Ceri Shaw



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Following the release of two pre-covid singles ‘Babanod’ and ‘Poetry’, HMS Morris are back with the third in the series,  ‘Myfyrwyr Rhyngwladol.’ , which translates as ‘International Students’. The single will be released on September 16 th

HMS Morris HQ is nestled on the edge of one of the most multicultural streets in Cardiff, City Road. It’s a noisy, colourful cosmopolitan crush of restaurants, shisha bars and barbers, which have recently been invaded by posh student accommodation projects. But while this may have been the initial impetus behind  ‘Myfyrwyr Rhyngwladol’ , by the time it had solidified into a definite sound and feel it was no longer a rant about fancy student halls.

Rather it had become an assertion that the world be a better place if we were all International Students. In the context of this summer’s global race-relations reckoning, there is a general moral imperative for us all to become students of the international: to watch the news as if it’s our own story, to actually take it in, to learn and adapt our behaviour. We should be prepared to immerse ourselves in other cultures, just like the international students of City Rd do.

'Myfyrwyr Rhyngwladol'  will be available to stream or purchase digitally from all the usual platforms.

See them  not  live:

September 10-12 – Waves Vienna Digital Showcase
October - ‘Out of Focus’ Digital Festival organised by Focus Wales

Watch it back:

HMS Morris live from Cultvr Lab Cardiff -  https://www.cultvr.cymru/hmsmorris/

125750.jpg Yn dilyn y senglau cyn-covid ‘Babanod’ a ‘Poetry’, mae HMS Morris yn ôl efo’r drydedd yn y gyfres, ‘Myfyrwyr Rhyngwladol.’  Fe fydd y sengl yn cael ei ryddhau ar Medi 16eg.
Mae hwb creadigol HMS Morris yn swatio ger un o strydoedd mwyaf amlddywilliannol Caerdydd, City Road. Mae’n gawl gosmopolitaidd o fwytai, shisha bars a barbwyr – sydd yn ddiweddar wedi eu gorlethu gan neuaddau posh i fyfyrwyr. Problem enbyd heb os, ond er mai hyn oedd yr ysgogiad gwreiddiol tu ôl i  ‘Myfyrwyr Rhyngwladol’ , erbyn iddi galedu yn deimlad a sain pendant doedd hi ddim yn rant am neuaddau myfyrwyr swanc bellach, ond yn hytrach yn fyfyriad ar faint o le gwell fyddai’r byd petaen ni i gyd yn fyfyrwyr rhyngwladol.

Yng ngyd-destun y daeargryn cymdeithasol byd-eang ddechreuodd yn Minneapolis ym mis Mai, mae hi’n ddyletswydd moesol arnom ôll i astudio y rhyngwladol: i wylio’r newyddion fel mai ein stori ni ein hunain yw e, i’w ystyried yn ofalus, i ddysgu ac addasu ein ymddygiad. Dylen ni fod yn yn barod i drochi mewn diwyllianau eraill, yn union fel mae myfyrwyr rhyngwladol City Road yn gwneud.
Fe fydd ' Myfyrwyr Rhyngwladol'  ar gael yn ddigidol i’w ffrydu a’i lawrlwytho o’r manau arferol.
Gwyliwch nhw ddim cweit yn fyw - 

Medi 10-12 – Gwyl Ddigidol Waves Vienna
Hydref - ‘Out of Focus’ Gwyl Ddigidol Focus Wales
Gwyliwch yn ôl:  

HMS Morris live from Cultvr Lab Cardiff -   https://www.cultvr.cymru/hmsmorris/  

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AmeriCymru: Hi Eloise and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. How did you become the first Children's Laureate Wales? What is the selection process?

Eloise: You are very welcome. Thanks for inviting me! It's so good to be here. 

Literature Wales, the national company for the development of literature in Wales, put out a call for expressions of interest. I'd worked with young people a lot over the years - taught Drama and English, developed plays with community and youth theatres, toured with theatre-in-education projects - and since starting to write for young people I'd run hundreds of creative writing workshops to develop writing skills, creativity and imagination. I thought I'd express my interest so that I would be considered for the role at some point in the future, without any expectation of being considered for the position. Needless to say, I am thrilled to have been selected. It's an honour and a privilege.  

AmeriCymru: You are involved in a project to create a new updated version of the Mabinogion. Can you tell us more about this exciting project?

Eloise: Absolutely! The Mabinogion are the oldest British stories to be written down and are a really important part of our heritage. When the author Matt Brown came to me with the idea to get these stories written specifically for young readers, I thought it was genius. I also couldn't believe it hadn't been done already! 

In all honesty, I was hesitant to become involved at first. I have a pretty full timetable with laureate work and work as an author, but in the end, I decided that it was a really important and meaningful project and one I would definitely need to get behind. 

It came as a shock to me how little I knew about the stories. Casting my mind back, I know we didn't learn about them at school and though most of them have crept into my consciousness somewhere along the line, it just seemed dreadful that I didn't have a better knowledge of them. We hope this collection will mean that young people everywhere will have the opportunity to fall in love with these stories and that they can be celebrated and known by everyone! 

We have a fantastic line-up of great Welsh writers, authors and poets bringing the stories to life - Claire Fayers, Sophie Anderson, PG Bell, Alex Wharton, Hanan Issa, Darren Chetty, Zillah Bethell, Catherine Johnson, Nicola Davies, Matt Brown and me - and the stories will be told in diverse and creative ways. All eleven tales will be translated into Welsh by Bethan Gwanas in the same volume so that they can be read alongside the English versions, and the collection will be beautifully illustrated by the brilliant artist Max Low. It's a really exciting project and we are doing everything we can to shout about it!  


( Click the image above to go to the 'Mab' support page )

AmeriCymru: When will the new Mabinogion be available and where will readers be able to purchase it online? 

Eloise: This is where readers can help us to make this a reality! We are crowdfunding the project through a company called Unbound . There are all sorts of rewards you can get your hands on - a copy signed by all of the authors, a tote bag, original art work, virtual author visits - you get your name printed in the back of the book and you'll be part of something really important. We would love it if you would support this project if you are able and if you could help us to spread the word that would be absolutely wonderful too. 

AmeriCymru: What does the Children's Laureate do and what are you hoping to achieve in this role?

Eloise: The Children's Laureate role has been created to highlight the importance of, and to promote, creative writing by and for young people in Wales. It gives me an opportunity to work with lots of children who may not already see themselves as storytellers. I believe everyone is made of stories and all voices and words are important. I encourage creativity and imagination over spelling and grammar. I think lots of young people – and older people too - are put off telling stories because they worry about their academic ability.

It’s only my opinion, but I believe that punctuation is something that can be sorted at a later date. Without imagination there is nothing to edit in the first place.

I want all young people to see themselves as part of the literature landscape of Wales. We need vibrant new voices from all sectors of the community, and I see it as part of my job to convince young people of how essential a part they play in making this happen.

The platform also gives me a chance to put a spotlight on children’s writers from Wales which is just a lovely thing to do. We have so many talented writers creating children’s stories with such expertise. It’s a joy to be able to celebrate their words.

AmeriCymru: You are also the patron of reading for a school. What is a patron of reading?

Eloise: I've been a patron of reading for three different schools over the last five years. It's a role to promote the value of reading for pleasure and to break down the barriers between the author and the reader. It's been a fantastic opportunity to have a close relationship with schools and for the young people to have an author at their disposal! 

We launched the Children’s Laureate Wales initiative at one of the schools. I’ve run creative writing competitions with them, co-written stories with pupils, answered questions about the writing process, discussed how to become an author and what it is like when you are published. They’ve let me know what they are reading, and we chat about why they like certain stories more than others. It’s up to the author how much time and connection they want with each school and it’s beneficial on both sides. I’ve run new pieces of writing past young people to get their feedback and they’ve given their feedback very honestly!

AmeriCymru: You currently live in Pembrokeshire but you have lived elsewhere in Wales in the past. Care to tell our readers a little about your history?

Eloise: I was born in St. David’s Hospital in Canton opposite where Ivor Novello was born. I was the first baby on Easter morning which meant my mother was given a celebratory cake by the nursing staff. She was thrilled until they shared it out with everyone on the ward. I have inherited this selfishness when it comes to cake.

For the first few years of my life I lived close to Victoria Park in Canton and then Caerphilly, I remember very little of this time though I romantically recall it as a time I played next to one of the most magnificent castles in the world.

From there we went to live in the historical town of Llantrisant with another castle – smaller and much more ruined – practically in our back garden. Llantrisant was a place of festivals and beating the bounds, historically the home of Dr. William Price a famous Victorian vegetarian nudist and a pioneer of legal cremation, it has a forest to one side of it complete with Bronze Age burial mounds and is laced in legend. We had stories under our feet wherever we walked.

AmeriCymru: When did you first decide to write? How would you describe your creative process?

Eloise: I decided to take the MA in Creative and Media Writing at Swansea University and graduated in 2011 with Distinction which was a definite surprise to me. I’ve always been creative but not particularly successful academically.

I'd been on the road for a long time, touring around different theatres across the UK and had been having a glorious and very tiring time. A decade as an actor was a wonderful experience. I got to act in some of the most superb plays ever written and learned about character and story and most importantly, I think, the sound and spell of words. One fateful day, I was on a stage at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff and I decided that I had words of my own to say instead of other people’s scripts, and I wanted to write them down. I've always been impetuous and knew to trust this instinct to write but I didn't have the confidence to go ahead without trying some skills out first. University workshops were humbling and scary, but I stuck with it, whilst holding down lots of different jobs, and despite being sent a letter to tell me I was at risk of being dismissed from the course for non-attendance (work often clashed with workshops) I eventually graduated. 

My creative process seems to be different for every project. I tend to start VERY enthusiastically with an INCREDIBLE idea, then reach what I have now named the grumble stage. This is where I make low murmuring and disparaging remarks about my ability to create anything at all ever again. Once these two stages are out of the way, I get to work. Research first (and during). I plot a bit now - I used to just forge straight ahead. I use record cards to jot down thoughts and have a drawer where I stash all the glittering ideas for other books which appear bright and shiny and tap dancing through my head when I don’t need them. I work hard, make sure I turn up at my laptop, get frustrated most days. Some days are beautiful and filled with a sense of achievement but lots of days are graft. I guess I have a strong inbuilt work ethic from my parents which has seen me through the more difficult drafts. I also love to question and create almost as much as I love to procrastinate. I turn my WiFi off.

Wilde.jpg AmeriCymru: What can you tell us about your new novel Wilde ?

Eloise: Wilde is a story which is essentially about celebrating individuality and also about being kind to yourself.

The blurb goes :

Can she break the curse of the witch called Winter?

Being different can be dangerous. Wilde is afraid when strange things happen around her. Are the birds following her? Moving to live with her aunt seems to make it worse. Wilde is desperate to fit in at her new school. But in a fierce heatwave, in rehearsals for a school play telling the local legend of a witch called Winter, ‘The Witch’ starts leaving pupils frightening curse letters. Can Wilde find out who’s doing it before everyone blames her? Or will she always be the outsider?

Wilde has witches and waterfalls and history and legends. It also has a donkey named Duran Duran which gives my age away, I fear! 

AmeriCymru: What's next for Eloise Williams? Any new titles in the offing?

Eloise: This is where my superstitions jump in and tell me that if I give away any information at all I will jinx everything I have coming up. I think I developed this strange and wonderful superstitious nature while working as an actor. There's a lot of ritual and belief in luck in that career. Not mentioning the Scottish Play by name, no whistling backstage, turning in a circle three times and spitting, or some such thing?!

In other words - I do have some things in the pipeline but I can't tell you anything specific about them! I'll be following my love of folklore and fable, history and landscape, all that is other and strange and a little bit odd, down various pathways. I know that's pretty vague but it’s all I can give away at the moment. 

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

Eloise: As I said earlier, we are all made of stories – that includes you! Tell your stories to other people. Tell them in any way you want to. Get them out there and celebrate them. Who knows, your stories could be part of a Mab collection in the future!


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

Planet’s story

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What others say about Planet

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

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

Media Enquiries

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

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.. .

Ani Glass announces her new ' Ynys Araul'  EP released through  Recordiau Neb  on the 11th of September. As well as the title track it includes three new remixes; one by electronic legends  OMD,  plus versions   by  Seka  and  Venus on the Half Shell.  

'Ynys Araul'  is lifted from Glass' debut album  MIRORES   which was released this spring to a very warm reception. In August it was also announced as the Welsh Language Album of the Year at this year's National Eisteddfod resulting in the  BBC National Orchestra of Wales  performing two of her songs.

'Ynys Araul'  (which means  'Serenity' ) is woven with Glass's infectious yet ethereal vocals and haunting melodies, underpinned by kaleidoscopic synths and rolling mechanical loops. Glass says  "Ynys Araul is not only about love and loss but also expands on the album's overall themes of movement and progress. It discusses how our memories and emotions are often connected to certain places and presents the bewildering impact of development on your sense of self when those places change or disappear."   

With its tapestry of electronic sounds, MIRORES takes us on a journey around her hometown of Cardiff. You can hear Ani’s recorded sounds of the urban landscape throughout; the movement of traffic and people and the magical yet infrequent sounds of nature coming together to create the score of a city’s symphony. All of which – especially at present - seem like a distant memory, adding a certain sense of nostalgia to the album.   

MIRORES also represents Ani’s first foray into production having been inspired by her experience of working with  Martin Rushent  during her time as member of indie-pop group  The Pipettes . Glass' sound is inspired by many leading electronic and avant-garde artists and producers of the 1980s including  Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre  and  Arthur Russell  whilst the album’s wider themes are inspired in part by the works of abstract painter Agnes Martin and the author and activist Jane Jacobs.   

"Ani’s tracks draw from dancey electro-pop, with production that’s sharp and clean, pushing shimmering vocals and bright synths to the forefront." Dazed   

"A super-sweet electro-pop stomper with some stunning choral vocal work and a soaring chorus to melt even the stoniest of hearts." The Quietus

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Cardiff based musical collective Ghostlawns release their second single 'Ffoi' (pronounced ph- o-ee) digitally through Bandcamp and streaming services on 4 September 2020, taken from their forthcoming debut album 'Motorik' (30 October 2020).

'Ffoi' (which means “flee”) features motoric guitar riffs, ambient synth waves and vocals with live drums to offer a contrasting sound to the band’s debut single, 'Breaking Out'.

Ghostlawns have featured at showcase festivals including Focus Wales and Swn and have contributed songs for the Hope Not Hate and Iechyd Da (Gorky's Zygotic Mynci tribute) compilation albums.

Ghostlawns have finished recording their debut album 'Motorik' with Charlie Francis (REM, Robyn Hitchcock), which will be released via SUB Records on 30th October 2020.

Their first single 'Breaking Out and album taster “Y Gorwel” received radio play on the BBC, and across the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany and Italy.

They are all active members of the Welsh music scene, playing in bands including Right Hand Left Hand, Gulp, Gentle Good, Cotton Wolf, Manchuko and with Can legend Damo Suzuki.

Album Sampler:  https://soundcloud.com/ghostlawns/sets/motorik-album-sampler

Web: https://www.ghostlawns.net/

Social media:





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Derw started as a project between songwriter Dafydd Dabson and his mum Anna Georgina, a lyricist, after they got to the final of S4C songwriting competition Can i Gymru in 2018 and decided to keep writing together. The band is fronted by Welsh/Iranian singer Elin Fouladi and their debut EP 'Yr Unig Rhai Sy'n Cofio' involves musicians from Welsh acts Zervas and Pepper, Afrocluster and Codewalkers.

Drawing on chamber pop influences like The National and Elbow, the band has a strong connection with the past and their family history and is named after Anna's father - Derwas. Their family is full of interesting stories and 'Yr Unig Rhai Sy'n Cofio' (The Only Ones Who Remember) is about making sure these stories are recorded and remembered.

The track 'Mikhail' is about a friend Derwas met while studying in Jerusalem in 1926. Mikhail grew up in Russia and his father was part of the imperial navy. One night in 1917, when Mikhail was nine and his mother was away, the Bolsheviks came to his house, took his father into another room and shot him. Mikhail then moved to Palestine with his mother and, when he was 19, met Derwas, a student from Oxford. They then spent years exploring the wilderness together and trying to find peace.

The lyrics for 'Silver', the final track of the EP, are taken from a poem written by Anna's mother in the 1930s. She loved writing and had notebooks full of poetry she'd written. She tried several times to get them published but never managed it so it gives Anna and Dafydd a huge amount of pleasure to be able to make use of one of them now.

Derw’s first single, ‘Dau Gam’, came out in May on CEG Records. It was made ‘Track of the Week’ on BBC Radio Cymru as well as getting airplay on BBC Radio Wales.

The band’s second single, ‘Ble Cei Di Ddod i Lawr’ is out on the 28th of August on CEG Records.

'Anthemic' - Golwg

'A bridge from the past to the present...Stunningly beautiful' - Mob York City Blog

'Hyfryd' - Ffion Davis, BBC Radio Cymru

'This song allowed me to truly be connected and in the moment' - Indie Pulse Music

'Tender and fills the mind with bright emotions. Fouladi's vocals are intoxicating' - Too Much Love Magazine


Cyrhaeddodd Dafydd Dabson a'i fam, Anna Georgina, rownd terfynol cystadleuaeth Can i Gymru yn 2018, y tro gyntaf iddyn nhw ysgrifennu gyda'i gilydd - ac allan o’r brofiad yma tyfodd Derw. Elin Fouladi, cantores Gymraeg/Iraniad, sydd ar flaen y band, gyda’i EP cyntaf, ’Yr Unig Rhai sy'n Cofio’ yn cynnwys cyfraniadau gan gerddorion o Zervas and Pepper, Afrocluster a Codewalkers.

Mae Derw wedi ei ddylanwadu gan fandiau pop siambr fel The National ac Elbow ac mae ganddynt gysylltiad cryf gyda'r gorffennol a hanes eu teulu, yn cymeryd ei enw gan tad Anna - Derwas. Mae’r teulu yn llawn straeon cyfareddol, a bwriad ’Yr Unig Rhai Sy'n Cofio’ yw sicrhau bod nhw'n aros mewn cof.

Mae'r trac ‘Mikhail’ yn son am ffrind Derwas a ddaru o gyfarfod yn Jerwsalem yn 1926. Cafodd Mikhail ei fagu yn Rwsia, a'i dad yn gomander yn y Lynges Ymerodrol. Un noson yn 1917, tra oedd ei fam i ffwrdd, cyrhaeddodd y Bolsieficiaid ei dy, mynd a'i dad i ystafell arall, a'i saethu. Symudodd Mikhail a'i fam i Balesteina, a pan oedd Mikhail yn 19 cyfarfododd a Derwas, myfyriwr o Rydychen. Treuliodd y ddau sawl blwyddynyn crwydro'r anialwch gyda’i gilydd, yn chwilio am heddwch.

Mae geiriau ‘Silver’, trac olaf yr EP, yn dod o farddoniaeth a ysgrifenwyd yn y tridegau gan Mary, mam Anna. Bu wrth ei bodd yn sgwennu, a llanwodd sawl llyfryn a'i cherddi, ond er bod hi wedi ceisio mwy nag unwaith cyhoeddi ei gwaith, llwyddodd hi ddim. Felly, mae'n bleser aruthrol i Anna a Dafydd ddefnyddio nhw nawr.

Mi ddaeth sengl gyntaf Derw, ‘Dau Gam’, allan yn mis Mai ar CEG Records. Gafodd ei wneud yn ‘Drac yr Wythnos’ ar BBC Radio Cymru yn ogystal a cael ei chwarae ar BBC Radio Wales.

Mae ail sengl y band, ‘Ble Cei Di Ddod i Lawr’ allan ar y 28fed o fis Awst ar CEG Records.

'Anthemig' - Golwg

'A bridge from the past to the present...Stunningly beautiful' - Mob York City Blog

'Hyfryd' - Ffion Davis, BBC Radio Cymru

'This song allowed me to truly be connected and in the moment' - Indie Pulse Music

'Tender and fills the mind with bright emotions. Fouladi's vocals are intoxicating' - Too Much Love Magazine








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AmeriCymru: Hi Ian and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. What are the plans for the NAFOW Eisteddfod this year?


Ian: Ceri, diolch yn fawr iawn for reaching out and, as always, for helping promote the NAFOW Eisteddfod!  


As is well-known by now, NAFOW will not be meeting in person this year but Executive Director Megan Williams and the Board of Trustees are hard at work in producing a very exciting and engaging set of "virtual" events to be launched around Labor Day weekend, when NAFOW is normally held.  Please keep a lookout at the main NAFOW web page:   http://festivalofwales.org/ index.html  !


As many may well know, we typically have several stage competitions every year, including recitation and singing.  Last year (2019), in Milwaukee, we also added a Visual Arts competition, as well as the Hymn Composition competition in honor of Daniel Protheroe.  With the strictures placed by the pandemic, after very careful consideration we decided to focus solely on competitions that were planned for introduction this year anyway and which also are the best suited to "virtual" participation.  Thus, we are excited to introduce our two Poetry Composition competitions, and a lot of "buzz" seems to have been generated already... with no geographic restrictions in play, we've attracted interest not only from the US, Canada and Wales as expected, but also from places like Australia and Argentina!


As an inducement for participation, each adjudicated winner will be invited to recite their own winning poem as part of the Eisteddfod "segment" of the virtual NAFOW.  To round out that segment, we are also pleased to include performances from two previous winners in singing categories.  (Assuming we all love a bit of suspense, we'll hold on revealing them for now... so stay tuned!)  Thus while we need to stay home with a focus on resuming some state of "normalcy" by next year, we still are very happy to bring the NAFOW Eisteddfod to all in a form that at least should be reminiscent of many of the great experiences we've had with it since inception in 1994!


AmeriCymru: Care to tell us a little about the competition categories?


Ian: Our two wholly separate competitions in Poetry Composition are "Welsh Language Poem" and "English Language Poem".  For each, we request an original poem of between 2 and 6 stanzas of four lines each, thus between 8 and 24 lines total.  Rhyming and meter are unspecified, to permit some freedom in people's creative approach.  You work will be reviewed and (respectfully...) dissected by two top-notch adjudicators for each category:  Menna Elfyn and Eurig Salisbury in Welsh; and Tony Curtis and Robert Dayton in English.  Their red pens are at the ready!


AmeriCymru: Is there a theme for this years' entries?


Ian: As would seem highly appropriate for 2020 in particular, the theme is "Hope/Gobaith", applicable to both categories.  The Eisteddfod Committee did consider other possibilities focusing more on "isolation" or the pandemic.  However, in the end we aimed for something more positive and affirming, in the very spirit of our Festival which creates a strong sense of community and fellowship year after year... even in a year where can't meet in person.


AmeriCymru: Any other rules or instructions that people should be aware of: fees, deadlines etc?


Ian: All pertinent information about the competitions, including links to specific guidelines for composition and submission, can be found at the Eisteddfod page of the Festival website:   http://festivalofwales.org/ eisteddfod-2020.html  .  However... we're always happy to address any stray questions you may have, via email at  eisteddfod@nafow.org  !


As with similar competitions in Wales, we maintain strict anonymity on behalf of all entrants, thus the adjudicators will see only your work and your chosen pseudonym.  Only the competition coordinator (and that wouldn't be me...!) will have any information on the entrants' true identities. 


There is no fee for entering, so what's your excuse?  Kidding aside, time is running out... we need your entry no later than Wednesday, August 12!  But it's very easy to get it in to us... see below!


AmeriCymru: Where and how should people submit their entries?


Ian: Related details can be found in the guidelines for each competition linked at the Eisteddfod page, but basically you can send it in via email as well as "regular" mail.  We highly recommend the email option, and the instructions for submission are very straightforward and workable.


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


Ian: I just wanted to thank again all those I've had the great privilege of working with on the Eisteddfod Committee, including Danny Proud, David Llewelyn Williams, Karen Wojahn, as well as Welsh North American Association President David Matthews and Executive Secretary Megan Williams and - especially for her help on the website - Systems Coordinator Gerri Baker Parry.  Also, a big "diolch yn fawr" of course goes out to our adjudicators mentioned above, and to our sponsors (which include Bob Dayton and an anonymous donor).


We're very happy to be attempting some real competitions in this year of unprecedented challenge, and very much look forward to resuming our full slate of competitions - including Poetry Composition - for Ottawa in 2021.  As an institution, the eisteddfod is such a hugely important cornerstone of Welsh culture, and as always we're very proud to continue supporting and carrying on the tradition in North America.  This year may be a "virtual" one in the books, but there is nothing at all "virtual" about the real impact that Wales and its constituent organizations the world over will always bear, let alone bless the world with, no matter the circumstances or hardships at hand.

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' SWITCH'  - The brand new single by Welsh singer-songwriter SERA (Sera Zyborska).Once again working with acclaimed producer Andi Crutwell-Jones, plus the notable contribution of Nico CJ on violin and Len Whitehead on Electric guitar makes a full-sounding, statement of a song that again blends all  SERA's  favourite parts of Americana, folk and pop with her storytelling and folklore album theme.

'SWITCH'  is a bolt out of the dark, a harsh awakening. Empowerment.
Her album songs are all drawn from folklore and  SWITCH  is no different, drawing inspiration from Steam-punk, Frankenstein and the 'Freak Lab-accident' trope of the comic superhero.
SERA's  music is rooted in folk, Americana, singer-songwriter, with this track taking a further leap into energetic pop.
Praise for 'Switch'   

'Switch' has been recently added to  BBC Radio Wales  A-List Playlist.

'Switch is full of dark magic, bold and energetic, Bewitching and full of surprises'
Voidd Music Blog  
SERA 'When I Wake Up' Album   The brand new album by SERA is out on CD July 31st (pre-orders from July 17th) and on digital and streaming platforms from August 14th. The album is a collection of 11 tracks, all inspired by folklore. This album takes a little bit of folk, Americana, singer-songwriter and pop and mixes it in a musical cauldron!

Physical Copies of 'When I Wake Up' (Available 31st July)   
https://sera-songs.bandcamp. com/    https://www.cegrecords.com/ sera  

'When I Wake Up' Released Digitally on 14th August.  

Virtual Album Launch Party: 14th August Facebook LIve
https://www.facebook.com/ events/790824428120019  


A pianist, guitar player and a singer-songwriter, SERA (Sera Zyborska) has been writing, recording and performing in both English and Welsh for a while. Over the last couple of years, SERA has spent time in the studio working and writing with producer Andi Crutwell-Jones, looking at the real stories she wanted to tell with a sound that matched her ambition. The result is a collection of songs inspired by anxiety, love, nostalgia, ancestry, witches, ships and lost worlds. It's all there.

Having grown up in Caernarfon, North Wales, a place steeped in history, culture, between the Snowdonia Mountains and the Irish sea, you could understand her love of folklore and how landscape is a big source of inspiration behind her music.
SERA  was selected as a  BBC Horizons  artist for 2019-2020, and played a live session in the legendary  BBC Maida Vale Studios SERA  is also a part of new Americana band  TAPESTRI  with Lowri Evans and folk duo  EVE & SERA  with Eve Goodman. She has a band in Cardiff as well as a function band in North Wales called  SUSPECTS  

'SERA is clearly proven to be a sheer multi-talent with her new upcoming release.
With a clever Welsh hook and angelic voice combined to give a sing-and-dance-along musical audacity to every chord progression'  – Jammerzine  

'....distinctive and powerful'  - Folk Radio   

'SERA has been weaving together stories with an Americana rootsy twang which has so far earned her comparisons to Amanda Palmer and Joni Mitchell'.  - PRS for Music  

"Sera Owen is a singer-songwriter from Caernarfon, now living in Cardiff. A recent recipient of a Lyndsey Du Paul PRS for Music prize for emerging women songwriters. She writes and performs in both English and Welsh. Her last album, ‘Little Girl,’ which had Americana and folk influences, received praise from BBC 6 Music – “A beautiful gem of a song” (Chris Hawkins) and Folk Radio UK, among many – “A thoroughly absorbing journey from start to finish.”  - Festival No 6  
Sera Website:  https://www. serasongs.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ Serasongs
Facebook:   https://www. facebook.com/Serasongs/
Instagram:   https://www. instagram.com/serasongs/
Spotify:   https://open.spotify. com/artist/ 2R4Pz7h7LHtxHObkJB8ifb

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