Blogs

Out of Control


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2018-12-08

What you wish for is

not always careful

a glib handover

in an ambient Tiger tank

in shadows of oboes

on an European coastline

you know so well

a meaningful vote

devoid of much meaning

not the kind of leaving

you had in mind

when you let that paper

drop into the aperture

we’ve been mis-sold

overblown oligarchies

and demoralised democracies

so let’s invent pop up monarchies

and subvert history

as it is all made up

as it stumbles along

or at least that’s what

the fecklessness of many

of our leaders seems to suggest

and remember to schedule a tour

of our shiny new fiefdom

some time after we have

regained control of it

not that we ever had it

under our control

journey to the more neglected areas

whose road signs brightly herald

the contribution made

by the former partner

to the construction of those routes

linking these communities

to the prospect of a more civilizing life

though by then these may well

have been taken down

or fallen down

amid the amnesia often

reserved for the poor

ticking a box

shouting the loudest

and decrying those

who don’t share exactly

the same views  

doesn’t always deliver our wish lists

as our unity drip drip drips

into stalactite statues

in mothballed baggage reclaim halls

what we've packed

is what we've become

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments
MY first book Titled  The Home World Chronicles darkness Rising Book 1

This is my first book and I am currently working on book two, so I am still learning.

I have added part of the preface in my book. The book has only just gone up so I don't know how much I am allowed to show.


Preface (Snippets of )


This story sort of came to me in a dream, the charters names and plot danced in front of my eyes at around three am forcing me to wake up. By four am I was writing the story you see before you.

I did not want to write about the usual stuff but the charters had other ideas on the matter, they pushed me in certain directions and did things I did not want them to do but they are their own people after all. Who am I to interfere?

You will notice that there is a large Welsh influence throughout the book (shock horror I am Welsh), there will be a little Welsh folklore as well as symbols and some contextual passages throughout the book that all add to the storyline both in this book and hopefully in books to come.

Links with another planet which you are all familiar with will become apparent as will the link between this world and the creation of the Welsh culture which may not be made clear in this book. What was the reason for this?

Most books and films that have characters from the UK in them only have them from England, Ireland, and Scotland. I felt this to be wrong and that it was time for a change.

Paperback back cover

Myth, magic add a little Welsh folklore.

Throw in an evil so old that it is only called the darkness.

Add two children, one boy and one girl both 12years old and attending the first year of school at the same time.

The school teaches magic born and mundane alike and NO there is no waving of sticks or flying on broomsticks (broomsticks are for sweeping after all).

 

Thomas is rich arrogant and entitled, also unhappy and lonely.

Andra is quiet, bright, not at all comfortable with the way she looks and also lonely.

We follow them through their epic battle with evil.

We follow them through the good times and the bad, through joy and sorrow.

They live on a planet that is in a different dimension, where dragons are thought extinct and mythical creatures exist.

I have two introductions that may characters Andra and Thomas made me write, I will post them if anyone is interested.

Yes I know there will be errors but I will learn from them and do better next time 

https://www.amazon.com/Home-World-Chronicles-Darkness-Rising-ebook/dp/B07L2XTP8L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544093935&sr=8-1&keywords=Thaddeus+Hardcastle

https://www.amazon.com/Home-World-Chronicles-Darkness-Rising/dp/1790648718/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1544093994&sr=8-2&keywords=Thaddeus+Hardcastle

Diolch   guys (and girls)

 


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"Sir Karl Jenkins is the most performed living composer in the world."



We are extremely pleased and proud to announce that Distinguished Concerts International have made available a pair of tickets for the forthcoming Karl Jenkins concert in New York at the Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall on Monday, January 21st, 2019. The program includes Sir Karl Jenkins’s Symphonic Adiemus as well as Jenkins’s Stabat Mater. Read our (2010) interview with Karl Jenkins here

We are offering these tickets as a QUIZ PRIZE on Americymru!

Just answer the three easy quiz questions below ( answers can all be found on Wikipedia ) and send them to us at americymru@gmail.com ( all email addresses will be deleted when the competition closes ). We'll throw all the entries in a hat and pick the winner! Please email us by Monday, January 14th, 2019 no later than 9 PM ( Pacific Time ). Tickets will be ready at will call on 1/21 at the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall; the winner will just need to bring a photo ID.

Only one entry per email address is permitted. Duplicates will be disqualified. You do not need to be an AmeriCymru member or logged into the site in order to enter this competition.

If you don't win the competition, please do not despair. DCINY is very kindly offering a 30% discount code for AmeriCymru readers. The code is DCG30382 and it can be used online, over the phone, or in person at Carnegie Hall

Karl Jenkins Quiz



  1. Which famous jazz-rock fusion band was Karl Jenkins a member of in the 70's?
  2. Which of Jenkins' works was listed as No. 1 in Classic FM's "Top 10 by living composers"?
  3. Where was Karl Jenkins born?



The Music of Sir Karl Jenkins: A 75th Birthday Celebration



Monday, January 21, 2019 at 7:00 PM
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall

DCINY presents the US premiere of Welsh composer and DCINY’s composer-in-residence Sir Karl Jenkins’s Symphonic Adiemus as well as Jenkins’s Stabat Mater. Maestro Jonathan Griffithleads the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International in a celebration of Sir Karl Jenkins’s 75th birthday.

Performers

Jonathan Griffith, Conductor
Baidar Al Basri, Ethnic Soloist
Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International

Program

All-Sir Karl Jenkins Program
Symphonic Adiemus (US Premiere)
Stabat Mater

Tickets $20-$100!
On Sale Now!

Visit CarnegieHall.org or call 212-247-7800

Box Office: 57th Street and Seventh Avenue

Ticket Link: https://www.carnegiehall.org/calendar/2019/01/21/the-music-of-sir-karl-jenkins-0700pm


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Posted in: Music | 0 comments

The musings of a Welsh journalist in Welsh Wales


By Alan Stephen Evans , 2018-12-04
The musings of a Welsh journalist in Welsh Wales

Llanelli Onine

It was many years ago that I first met Ceri Shaw online. I would go so far as to say that both he and I gave Zuckerburg the idea for Facebook.

At the time we were dabbling with what technology was available, basically an old sospan fach, a cheeseboard, some tin foil and a transistor radio demolished for parts.

That said we managed to create two networking sites. Americymru and Deheubarth.

Years later a magazine fell off my dusty old shelf and up popped Ceri's name again. I guessed that the platform called NING had long gone but also guessed that Ceri might have found another way to bond people together like a grand mixture for Welshcakes. 

He had and Americymru was and is alive and kicking. Sad to say that my old NING site is still in a folder on a hard drive somewhere. I did however turn my attentions to writing for a newspaper before leaving having been unpaid to the sum of almost £7k. Yes they are about. 

So it was that I set about doing what I know best and creating another online platform for my hometown of Llanelli. Llanelli Online. What else? The site is a news led site but also has some great features like interviews with politicians, celebs and local characters. 

It is here then that I will direct you to find out more and it is here here that I will endeavour to share some of the best bits with you. 

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you enjoy the blog. 

Posted in: lifestyle | 3 comments


Link to purchase on Amazon:- Bring The Rising Home!



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For anyone who is unacquainted with the historical details of the 1831 Merthyr Rising, the following link should be of some assistance - Merthyr Rising. Of course, the most thorough and authoritative account of these events can be found in Gwyn Williams' - The Merthyr Rising.

The Rising is commemorated with an annual festival in Castle Street, Merthyr where twenty four of the protestors were shot and killed in 1831. This collection was published to coincide with the 2017 event.

The anthology consists of 25 poems (four in Welsh with English translations) and accompanying illustrations by Welsh artist Gustavius Payne. For more details about Mike Jernkins and Gustavius Payne please see the biographical details and links at the bottom of this page.


In 'Ble?' Mike Jenkins asks:-

Ble mae'r enwau'r pedwerydd ar hugain,
gafodd eu saethu gan y fyddin?

Where are the names of the twenty-four,
killed by the army in this square?

Other poems in the collection directly refer to the historical events of 1831 but more concern themselves with contemporary living conditions in Merthyr Tydfil and elsewhere.

In 'Bag Full of Writings (For Merthyr Rock Bands)' we meet a street poet/songwriter who is down on his luck:-

He's been living in the dole age
since they invented it;
his plasticine face moulded
by worry and rage.

A chance encounter with a young lad fresh out of Swansea jail is immortalised in 'Outa Jail':-

Don' know wha I woz doin, see,
pissed outa my ead-
least I gotta job washin cars,
better 'an-a las one
in-a juice factree
all overtime, no breaks an unions,
treated like bloody sheep.

Many of Mike's poems give voice to the disadvantaged, the homeless and the destitute. For example 'In Portland, Oregon' recounts an incident at the local bus station when a homeless person temporarily waylaid Mikes bus when he was on his way to a West Coast Eisteddfod event in the town:-

A downtown junkie came out
from the toilet ranting
and hi-jacked our bus,
the black woman driver calming him
until the cops turned up.

The collection ends with the somewhat disturbing 'We Want it Back!' in which the protagonists are heard to demand:-

We want it back
we want our country back!
We want Grammar Schools
(though not Sec-Mods),
where working-class kids
can achieve (well, a few of them)
we want corporal punishment
like the cane and the tawse,
pupils will be grateful
when they are abused


There is perhaps a certain irony in demanding a partial return to conditions that once led to insurrectionary violence and bloodshed in the streets. But, Mike Jenkins is no preacher and readers are left to their own deliberations and to draw their own conclusions.

The illustrations are powerful and provocative throughout and perfectly evocative of Mike's poetic themes. In a note at the end of the book Gustavius Payne, after detailing their many shared interests, has this to say about his artistic collaboration with Mike Jenkins:-

"It may be that the basic ingredients of our artistic endeavours have more in common than many, and perhaps explains why the visual work I've done resonates so closely with the series of poems that Mike has written."

Whatever the shared background and interests, their collaboration has produced an outstanding book. We have no hesitation in recommending this collection to anyone with an interest in contemporary Merthyr, Welsh working class history or fine poetry and artwork.



Notes on Two Welsh Artists

Mike Jenkins is a retired teacher of English at comprehensive schools. He lives in Merthyr Tydfil, has co-edited 'Red Poets' for 23 years and has blogged weekly on his website www.mikejenkins.net since 2009. He runs creative writing workshops with children and adults and organises regular poetry events in Merthyr and elsewhere in south Wales. He is winner of the 1998 Wales Book of the Year for a book of short stories, Wanting To Belong (Seren); his latest book of poetry is in Merthyr vernacular Sofa Surfin' (Carreg Gwalch); and he was shortlisted for the Bread and Roses Poetry Award 2017.

Gustavius Payne is a Welsh figurative artist, represented by Ffin-Y-Parc Gallery, Llanrwst, where his work is regularly exhibited and held in stock. His paintings are also held in collections including at the University of South Wales and the Museum of Modern Art, Wales. He has exhibited regularly since 1994 including a touring exhibition with Mike jenkins in 2011/2012, funded by Arts Council Wales.

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The Music of Sir Karl Jenkins: A 75th Birthday Celebration



Monday, January 21, 2019 at 7:00 PM - Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall

DCINY presents the US premiere of Welsh composer and DCINY’s composer-in-residence Sir Karl Jenkins’s Symphonic Adiemus as well as Jenkins’s Stabat Mater. Maestro Jonathan Griffithleads the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International in a celebration of Sir Karl Jenkins’s 75th birthday.

Performers:

Jonathan Griffith, Conductor
Baidar Al Basri, Ethnic Soloist
Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International

Program:

All-Sir Karl Jenkins Program
Symphonic Adiemus (US Premiere)
Stabat Mater

Tickets $20-$100!
On Sale Now!

Visit CarnegieHall.org or call 212-247-7800
Box Office: 57th Street and Seventh Avenue

Ticket Link: https://www.carnegiehall.org/calendar/2019/01/21/the-music-of-sir-karl-jenkins-0700pm

Posted in: Music | 0 comments

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AmeriCymru has 4 spots available in the right hand column on ad supporting pages. These ads are $25 for a year AND we'll throw in the period between now and Christmas as well!!! We welcome ads for Welsh themed books, music, artwork and gifts BUT, please act now, time for this offer is running out.

We also have 5 $10 dollar spots on our new Christmas shopping page. If you want to advertise here to test the response, we will credit your $10 toward a full length (12 month) ad next year.  So, for a mere $15 extra you can advertise right up until next Christmas. Use the PayPal button below to reserve your spot or email americymru@gmail.com for more details.


Christmas Ads 2018-2019


Hear The Echo by Rob Gittins - A Review


By Ceri Shaw, 2018-11-26





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When I was a lad in Pontypool I would frequently visit 'Aldo's' on the way home from school to play pinball, drink coffee and socialize. I don't know if it's still there but in my youth it was one of many Italian cafe's that graced the south Wales mining valleys. From Pontypool to Ammanford or from Treorchy to Cardiff you would likely spot a 'Rabaiotti's', 'Bracchi's' or 'Carini's'. These cafe's were run by Italian immigrants who left home to escape poverty, Mussolini, or both.

'Hear The Echo' is Rob Gittins' fifth novel and in choosing to set it against the background of this migration and a related tragic historical incident, he has once again succeeded in crafting a superbly intriguing and suspenseful novel.

In the 1930's, Chiara emigrates from Italy to forge a new and better life in Wales. She encounters bigotry and xenophobia as she and her employer battle to keep their italian cafe in business in the shadow of World War II. But all that's soon eclipsed by a love triangle that threatens to destroy everything.

Meanwhile present-day Welsh-Italian Frankie struggles to find the money and hope to hold her family together in the same valleys community. Along the way she has to decide how far she's prepared to go to do that - and whether what she has is actually worth the fight.

The two women never meet. But as their joint experiences begin to resonate down through time, their journeys intersect. And each becomes as real to the other as if they'd physically breathed the same air.

Arandora Star 1940

One of the novels' principal characters is interned at the beginning of World War II and sails on the ill-fated Arandora Star. In order to discover more you will have to read the book but we have included some useful information and links concerning the ships'  tragic fate below.

This is a superbly crafted  and suspenseful thriller which will hold the reader spellbound throughout. It also has much to say on topics of vital contemporary concern such as immigration and integration.




Arandora Star

From the Wikipedia:- "SS Arandora Star was a British passenger ship of the Blue Star Line. She was built in 1927 as an ocean liner and refrigerated cargo ship, converted in 1929 into a cruise ship and requisitioned as a troop ship in World War II. At the end of June 1940 she was assigned the task of transporting Italian and German civilians among a small number of prisoners of war to Canada. On 2 July 1940 she was sunk in controversial circumstances by a German U-boat with a large loss of life, 865."



walesfirstandfinalcolony.jpgPlaid 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).

Posted in: Book News | 0 comments
Award-winning Welsh author pens "remarkable" new psychological suspense novel

Award-winning crime fiction author Cathy Ace (Swansea born and raised) is launching her latest novel THE WRONG BOY on January 9th 2019 (now available for pre-order). Known for her Cait Morgan Mysteries (featuring her Welsh Canadian criminal psychologist sleuth) and her WISE Enquiries Mysteries (featuring four professional female PIs who run their business out of a Welsh stately home) she has now turned her lens on Wales in a different way - a darker way. Early comments about the book suggest it will appeal to those who have enjoyed recent Welsh crime TV series like Hinterland, Keeping Faith and Hidden. Cathy now lives in British Columbia, Canada, and enjoys returning to her Welsh home whenever she can. This new book is set in the real location of Rhossili - though she's changed its name to protect the innocent!

Here's a taste of what the book is about - with some of the early comments about it:

Perched on a Welsh clifftop, the ancient, picturesque hamlet of Rhosddraig has its peaceful façade ripped apart when human remains are discovered under a pile of stones. The village pub, The Dragon's Head, run by three generations of women, becomes the focal point for those interested in the grisly find, and it’s where layers of deceit are peeled away to expose old secrets, and deep wounds. The police need to establish who died, how, and why, but DI Evan Glover knows he can’t be involved in the investigation, because he's just two days away from retirement. However, as the case develops in unexpected ways, it becomes irrevocably woven into his life, and the lives of local families, leading to disturbing revelations – and deadly consequences . . .

EARLY COMMENTS:

"A disturbing storyline of family secrets, deftly told, and with a remarkable sense of place. Almost mythic in nature, it’s narrated by a chorus of voices which stay with you all the way to the stunning ending and beyond." Craig Robertson, international bestselling author

"Family secrets stalk three generations of women in Cathy Ace’s suspense-packed page turner, THE WRONG BOY. The ending is a stunner." Hallie Ephron, NY Times bestselling author of ‘You’ll Never Know Dear’

“…a truly gripping and strong narrative, coupled with a story line that is both intriguing and thoroughly entertaining.” Yrsa Sigurdardóttir, award-winning, No. 1 bestselling Icelandic crime fiction author

“A clever plot with a web of intrigue and characters who stay with you.” Jane Corry, author of the Sunday Times bestsellers 'My Husband's Wife', 'Blood Sisters' and 'The Dead Ex'

“Cathy Ace’s skill at evoking place is a stand-out highlight of The Wrong Boy, a neatly wrought story which combines a mystery…with a study of tangled relationships within a close-knit community…” Martin Edwards, author of ‘Gallows Court’ & winner of the CWA Dagger in the Library

"A close-knit community in a quaint Welsh village in an area of outstanding beauty. Sounds cozy. But Cathy Ace's stunning new standalone, THE WRONG BOY, is about as cozy as a cornered snake. Told in a rising chorus of authentic voices, the story is deft and disturbing, creepingly claustrophobic, and with a grip that tightens to a choke-hold before its shattering conclusion."  Catriona McPherson, multi-award-winning author of ‘Go To My Grave’

“Drenched in Welsh atmosphere, forbidding weather, and mysterious folklore, THE WRONG BOY is a gem of a thriller that bewitches right up to the twisted ending you won’t see coming. Masterful plotting and characters so real, you’ll swear you know them. Ace is a master portraitist.” James W Ziskin, multi-award-winning author of The Ellie Stone Mysteries

‘Like a slow pot that boils, the author builds...this tightly-woven and intriguing mystery...grippingly riveting as the story came to a dramatic climax.’ Dru Ann Love, Dru's Book Musings, MWA Raven Award Recipient

Posted in: New Books | 1 comments
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