowaway, farmer, thief, hobo, rough poet and ever-loving brother. This story approaches its subject prismatically through different documentary sources, and is based on an historical character. Innovative, affecting, with depth of heart and breadth of research, this cross-genre fictionalised memoir, about ‘one man’s bad luck’ and what his life shows about society, rewards re-reading.

Mary [MJ] Oliver was born in Clun, Shropshire and since then has lived mainly in Scotland and Cornwall. Having gained a BA and an MA in Fine Art from Reading and Falmouth Universities, she exhibited paintings and installations across the UK. Her work was collected by Carmen Callil and some were reproduced as book covers by Virago. To supplement income, she also taught for many years; from facilitating Art Workshops in Barlinnie Jail, Glasgow, to lecturing in Fine Art at Falmouth University. Mary has been writing full time since 2014 and has had a number of prize nominations for her work.

THIRD PLACE MEMOIR

ADAM SOMERSET (ABERAERON), ‘People, Places, Things: A Life with the Cold War’

This memoir paints a sweeping landscape of the Eastern Bloc as experienced through the eyes of a British backpacker. The account is coloured with frequent references to the historical hinterland and details of the author's encounters with the inhabitants of the world beyond the Iron Curtain - all these elements coming together to provide the reader with an immersion into the ‘culture of apocalypse’.

Adam Somerset has lived in Ceredigion for 23 years. His first piece of writing was a play Quay Pursuits produced at the Questors Theatre in Ealing. He wrote an article on national theatre in 2007 for Planet magazine. In the same year he began to write for Theatre Wales, a review site based in Aberystwyth. He is the author of 600 commentary articles and reviews of theatre books and productions. He has written 100 reviews and articles on art, photography, history and television for Wales Arts Review. His reviews of books on politics have featured on the website of the Institute of Welsh Affairs.



Gwen Davies and David Lloyd (co-judges’) adjudication plus author biographies



FIRST PLACE NOVELLA

CATH BARTON, ‘The Plankton Collector’

“Look,” the narrator directs the reader at the start of this beautifully-written novella. “We are approaching a country house, somewhere in the middle of England.” And with this narrator’s guidance, we enter the house, and enter the lives of its inhabitants - who are ordinary and, it turns out, quite extraordinary. Through an assured combination of magical realism and traditional realism, this story tells of the mysterious Plankton Collector, whose intercessions help members of an apparently conventional family come to terms with debilitating traumas: infidelity, isolation, a closeted gay husband, the death of kin. It is a wise tale of vulnerability, healing, and love. Ultimately, memory and trauma work in tandem, and the power of imagination triumphs. The elegant and finely-tuned prose made “The Plankton Collector” rise to the top of our short-list.

Cath Barton was born in the English Midlands and now lives in Abergavenny, south Wales. Her short stories have been published in anthologies in Australia, the US and the UK, and her flash fiction has appeared on-line in Fictive Dream, Firefly Magazine and Long Exposure, amongst other places. Cath was Literature Editor of California-based Celtic Family Magazine (2013-2016) and is a regular contributor to Wales Arts Review.

SECOND PLACE NOVELLA

OLIVIA GWYNE, ‘The Seal’

This is a story of unequal power, and the grooming of an eleven-year-old girl by a nineteen-year-old male. He spots the source of her vulnerability in her crazy religious Nana and her fearful mother. Strong beach and caravan-site settings coupled with the cat-and-mouse story make compelling reading. ‘The Seal’ is short-listed in second place because of the complex, nuanced characterizations and a narrative that expertly builds tension and suspense.

Olivia Gwyne, originally from Hereford, is now based in Newcastle upon Tyne. In 2015 her pamphlet of short stories, The Kittens’ Wedding, was published by Womach Press, and the same year she won the SASH Writing Prize. Olivia has also been shortlisted for the Wells Short Story Competition, the Home Start Short Story Prize and the Horror Scribes Flash Fiction Ghost Story Competition. Her work was recently featured in Halo Literary Magazine. She holds a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Newcastle University.

THIRD PLACE NOVELLA

NICOLA DALY, ‘The Night Where You No Longer Live’

A first person, dark European fairytale about abuse, cross-dressing and the main character Claudette’s desperate attempts to escape a cruel, deceased father’s shadow and a living brother’s evil intent. Unusual, unsettling language animates each page, as does Claudette’s immediate voice. The novella’s dense texture is further enriched with references to modern Paris as well as Baudelaire and Sartre. This novella is our third place choice because of the innovative style and the masterfully-created, surreal world.

Nicola Daly was born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire in 1974. However for most of her life she has lived in Chester. Her short stories, non- fiction work and poetry has been widely published by a variety of publications such as Honno Women’s Press, The North West Arts Council Anthologies, Myslexia, Rialto, and many more.



About New Welsh Review



New Welsh Review was founded in 1988 as the successor to The Welsh Review (1939- 1948), Dock Leaves and The Anglo-Welsh Review (1949-1987) and is Wales’s foremost literary magazine in English, offering a vital outlet for the very best new fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry, a forum for critical debate, and a rigorous and engaged reviewing culture. New Welsh Review Ltd is supported through core funding by the Welsh Books Council and hosted by Aberystwyth University Department of English and Creative Writing. The magazine’s creative content was rebranded as New Welsh Reader in 2015, with reviews moving entirely online. New Welsh Review can be bought by Direct Debit on subscription at £16.99, UK only (£20.99 for all other subscription types, UK) via www.newwelshreview.com. New Welsh Review Ltd, PO Box 170, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 1WZ, Tel: 01970 628410, Email: admin@newwelshreview.com

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ylolfa.jpg The mid-sixties was a period of protest and fun a young man Robat Gruffudd took advantage of the new small offset printing process to produce cheeky, colourful material for the Welsh youth of the time. He had produced the first issue of ‘Lol’, a satirical magazine, with a friend while at Bangor University, before settling in Talybont, where his new wife, Enid, was a teacher at the primary school.

‘It was an exciting and hopeful period, but I was lucky too. Talybont turned out to be the perfect location - a friendly, cultured village right in the middle of Wales’ said Robat, ‘Ceredigion too has provided us with talented authors and staff, and we were lucky that the Welsh Books Council, who have been very supportive, were nearby as well.’

Now the publishing and print company is celebrating 50 years in the industry and is by now Wales’ most prolific mainstream publisher, producing over 80 titles a year. It has a turnover of more than £1m and employs 20 full-time staff. With more than 700 authors on its books, including broadcaster Huw Edwards and prominent sports personalities such as Nigel Owens, the range of books includes Welsh language tutors such as Welsh is Fun , which has sold over 250,000 copies, fiction and biography, books of Welsh interest for the tourist trade, and several series of original, children’s books by home-grown authors and artists.

‘We’ve always supported local authors, artist and designers because this is a way of supporting people’s livelihoods. Publishing is an industry and we are very proud that we’ve built up a sustainable, small business providing proper, professional jobs in a Welsh rural area.’ added Robat.

The company is now run by Robat’s two sons, Garmon who is Managing Director and Lefi as Director of Publishing. The company has been particularly successful with its Welsh language fiction list, having won Welsh Book of the Year three years in a row.

‘We’re well known as publishers but we’ve always printed our own books, enabling us to control both costs and quality. But this means we can also offer a competitive general print service. We now have a high-tech five-colour Komori B2 press, a perfecting (two-sided) press for bookwork, and a Xerox digital press for short runs’ said Garmon.

‘But machinery by itself is of no use without skilled staff to operate them. The main reason for our success over the last half century is the quality of our staff, and their skill and depth of experience both on the printing and publishing sides of the business.’ he added.

Print is run by production manager Paul Williams of Aberystwyth, ‘Being relatively small enables us to provide a really good, personal service and we pride ourselves that customers who come to us very rarely leave.’

Paul joined Lolfa from Cambrian Printers. Around half the company’s turnover comes from its printing side and it prides itself on its fast, friendly service.

A book festival, Bedwen Lyfrau, will be held between 10 and 4pm on Saturday the 20 th of May at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Y Lolfa’s 50 th birthday party will be held at Marine hotel, Aberystwyth at 8pm.

INVITATION: Printers and publishers Y Lolfa celebrate 50 years in business Saturday, 20 May, at the Marine Hotel, Aberystwyth. Local Assembly Member and Presiding Officer, Elin Jones, will open the proceedings followed by live bands.

‘The party is going to be really huge as we’re inviting everybody. There’ll be plenty to enjoy, musically and otherwise.’ said Fflur Arwel, the company’s marketing manager.

‘We’ll be showing a new, anniversary ‘mural’ design by local artist, Ruth Jên, as well as our new, mobile friendly, website. Y Lolfa was the first Welsh-language publishing company to have a website and we want to stay in front of the queue technically and creatively’.

CONTACTS: Garmon Gruffudd, Paul Williams, Robat Gruffudd, Fflur Arwel all at 01970 832 304 or via their emails: garmon@ylolfa.com , paul@ylolfa.com , robat@ylolfa.com , fflur@ylolfa.com .

EDITOR’S NOTE: In a world dominated by large corporations and bureaucracies, Y Lolfa believes that ‘small is beautiful’ in publishing as in life. It was André Gide who said: ‘I like small nations. I like small numbers. The world will be saved by the few.’

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Screenshot from 20170403 154148.png New Welsh Review in association with Aberystwyth University and AmeriCymru is delighted to announce the longlists for the New Welsh Writing Awards 2017: Aberystwyth University Prize for Memoir and AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella.

Now in its third year, the Awards were set up to champion the best short-form writing in English and has previously run non-fiction categories with the WWF Cymru Prize for Writing on Nature, won by Eluned Gramich in 2015 and the University of South Wales Prize for Travel Writing, won by Mandy Sutter in 2016. The Awards 2017 opened up entries from the US and Canada for the first time in the Novella category.

Both new and established writers based in Wales, England and the US are in the running for the top prize including a joint memoir by a husband and wife. The longlist is dominated by women with 8 out of 9 women contending for the Memoir Prize and 6 out of 9 women in the running for the Novella Prize.

The memoir list includes true stories of a Canadian hobo; anorexia; a daughter’s American road-trip made to help reconcile her father and grandmother; an all-boys care-home in South Africa whose residents include a baboon; being the daughter of a Rhyl beauty competition judge, and backpacking behind the iron curtain.

Among the novellas, sexual abuse or the threat of it are among the themes; also homosexuality in a Welsh monastery; the meanings and mystery of treasures old and new; escaping the shadow of a father figure, and the enduring healing and destructive powers of archetypes and idylls.

Aberystwyth University Prize for Memoir Longlist

Maria Apichella (Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk) The Red Circle

Caroline Greville (Eythorne, Nr. Dover Kent) Badger Contact

Catherine Haines (Charing, Kent) My Oxford

Liz Jones (Aberystwyth, Wales) On Shifting Sands

Sarah Leavesley (Droitwich, Worcestershire) The Myopic of Me

Mary Oliver (Newlyn, Cornwall) The Case

Amanda and Robert Oosthuizen (Eastleigh, Hampshire) Boystown S.A.

Lynne Parry-Griffiths (Wrexham) Painting the Beauty Queens Orange

Adam Somerset (Aberaeron, Wales) People, Places, Things: A Life with the Cold War

AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella Longlist

Cath Barton (Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales) The Plankton Collector

Rebecca Casson (Holywell, Flintshire, Wales) Infirmarian

Barbara de la Cuesta (Seaside Heights, New Jersey, US) Exiles

Nicola Daly (Chester, Cheshire) The Night Where you no Longer Live

Olivia Gwyne (Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland) The Seal

Atar Hadari (Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire) Burning Poets

Joao Morais (Cardiff, Wales) Smugglers' Tunnel

Veronica Popp (Chicago, US) Sick

Mike Tuohy (Jefferson, Georgia, US) Double Nickel Jackpot

Commended

Amanda Oosthuizen (Eastleigh, Hampshire) Carving Strangers

New Welsh Review editor Gwen Davies judged both categories with help from students from Aberystwyth University. The shortlist for the Novella category will now be co-judged by Welsh-American writer David Lloyd. David is the author of nine books including poetry collections and novels, and directs the Creative Writing Program at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.

Gwen Davies, editor of New Welsh Review said: ‘These Awards keep going from strength to strength in their third year with a much-increased number of entries and an excellent standard of writing. Carving Strangers , a South-Africa set novel about female emancipation, wood-carving and illegal diamonds, didn’t make it to the longlist but deserves a special mention for the quality and flow of its prose. The novella category, in particular, this year offers a range of voice and expertise of style, as well as historical span, that bodes well for the future of the novella in Wales, a place that has long been a haven for the shorter form in literature.’

The shortlist will be announced at an event at The Bookshop in Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Thursday 4 May from 6.30-8pm and the winners will be announced at a ceremony at Hay Festival on Thursday 1 June from 2-4pm.

Each category winner will receive £1,000 cash, e-publication by New Welsh Review on their New Welsh Rarebyte imprint and a positive critique by leading literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown. Second prize for each category is a weeklong residential course at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre in Gwynedd, north Wales and third prize is a weekend stay at Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire, north Wales. All six winners will also receive a one-year subscription to New Welsh Review. In addition New Welsh Review will consider the highly commended and shortlisted nominees for publication in a forthcoming edition of its creative magazine New Welsh Reader with an associated standard fee.

The Awards are open to all writers based in the UK and Ireland plus those who live overseas who have been educated in Wales. The AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella was also open to writers based in the US and Canada.

The 2017 Awards are sponsored by Aberystwyth University, the core sponsor and host of New Welsh Review, and US online magazine and social network AmeriCymru. The Awards are run in partnership with Curtis Brown, Gladstone’s Library and Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre.

www.newwelshwritingawards.com #newwelshawards




Aberystwyth University Prize for Memoir Longlist

Maria Apichella (Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk)

The Red Circle

A daughter’s Pennsylvania road-trip with her Italian-American father is taken to help reconcile him with his mother. A red and black oil painting and the father’s hospital visit frame evocative settings of forest and former coalmines, while this memoir is warmed by delightful exchanges with a cast of far-flung relatives.

Maria Apichella completed her PhD in English and Creative Writing at The University of Aberystwyth, Wales. An award-winning poet, her book Psalmody was co-winner of Eyewear’s 2015 Melita Hume Prize. Paga was a winner of the Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Competition in 2014. She teaches English with the University of Maryland, University College, Europe. Visit her blog: mariaapichella.com

Caroline Greville (Eythorne, Nr. Dover, Kent)

Badger Contact

Twelve-year-old Maddy becomes addicted to visiting her local badger sett, while her mother gets drawn in to the politics and legalities of badger life, coming to blows at times with neighbours and farmers. Enriched with literary, folk, and natural history references.

Caroline Greville lives in a rural Kent village with her husband, four children and ever-expanding menagerie of chickens, ducks, guinea pigs and badgers. She is completing a PhD in Narrative Non-Fiction at the University of Kent, where she also works as an assistant lecturer in creative writing. She continues to teach part-time for Kent Adult Education, which she has done since completing a Masters in creative writing in 2014. During 2016 her nature writing featured in four anthologies published by Elliott and Thompson for the Wildlife Trusts.

Catherine Haines (Charing, Kent)

My Oxford

A young woman’s experience of anorexia while at Oxford University enriches a lively account of student life with literary, philosophical and existential questions. As the Cambridge Weight Plan spins out of control, a post-grad’s academic subject, ‘the mind-body problem’, goes through an existential phase to become ‘extraordinary morality’ rather than a mental health problem.

Catherine Haines is a dual English-Australian citizen. She studied Philosophy at the Australian National University and took her Masters Degree in English at the University of Oxford. Catherine currently lives in Hong Kong, and will shortly begin a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Nottingham. Her work has been published in Needle in the Hay, Cherwell and Woroni. Her debut novel, The Wicked and the Fair , is currently being circulated.

Liz Jones (Aberystwyth, Wales)

On Shifting Sands

Another true tale of family rift and reconciliation. The author was estranged as a girl from her shallow, beautiful mother, the death of whose sister Ruth damages generations. The gap between brash Merthyr Gran and Nain of Newborough couldn’t be greater. Somehow, though, between these grandmothers and the healing powers of the beautiful Ynys Môn islands, beaches and warrens, identity is forged. Innovatively framed by a ‘historical’ journal of the town.

Following her writing debut, ‘The Naughty Dog’ (which won her a gold star at her Merthyr primary school), Liz Jones has gone on to write drama and creative non-fiction, reviews, short stories and journalism ranging from Take a Break to New Welsh Review . Along the way she has raised two daughters, tried (and failed) to change the world, worked in a café-cum-bookshop, a housing association, in community development and lifelong learning. She is now a Teaching Fellow at Aberystwyth University. Liz is now working on a biography of the incredible - but forgotten - bestselling novelist, scriptwriter, actor and theatre impresario known as Oliver Sandys or Countess Barcynska.

Sarah Leavesley (Droitwich, Worcestershire)

The Myopic of Me

A forensic look at depression that flows forwards and backwards through time, painting the picture of a life through a series of snapshots. Themes and images of sight and how we see recur throughout, from photography to kaleidoscopes. An examination of the self as consistently shifting and malleable.

Sarah Leavesley is a journalist, fiction writer, poet and editor. Having lived, studied and worked across England, Wales and France, Sarah is now based in Worcestershire but considers herself an amalgamation of all the people and places she has known. Her poems have been published by the Financial Times, Guardian, The Rialto, PN Review, Magma, The Forward Book of Poetry 2016 , on county buses and in the Blackpool Illuminations. A short novella, Kaleidoscope , was published in March and her Lampshades & Glass Rivers Overton Poetry Prize 2015 pamphlet-length sequence in 2016. The Myopic of Me is her first piece of memoir. The University of Oxford modern languages graduate has postgraduate qualifications in journalism and creative writing from Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Wales, Cardiff. She is also a keen swimmer, cyclist and climber.

Mary Oliver (Newlyn, Cornwall)

The Case

Jim, an emigrant from England to Canada, awaits release from a progressive mental hospital and reconciliation with his baby daughter. He is in turns hopeful migrant, stowaway, farmer, thief, hobo, rough poet and ever-loving brother. This story approaches its subject prismatically through different documentary sources, and is based on an historical character. Innovative, affecting, with depth of heart and breadth of research, this memoir rewards re-reading.

Mary Oliver was born in Clun, Shropshire and since then has lived mainly in Scotland and Cornwall. Having gained a BA and an MA in Fine Art from Reading and Falmouth Universities, she exhibited paintings and installations across the UK. Her work was collected by Carmen Callil and some were reproduced as book covers by Virago. To supplement income, she also taught for many years; from facilitating Art Workshops in Barlinnie Jail, Glasgow, to lecturing in Fine Art at Falmouth University. Mary has been writing full time since 2014 and has been had a number of prize nominations for her work.

Amanda and Robert Oosthuizen (Eastleigh, Hampshire)

Boystown S.A.

Told by a husband to his writer-wife. Due to family rift and addiction, Robert Oosthuizen was brought up in South Africa by his grandmother, mother, foster homes and residential schools including the highly democratic Catholic Boystown, whose residents included a baboon. Action ranges from rugby matches, in which boots feature only occasionally, to a bizarrely set Eisteddfod, this memoir captures the presentness of childhood in which a survivor takes all in his stride.

Robert Oosthuizen moved from South Africa to the U.K. in 1977, and became a British National soon after. He is married to Amanda and they have three grown-up daughters. He has never returned to South Africa in spite of his daughters’ attempts to persuade him. He is a passionate photographer, and is thinking about joining a choir.

Amanda Oosthuizen’s stories and poems have been published in various forms, shown in galleries, in Winchester Cathedral and on the London Underground. Last year a series of ten poems was displayed in Oxfordshire as part of a collaboration with artist, Lucy Ash. Her latest online story is at 3:AM and prose and poetry is forthcoming in the U.K. with Paragram, and in the U.S. with Woven Tale Press and Prelude. She has an M.A. with distinction in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester, where she won the Kate Betts Prize. A long time ago, she studied English and Music at Aberystwyth University and has combined both ever since. Amanda and Robert have been married for 38 years and live in Hampshire.

Lynne Parry-Griffiths (Wrexham)

Painting the Beauty Queens Orange

This account of being the daughter of a Rhyl beauty competition judge shows a world of Carmen rollers, Miss Prestatyn Prince Charming and Dad going to work at Tito’s club in a frilly shirt and butterfly bowtie.

Lynne Parry-Griffiths was born in St. Asaph and educated at various universities. She currently teaches part-time and seems to divide a lot of her time between Rhuddlan and Ruabon. Her short story, ‘My Will Ne’er Be Done’ was a runner-up in the Cheshire Prize for Literature in 2015. She has recently co-founded smallbooks, an artisan publishing company, and the first book in the Catrin-Elisabeth series for young children, Ladybird is Lost , will be published in 2017.

Adam Somerset (Aberaeron, Wales)

People, Places, Things: A Life with the Cold War

This memoir paints a sweeping landscape of the Eastern Bloc as experienced through the eyes of a British backpacker. The account is coloured with frequent references to the historical hinterland and details of the author's encounters with the inhabitants of the world beyond the Iron Curtain - all these elements coming together to provide the reader with an immersion into the 'culture of apocalypse'.

Adam Somerset has lived in Ceredigion for 23 years. His first piece of writing was a play Quay Pursuits produced at the Questors Theatre in Ealing. He wrote an article on national theatre in 2007 for Planet magazine. In the same year he began to write for Theatre Wales, a review site based in Aberystwyth. He is the author of 600 commentary articles and reviews of theatre books and productions. He has written 100 reviews and articles on art, photography, history and television for Wales Arts Review . His reviews of books on politics have featured on the website of the Institute of Welsh Affairs .

AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella Longlist

Cath Barton (Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales)

The Plankton Collector

This combination of magical realism and a realistic tale has the sense of being a gentle pastiche of an idyllic world populated by archetypes who will help us heal and learn. It tells of various family traumas being faced through the intercession of the mysterious Plankton Collector: infidelity, a closeted gay husband, the death of kin. Ultimately, memory and trauma work in tandem, and the power of imagination triumphs.

Cath Barton was born in the English Midlands and now lives in South Wales. Her short stories have been published in anthologies in Australia, the US and the UK, and her flash fiction has appeared on-line in Fictive Dream , Firefly Magazine and Long Exposure , amongst other places. Cath was Literature Editor of California-based Celtic Family Magazine (2013-2016) and is a regular contributor to Wales Arts Review .

Rebecca Casson (Holywell, Flintshire, Wales)

Infirmarian

Complex and authentic first-person narrative of homosexuality, sickness, healing and herbs in a Welsh monastery. Two novices go missing and are found with an interesting, gender-bending twist and a story of unrequited love.

Rebecca Casson is originally from North Yorkshire but travelled widely as a child with her army family. Graduating from Liverpool University in 2010 with an MA in Classics, she qualified as a teacher and now teaches Latin, Classical Civilisation and Ancient Greek at a girls’ school in Chester. As yet unpublished, Rebecca currently lives in North Wales with her husband and enjoys writing fiction in her free time.

Barbara de la Cuesta (Seaside Heights, New Jersey, US)

Exiles

Atmospheric and nuanced story of expat life penetrated by local characters and dangerous politics. The language, food, landscape and customs of Cuba are vivid. Themes include gender politics, the unknowability of others, sacrifice, chance, injustice, class, privilege and poverty. The value of love is held up to that of pragmatism and convention.

Barbara de la Cuesta has one published novel, The Spanish Teacher , winner of the Gival Press Fiction Prize in 2007. She has been past recipient of fellowships in fiction from the Massachusetts Artists’ Foundation, and the New Jersey Council on the Arts, as well as residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, The Virginia Center, and the Millay Colony. Her poetry collection will be published this year by Finishing Line Press. She lives in New Jersey and has taught English as a Second Language and Spanish for many years.

Nicola Daly (Chester, Cheshire)

The Night Where you no Longer Live

First person dark European fairytale about abuse, cross-dressing and Claudette’s desperate attempts to escape a cruel, dead father’s shadow and a living brother’s evil intent. The unusual, unsettling language here is compelling, as is Claudette’s immediate voice. Enriched with references to modern Paris as well as Baudelaire and Sartre.

Nicola Daly was born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire in 1974. However for most of her life she has lived in Chester. Her short stories, non- fiction work and poetry has been widely published by a variety of publications such as Honno Women’s Press, The North West Arts Council Anthologies, Myslexia, Rialto, and many more.

Olivia Gwyne (Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland)

The Seal

This is the story of unequal power, and the grooming of an eleven year old girl by a nineteen year old male. He spots the source of her vulnerability in her crazy religious Nana and her fearful mother. Strong beach and caravan-site settings coupled with the cat-and-mouse story make compelling reading.

Olivia Gwyne , originally from Hereford, is now based in Newcastle upon Tyne. In 2015 her pamphlet of short stories, The Kittens’ Wedding , was published by Womach Press, and the same year she won the SASH Writing Prize. Olivia has also been shortlisted for the Wells Short Story Competition, the Home Start Short Story Prize and the Horror Scribes Flash Fiction Ghost Story Competition. Her work was recently featured in Halo Literary Magazine . She holds a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Newcastle University.

Atar Hadari (Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire)

Burning Poets

A curiously perplexing account of a famous, passionate, deceased poet: her life and its many hurts, in tandem with an ambitious academic later in time, who attempts to uncover the secrets of her passing. the reader is haunted by the voice and words of a woman with deep, ardent, almost animalistic hopes, desires and vices.

Atar Hadari was born in Israel, raised in England, trained as an actor and writer at the University of East Anglia before winning a scholarship to study poetry and playwrighting with Derek Walcott at Boston University. His plays and songs have won many awards.

Joao Morais (Cardiff, Wales)

Smugglers' Tunnel

A historical tale of 19th century Cardiff that takes some surprising twists and turns; charting the journey of a young man struggling to escape the shadow of his late father, while uncovering the mystery behind a most exotic trinket. A wide cast of characters inhabit a vividly formed, urban world of desperation and poverty.

Joao Morais lives in Cardiff. He is about to complete a PhD in Creative Writing at Cardiff University. He has previously been shortlisted for the Academi Rhys Davies Short Story Prize, the Percy French Prize for Comic Verse, and the All Wales Comic Verse Award. He won the 2013 Terry Hetherington Prize for Young Writers. He has a short story collection due out next year with Parthian.

Veronica Popp (Chicago, US)

Sick

A writer in her early 20s has a mother in hospital dying of liver cancer. The protagonist is in an obsessive, toxic relationship based on meaningless sex. Pleasure circles evasion as conventional ‘doctor’-patient roles are overturned.

Veronica Popp is an activist and writer throughout the city of Chicago. She has a Bachelor’s from Elmhurst College in English and History, a Master’s in Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and a Master’s in English with a concentration in Literary Studies from Western Illinois University. Popp has been published by many magazines and journals. Popp was recently nominated for the Silver Pen Writers Association Writing Well Award. Last year, she was a Teaching Artist and Co-Editor of student writing for Young Chicago Authors. The resulting work titled The End of Chiraq will be published by Northwestern University Press. Popp teaches composition at Elmhurst College and recently completed her first novel, The Longest Summer , out for submission to literary agents.

Mike Tuohy (Jefferson, Georgia, US)

Double Nickel Jackpot

Pacey, dialogue-driven, filmic, comic, coming-of-age anti-bromance. Parker and Lee, drifting since school, turn their access to the police car pool to their advantage in a joyride through the Bayou badlands. Things turn very nasty indeed.

Mike Tuohy was born in New Jersey in 1954. Moving to Georgia in 1965, he has sopped up Southern Culture ever since. A professional geologist, Mike works the environmental consulting rackets by day and writes at night, making friends, family and co-workers nervous as he chronicles the preposterous through short stories, novellas and a novel-in-progress. 17 of his short stories, including two collaborations and a Pushcart nominee, have been published. A two-time finalist in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest, he has a total of nine words in that prestigious publication. Mike lives with his wife Sally in an earth-sheltered home by the North Oconee River near Jefferson, Georgia.

Commended

Amanda Oosthuizen (Eastleigh, Hampshire)

Carving Strangers

In this 1940s South-Africa set novel, the protagonist seeks escape from an unhappy marriage through carving beautiful boxes from rare African wood. When this doesn’t pay, she forms dangerous alliances, breaching class and race to enter the illegal diamond trade and move towards emancipation.

Amanda Oosthuizen’s stories and poems have been published in various forms, shown in galleries, in Winchester Cathedral and on the London Underground. Last year a series of ten poems was displayed in Oxfordshire as part of a collaboration with artist, Lucy Ash. Her latest online story is at 3:AM and another was recently shortlisted in The London Magazine competition; prose and poetry is forthcoming in the U.K. with Paragram, and in the U.S. with Woven Tale Press and Prelude. She has an M.A. with distinction in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester, where she won the Kate Betts Prize. She lives in Hampshire but a long time ago, she studied English and Music at Aberystwyth University and has worked in both subject areas ever since. Born a Jenkins, her family came from Merthyr.


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walesina100places.jpg

Y Lolfa has published a new edition of its bestselling guide book to the must see places in Wales.

Wales in 100 Places is the updated version of Wales 100 places to see before you die which won the Welsh Book of the Year prize and was adapted to a popular television series on S4C. The publishing of the new version of the acclaimed volume follows the death of author and historian John Davies in 2015.

Wales in 100 Places combines words and pictures from two leading authorities in their fields; the late historian John Davies shares his remarkable depth of knowledge of the history of Wales; the photographer Marian Delyth travelled the length of the country in all weathers to create the magical atmosphere of the hundred places observed.

From Anglesey to Monmouthshire, from Pembrokeshire to Flintshire, these are a hundred places that we should visit in our lifetime.

‘During my travels, I came to realize how fortunate we are in Wales. Our country contains an astonishing range of examples of the fruits of human efforts’ said John Davies during the first publication, ‘Citizens of the larger nations of Europe cannot hope in the span of a single lifetime to visit all the highlights of their country’s heritage. But Welsh residents and visitors to Wales can, by the time they reach three score years and ten, visit, appreciate and love all its glories.’

‘The constantly changing light on the varied landscape of such a small country, and the wealth of histories and characters within our wonderful communities never cease to excite me’ added Marian Delyth, ‘I hope that the photographs in some small way reflect those particular qualities.’

John Davies (1938 - 2015) was a native of the Rhondda and was a presenter of the popular History Hunters TV series. In 2015 Y Lolfa published his autobiography A Life in History, translated from Welsh by Jon Gower. He received the Glyndŵr Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in in Wales in 2015 and was described as “one of the most influential Welshmen of our era” by Prof Richard Wyn Jones.

Marian Delyth is a freelance graphic designer and photographer working from her studio near Aberystwyth. She has worked primarily for the publishing industry in Wales and has won many awards incuding the Tir na n-Og prize for best children's book on two occasions. She has worked on many collaborations with writers and poets and now devotes most of her life to her photographic work and shares her enthusiasm and knowledge in workshops and lectures. A prominent campaigner in the promotion of Art in Wales, she was a founder member of Ffotogallery and Gweled. She has exhibited her work in Wales and internationally.

Wales in 100 Places by John Davies and Marian Delyth (£19.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.

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Dylan & Llinos Rowlands



A Welsh cookbook by two local Welsh entrepreneurs has won a prestigious French cookbook award.

Rarebit and Rioja: Recipes and wine tales from Wales  by Dylan and Llinos Rowlands of Gwin Dylanwad Wine, Dolgellau, has been declared the national British winner in its category, Best Food and Wine at the 2017 Gourmand Awards. The Welsh food and wine book stems from the two entrepreneurs’ 30 years experience in the trade.

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards were founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau. Every year, they honour the best food and wine books, printed or digital, as well as food and cookery television programmes. Books from over two hundred countries participate in these prestigious awards, the only international competition of the sector.

This most recent success for Dylan and Llinos Rowlands follows previous accolades from renowned wine guru Hugh Johnson – who praised the wine shop and cafe-bar as a ‘Great little wine merchant in Dolgellau’ and wine writer Nevill Bletch who commended the bar as ‘one of the best places you can drink real quality at a reasonable price’.

Rarebit and Rioja is much more than just a recipe book with its entertaining and sometimes touching tales of journeys of discovery in the wine world from Spain to Armenia. It contains recipes, with some of the best Welsh ingredients from Canapés and Tapas, to Main Courses and Desserts which are accompanied by wine recommendations. The book is very much a wine book too and discusses how to make the most of tasting wine; what makes a good wine and the characteristics of various grapes. It ends with menu suggestions for special meals as well as a list of Welsh producers.

Dylan is a regular guest on S4C daytime magazine show Prynhawn Da as their wine expert and Llinos writes regular articles on food and wine. They host tastings in their beautifully renovated 16th century building in Dolgellau, which now includes upstairs tasting rooms where customers can relax and enjoy the wide variety of wines from the cellar shop that Dylan has travelled far and wide to source – from Italy and France to Moldova, in addition to the quality wines Welsh vineyards are now producing.

Commenting on the book upon its release in 2016, BBC Radio 1 DJ, Huw Stephens said: ‘As this success story grows, so too does its physical home, marking a new era for this proud Welsh institution. This book is a celebration of the story so far, and of the future and all that it holds.’

The annual Gourmand Awards ceremony will be held in Yantai, China during the 27 th and 28 th of May 2017 where Dylan and Llinos will be competing in their winning category against winners from other countries for the Best in the World .

Dylan and Llinos said, ‘Winning the British category of this prestigious award is very exciting. The feedback we have had about the book has been so positive, people really love the combination.’

‘We’re already visiting producers in Bordeaux and Rioja in February and March so we don’t think we can manage China in May for the awards but the prospect of now competing for the world’s best food and wine book is thrilling!’ they added.

Rarebit and Rioja – Recipes and Wine Tales from Wales by Dylan and Llinos Rowlands (£14.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.


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Family-friendly Recipes From a Welsh Cook


By AmeriCymru, 2016-11-18


A year’s worth of delicious recipes…




alunthebear.jpg The cook Lisa Fearn will be launching her first recipe book Blas / Taste at Aberglasney Gardens on Wednesday, 23 November.

Blas / Taste contains over 90 delicious family-friendly recipes and is presented bilingually. The book also includes suggestions for activities to keep the children busy, creating home-made gifts, quick ideas and making the most of ingredients from the garden.

Lisa Fearn is a Carmarthen girl and a mother of five. She established a gardening and cookery school called The Pumpkin Patch in Allt y Gog Farm in Felin-wen, Carmarthenshire. By now, she has taught thousands of children to grow and cook their own food (she's taught a few parents too).

Lisa is a columnist with the Carmarthen Journal and a regular on Radio Wales and Radio Cymru. She is also a cook on the Prynhawn Da programme on S4C. Above all, Lisa has a great interest in the social power of food.

Lisa says “I love the outdoors, gardening and cooking. So, when our youngest reached school age, I took stock of what I knew and The Pumpkin Patch became a reality – a children’s cookery and gardening school teaching them how to grow and cook their own food. Within months the school was fully booked, and I started sharing our family-friendly recipes with people.

“Blas • Taste is full of our favourite ‘go to’ recipes at Allt y Gog Farm. They are the recipes that I hope my children will use when they leave home – Mum’s favourites. No fuss; easy meals and snacks that flavour the seasons and the year’s celebrations with the family. So invite everybody round to taste!”

Blas/Taste is a perfect gift this Christmas and is now available from your local bookshop or directly from Gomer Press on ww.gomer.co.uk / 01559 363092.

Lisa Fearn will launch the book at Aberglasney Gardens on Wednesday, 23 November at 7pm.

Lisa will also be signing copies of the book at:

Peppercorn, Llandeilo on Friday, 18 November, 1.30pm

The Royal Welsh Winter Fair, Llanelwedd, 28 November, 11am on the Siop Inc stand and midday on the Merlin’s Hill stand

Aberglasney Winter Fair, 2 December 2pm & 4 December, 2pm

The National Library of Wales, 8 December at 5pm.

Bibliographic details

Blas / Taste, Lisa Fearn, Photographs by Aled Llywelyn

ISBN 9781785621741, hardback, 248 pages

£14.99, Published by Gomer Press






...



Blwyddyn gron o ryseitiau blasus…




Bydd y cogydd Lisa Fearn yn lansio ei chyfrol goginio gyntaf, Blas / Taste yng ngerddi Aberglasney nos Fercher, 23 Tachwedd.

Mae Blas / Taste yn cynnwys dros 90 o ryseitiau dwyieithog sy’n tynnu dŵr i’r dannedd. Yn ogystal mae’n cynnwys awgrymiadau

am weithgareddau i gadw’r plant yn brysur, creu anrhegion cartref, syniadau sydyn yn y gegin a gwneud y mwyaf o’r cynnyrch sy’n ffres o’r ardd.

Merch o Gaerfyrddin yw Lisa Fearn ac mae’n fam i bump o blant. Sefydlodd ysgol arddio a choginio boblogaidd i blant, sef The

Pumpkin Patch ar Fferm Allt y Gog yn Felin-wen, Sir Gaerfyrddin.

Erbyn hyn, mae hi wedi dysgu miloedd o blant i dyfu a choginio eu bwyd eu hunain (ac wedi dysgu ambell riant hefyd!).

Mae Lisa’n golofnydd gyda’r Carmarthen Journal. Mae hi’n westai cyson ar Radio Cymru a Radio Wales, ac yn gogydd ar raglen Prynhawn Da, S4C, hefyd. Uwchlaw popeth, mae gan Lisa ddiddordeb mawr ym mhŵer cymdeithasol bwyd.

Meddai Lisa “Rwy’n dwlu ar y byd tu fas ac ar arddio a choginio. Felly, pan ddechreuodd y cyw melyn ola yn yr ysgol, cymerais stoc o’r hyn roeddwn i’n gyfarwydd ag e. Ac felly y daeth The Pumpkin Patch i fodolaeth – ysgol goginio a garddio i blant, yn eu dysgu sut i dyfu a choginio’u bwyd eu hunain. O fewn misoedd, roedd yr ysgol yn llawn, a dechreuais rannu ein ryseitiau teulu-gyfeillgar â phobl eraill.”

“Mae Blas / Taste yn llawn o’n hoff ryseitiau ni yn Fferm Allt y Gog. Dyma’r ryseitiau rwy’n gobeithio y bydd fy mhlant yn eu defnyddio pan fyddan nhw’n gadael y nyth – ffefrynnau Mam.”

“Dim ffws - prydau a byrbrydau hawdd sy’n rhoi blas ar bob dim yn ei dymor ac yn ddathliad o flwyddyn gron gyda’r teulu a ffrindiau. Rhowch wahoddiad i bawb ddod draw i gael blas ar bethau!”

Mae Blas / Taste yn anrheg Nadolig delfrydol ac ar gael yn eich siop lyfrau leol am £14.99 neu’n

uniongyrchol oddi wrth wasg Gomer ar www.gomer.co.uk / 01559 363092.

Bydd Lisa Fearn yn lansio’r gyfrol yng ngerddi Aberglasney nos Fercher, 23 Tachwedd am 7 o’r gloch.

Bydd hi hefyd yn llofnodi copïau o’r llyfr yn:

Siop Peppercorn, Llandeilo, 18 Tachwedd am 1.30 o’r gloch

Y Ffair Aeaf, Llanelwedd, 28 Tachwedd, 11 o'r gloch ar stondin Siop Inc a 12 ar stondin Bryn Myrddin

Ffair Aeaf Aberglasney, 2 Rhagfyr, 2 o’r gloch a 4 Rhagfyr, 2 o’r gloch

Y Llyfrgell Genedlaethol, 8 Rhagfyr am 5 o’r gloch.

Manylion llyfryddol

Blas / Taste, Lisa Fearn, Ffotograffau Aled Llywelyn

ISBN 9781785621741, clawr caled, 248 tudalen,

£14.99, Gwasg Gomer


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