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Ani Glass  Peirianwaith Perffaith by Ani Saunders.jpg

“Ani transcends language with her shimmering take on pop.” Eugenie Johnson – DIY



Ani Glass releases her new single 'Peirianwaith Perffaith' (Perfect Machinery) on the 26th of October through Recordiau Neb. She will be performing at Pop Montréal on the 28th and 29th of September and will be attending as part of the Focus Wales delegation, supported by PRS Foundation's International Showcase Fund and Wales Arts International.

Ani Glass is back with her new single 'Peirianwaith Perffaith' (Perfect Machinery) underpinned by a tapestry of pulsing and prodding synths, samples and programmed beats bathed in the neon of the city’s industrial glow. Her sublime pirouetting vocal refrains infuses a knowing pop universality into the overwhelming experience of life in the city’s engine room. Ani says it’s about how the “search for identity in a moving city and society insists on a sense of stillness often found in the shadows of progress”.

Released as a single in 2016, the industrial electro-pop of ‘Y Ddawns’ (The Dance) is a rallying call for those seeking inspiration in language and art. Laura Snapes of Pitchfork said it was "a double-edged sword that's as stern as it is hopeful; music for the end of the world, and the start of a new one." While BBC Wales’s Bethan Elfyn named it “Perfect Euro Pop!”

Ani followed this with the release of her debut EP ‘Ffrwydrad Tawel’ (Silent Explosion) on Recordiau Neb which included six infectious, socially conscious electronic pop songs. They stand as a document of Ani Glass’s artistic evolution invested with grander themes concerning the Welsh language and politics. A Remix version of the EP was later released and featured reinterpretations by Carcharorion, Cotton Wolf, Plyci and R. Seiliog.

Biography

Ani Glass is the persona of Cardiff-based electronic pop musician, producer, artist and photographer, Ani Saunders. Fiercely proud of her heritage, Glass sings in her native languages Welsh and Cornish, and in 2016 released her first solo material with lead single ‘Ffôl’ (Foolish) being chosen as single of the week on BBC Radio Cymru and gaining plays on BBC 6 music.

Ani is also known for her work with The Pipettes, joining in 2008 to record the Martin Rushent-produced Earth Vs. The Pipettes album. Prior to her stint with the polka-dotted pop band, Glass was a member of Genie Queen, managed by OMD’s Andy McCluskey.

Gigs

28.09 Casa Del Popolo - Montréal (Pop Montréal)
29.09 Marché des Possibles Park - Montréal (Pop Montréal)
03.10 Clwb Ifor Bach – Cardiff (Forté Project & FOCUS Wales)

Links

Website http://www.recordiauneb.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/aniglasscymru/
Twitter https://twitter.com/AniSaunders
Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/aniglass



Ar y 26ain o Hydref, bydd Ani Glass yn rhyddhau ei sengl newydd Peirianwaith Perffaith ar Recordiau Neb. Fe fydd Glass yn perfformio yng Ngŵyl Pop Montréal ar y 28ain a’r 29ain o fis Medi fel rhan o ddirprwyaeth Gŵyl Focus Wales – a hyn wedi iddi dderbyn cefnogaeth PRS Foundation a Celfyddydau Rhyngwladol Cymru.

Mae Ani Glass nôl gyda’i sengl newydd ‘Peirianwaith Perffaith’ sy’n frodwaith o synau synth gofodol, samplau a churiadau diwydiannol. Mae pob nodyn o’i llais yn arnofio’n swynol uwchben sain peirianyddol y ddinas. Yn ôl Ani, mae’r gân yn trafod yr ysfa i “chwilio am hunaniaeth yng nghanol dryswch y ddinas a ffeindio cysur a llonyddwch yng nghysgodion gobaith”.

Rhyddhawyd sengl ‘Y Ddawns’ yn 2016 – roedd yn alwad ar y rheiny oedd yn chwilio am ysbrydoliaeth mewn iaith a chelf. Yn ôl Laura Snapes o Pitchfork, roedd y gân yn "gerddoriaeth ar gyfer diwedd y byd, a dechrau un newydd" tra disgrifiodd Bethan Elfyn BBC Wales hi’n “Ewro-pop perffaith!”

Yn dilyn hyn, fe wnaeth Ani rhyddhau ei EP cyntaf, ‘Ffrwydrad Tawel’, ar Recordiau Neb. Roedd yn cynnwys chwe chân pop – saif fel ddogfen o esblygiad Ani fel artist wrth iddi ymwneud â themâu ehangach gan gynnwys yr iaith Gymraeg a gwleidyddiaeth. Rhyddhawyd fersiwn remics o'r EP yn ddiweddarach a oedd yn cynnwys ail-ddehongliadau gan Carcharorion, Cotton Wolf, Plyci ac R. Seiliog.

Bio

Ani Glass yw persona’r gerddores gerddoriaeth bop electronig, artist, ffotograffydd a chynhyrchwraig Ani Saunders. Bydd Ani Glass yn canu yn ei hieithoedd brodorol sef y Gymraeg a’r Gernyweg ac y mae’n hynod falch o’i hetifeddiaeth. Rhyddhaodd ei gwaith cyntaf fel unawdydd yn ystod 2016. Cafodd ei phrif record sengl ‘Ffôl’ ei dewis yn ‘sengl yr wythnos’ gan BBC Radio Cymru ac yr oedd i’w chlywed ar sianel BBC 6 Music.

Bu Ani yn aelod o The Pipettes, gan ymuno yn 2008 a recordio’r albwm Earth Vs. The Pipettes gyda’r cynhyrchydd Martin Rushent. Cyn hyn roedd Glass yn aelod o Genie Queen a oedd yn cael eu rheoli gan Andy McCluskey o’r grŵp OMD.

Gigs

28.09 Casa Del Popolo - Montréal (Pop Montréal)
29.09 Marché des Possibles Park - Montréal (Pop Montréal)
03.10 Clwb Ifor Bach – Caerdydd (Forté Project & FOCUS Wales)

Lincs

Gwefan http://www.recordiauneb.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/aniglasscymru/
Twitter https://twitter.com/AniSaunders
Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/aniglass


Posted in: Music | 0 comments

Welsh poet Paul Steffan Jones and artist Chris Rawson-Tetley have been collaborating on two projects recently, inspired by the Welsh legend of the Cantre'r Gwaelod. The projects  comprise Chris's visual re-imagining of a lost land and Paul's poems of loss and reverence. AmeriCymru spoke to Paul and Chris about these projects and their future plans.


cantrergwaelod.jpg


 
Photos: 12




Paul Steffan Jones



Paul Albufeira 2017.jpgAmeriCymru: Hi Paul and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. How did the idea for this joint exhibition came about?

Paul: Chris and I have admired each other's work for about a decade and had first discussed a collaboration inspired by a certain type of landscape and its many changing uses about four years ago. In the early summer of 2017, Chris approached me with his idea of a work of images and words responding to the Cantre'r Gwaelod legend and what this suggested to us. I was intrigued by this approach and agreed to work with Chris to produce Gwaelod. I was particularly drawn to the proposition as I was in the throes of researching my family history which I was to find a highly relevant reference point for much of my writing for the project.

AmeriCymru: What can you tell us about the Cantre'r Gwaelod legend?

Paul: As a native of Ceredigion, I was brought up with the Cantre'r Gwaelod legend and assumed wrongly that most people in my country also shared this ancient knowledge. My first encounter with the tale was as a young boy being in a car with my parents driving to the Cardigan Bay coast at Aberaeron. My mother suggested that if I listened carefully, that is if I kept quiet, I might be able to hear bells tolling under the sea. This led to me wanting to learn more about this strange land. I soon learned about Seithenyn the gatekeeper, the 16 towns lost to flood due to his drunkenness and that the legend was already over a thousand years old. I learned that my mother's family had always lived on the coast of that bay. I began to see them and me, fancifully perhaps, as the descendants of the survivors of that catastrophe, the inheritors of that rich but inaccessible kingdom. I see the legend as a metaphor for diaspora, due to both natural and man-made causes and see it as an important tale, largely forgotten, in the story of who the Welsh are, who I am. A fascinating development in the story's later life is an attempt in the modern era to explore the area concerned for physical evidence of an inundated land.

AmeriCymru: The project has had one exhibition so far, in Cardigan. Are there any plans to exhibit elsewhere?

Paul: We are hoping to put the exhibition into other towns and cities, and other continents. We are open to suggestion.

AmeriCymru: You have been collaborating with artist Chris Rawson-Tetley on this project. How do you work together? Does Chris respond to your poems or vice versa?

Paul: Chris and I meet regularly at his studio to discuss ideas, progress and direction. We also get inspiration from taking our cameras out and visiting coastal West Wales locations together. A key factor in the co-working is the sharing of family photographs, some going back to the late 1800s. We bounce ideas off each other but our constituent efforts are formed in isolation-Chris in his studio, me in my lap in any space I can get into that position. I have performed some of these poems live and they, and the ideas behind them, have been well received.

AmeriCymru: You are currently working on a related project 'Gwaelod-Pictures of Us'. What can you tell us about this project? How does it relate to 'Gwaelod' and will it be published?

Paul: Gwaelod-Pictures of Us is a natural progression from Gwaelod as it is an attempt to populate the landscape that Chris created in his earlier pictures for this project, an imagined Cantre'r Gwaelod. We want to depict the people displaced by the Cantre'r Gwaelod cataclysm (and other disasters) and those who followed them as individuals with their own interesting stories, their individual voices, not anonymous cannon-fodder. Chris is now painting very evocative figurative works as a result. We are in the early stages of discussions about putting out a book of pictures, photographs and poems.

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

Paul: I would like to thank members and readers of Americymru for their continued support for my writing. I hope to bring out a new collection of poems in next 12 months including a small number of Welsh language poems and photographic images, provisionally entitled The Ministry of Loss.



Otherlander




He came from a lost village

he couldn’t remember which one

or how it came to be missing

as it was so long ago

perhaps it had been a frowned

drowned sort of place

or a bulldozed overdosed one

somewhere that wouldn’t be missed


he had been wet behind the ears

but soon fitted in with

the new strangers

although they spoke differently

and seemed disinterested

in anything that was other


his parents never talked about

their origins

and stayed that way until the end


those nights when he could sleep

deep in the cosy burrow of forgetting

he dreamt of a place

that smiled

that worked

that knew its history


what he couldn’t know

was that everyone else

was dreaming

of returning to somewhere

they had never been


he got over it

there had been many villages

lost for various reasons

that’s the way it was

people becoming unwitting

pieces on a giant chess board

that used to be their country

 

 

 




Chris Rawson-Tetley



crt.jpgAmeriCymru: How did you initially become interested in the 'Gwaelod' and 'Gwaelod - Pictures Of Us' projects?

Chris: I visited the area of West Wales on a regular basis for thirty years, and it both fascinated and evaded me. The landscape continued to elude in spite of all the research I carried out over the years into its cultural and geological history. Puzzling over the engagement prompted an assessment of my involvement from a practical artistic point of view.

My wife and I moved to Ceredigion permanently in early 2014 to be with good friends, and now I feel that perhaps I might just be approaching an understanding of what it was that I was missing.

There are many places in West Wales with the word gwaelod in their name. Gwaelod in straight translation is lowland, but of course there are also other connotations. It can also be a part of the nomination Cantref ‘r Gwaelod, the lowland hundred, and part of the myth that is Maes Gwyddno or Gwyddno’s land, the sunken kingdom that supposedly occupied the area that is Cardigan Bay, an area of land so fertile that, “one acre there was worth three elsewhere”.

AmeriCymru: How many media do you work in? Do you have a particular media that you consider your favorite to work in? Why?

Chris: My chosen medium at the moment is painting. But the supports I use for it may vary according to the “feel” of the image I wish to create. Paper, wood and slate have all been used. Slate as a support for work demands a different approach to presentation, the image is only a part. A slate is an object in itself and therefore the whole thing demands more care when presenting.

I wouldn’t say that I have a “favourite” media, but slate certainy presents more possibilities as part of a piece.

AmeriCymru: Do you have a particular message in your work, an effect you want it to create in your audience or does this vary from piece to piece?

Chris: My first series of works, “Gwaelod – Imagining a sunken kingdom.”, dealt with the myth and imagined the kind of imagery that might be created by such a culture as well as responding to an actual geological past in a similar manner.

The legendary watery inundation of “Gwaelod” was the cause of a diaspora, or scattering of the people. Diaspora, as a term, has come to be associated on a global scale with forced removal from homelands, genocide and political upheaval as well as natural disaster. But all mass tragedies contain many intimate ones – the past may be shared but the experience of it is individually personal, and diaspora may also be the scattering of family and friends by forces beyond individual or communal control.

The works I am creating in the “Gwaelod – Pictures of Us” continue the story in a modern setting and are not intended as a dip into nostalgia but as representaions of who we are and where we are from. Important remembrances, for without an intimate and fiercely guarded knowledge of shared history a people are at the disposal of whatever despotic whim a cynical regime may consider. The images are of social interaction not work. A fact often overlooked is that work while being of importance as a means of providing the means of survival is not the reason for it. Human beings by nature are gregarious and it is within a shared social history that our roots are located.

I began to work collaboratively with the poet, Paul Steffan Jones in 2017, having become friends some seven years previously.

What such a collaboration as mine and Paul Steffan Jones hopefully creates is something born from a mutual understanding and respect for the practice of the other. Paul’s poetry has inspired my works and my works have inspired Paul.

AmeriCymru: How many hours a day do you spend creating?

Chris: I try to work every day. Even when not actually making work I am contemplating my next move or preparing for a piece. Art isn’t a nine-to-five job, although a major part of the actual practice may be carried out during those hours. Actual creation takes place in bursts of activity, the rest of the time is spent setting up the conditions in which those “bursts” can take place. I have worked commercially and on academic collaborations over the years and so probably have a slightly more pragmatic attitude than is generally thought to be the norm for an “artist” - not a term I use, “stuffist” being preferred as I make “stuff”!

AmeriCymru: Where can our readers find your work online ?

Chris: Since retiring, I was a university lecturer in the arts, I no longer maintain a web presence. I do however have a Facebook page (most people do) which I use only for “art” information purposes, generally. All the art works I publish there are in the public domain.

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

Chris: Perhaps one of my favourite quotes from John Ruskin – “Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts;—the book of their deeds, the book of their words, and the book of their art. Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the two others; but of the three, the only quite trustworthy one is the last.” (John Ruskin, “St Mark’s Rest”.)




Cantre'r Gwaelod - The Legend

From the Wikipedia:- Cantre'r Gwaelod, also known as Cantref Gwaelod or Cantref y Gwaelod (English: The Lowland Hundred), is a legendary ancient sunken kingdom said to have occupied a tract of fertile land lying between Ramsey Island and Bardsey Island in what is now Cardigan Bay to the west of Wales. It has been described as a "Welsh Atlantis" and has featured in folklore, literature and song.

Cantre'r Gwaelod was an area of land which, according to legend, was located in an area west of present-day Wales which is now under the waters of Cardigan Bay. Accounts variously suggest the tract of land extended from Bardsey Island to Cardigan or as far south as Ramsey Island. Legends of the land suggest that it may have extended 20 miles west of the present coast.

There are several versions of the myth. The earliest known form of the legend is usually said to appear in the Black Book of Carmarthen, in which the land is referred to as Maes Gwyddno (English: the Plain of Gwyddno). In this version, the land was lost to floods when a well-maiden named Mererid neglected her duties and allowed the well to overflow...... MORE HERE

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'Sofa Surfin' by Mike Jenkins, A Review


By Ceri Shaw, 2018-08-14

"It's Marmite poetry....but I like Marmite!" - Mike Jenkins





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A review of Welsh poet and novelist Mike Jenkins new anthology Sofa Surfin.

"A former winner of the Wales Book of the Year competition for 'Wanting to Belong' (Seren), Jenkins is a former editor of Poetry Wales and a long-term coeditor of 'Red Poets'."
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The poems in 'Sofa Surfin' are all written in local dailect and they address themes of homelessness, unemployment and general decline in post-industrial Merthyr Tydfil. This is not Mike's first experiment with dialect poetry. He has published three previous anthologies: 'Graffiti Narratives' 1994, 'Coulda Bin Summin' 2001, 'Barkin' 2013. (Read our review of 'Barkin' here).

In a blog post ( Famous F Doin Nothin ) Mike explains the root of his fascination with this form of poetic expression:-

" I was especially inspired by West Indian writers like Derek Walcott, black English poet James Berry , the songs of Bob Marley and one particular poem by David Hughes 'Swonzee Boy, See', which appeared in 'Planet' magazine, edited by Barnie."

He goes on to outline the reception that his work in this genre has received:-

"My previous book 'Barkin!' had decidedly mixed reviews yet got short-listed for Wales Book of the Year, while the following one 'Shedding Paper Skin' ( in standard English) received great reviews and not a sniff of prizes.

An English person responded to 'Sofa Surfin' by commenting that it would have limited appeal, yet West Indian and Scots are widely accepted and , ironically, the poems have so far been greeted far more enthusiastically in England than Wales ( with 'Planet' again the exception)."

I guess we'll just have to disagree with the 'English person'referenced above. It is certainly true that West Indian and Scots dialect poetry has succeeded in reaching a broader audience. We believe that Mike Jenkins' Merthyr dialect poems similarly deserve to be widely read and treasured for their originality, humour and insightfulness.

In 'They Stopped My Benefits' we are firmly in 'I, Daniel Blake' territory as the protagonist decries the beaurocratic rigmarole which leaves him suspended and penniless:-

They stopped my benefit
an what ave I got
left in-a-flat?
Two boggin tea-bags
an a tin o sardines
outa date!

Say I never
signed on, but
I know theyer
system's t blame;
it's appened before
'F*** off!' a-compewter sayz.

Many of the poems in this collection explore life on the dole and the frustrations of dealing with a callous and unresponsive benefits system. In 'Sofa Surfin' however, Mike focuses on the plight of a young woman who has recently become homeless after an argument with her partner. She is reduced to sofa surfing i.e. "staying temporarily with various friends and relatives while attempting to find permanent accommodation":-

Ee've kicked me out
It woz a stewpid argument
'bout a juke-box
'Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep' -
I f***in sayd 'No way!'
(shame no Beef'eart).

.....

Coz I'm talkin 'bout the breakers
ewger than any sea's -
divorce an booze, gettin sacked an speed.
Ow I stood on-a board
f'moments before being dragged down
t the subway, like an underwater tunnel
where I could ardly breathe

But, fans of Mike's dialect poetry will be aware that there are always oases of humour interspersed amongst the grimmer offerings exemplified above. In 'No Offence' the narrator unleashes a tirade of personal insults at his unidentified victim while insisting all the while that he means no offence:-

No offence like,
but yew're a baldy bastard
with an ead like an egg,
if I woz't crack it open
yewer brain ud be
like a Cadbury Cream Egg

.....

When yew talk it's like a bloody screech,
so igh-pitched the dogs go mad
and people in-a shops think
the fire-alarm's gone off,
anybuddy ud think
you'd ad yewer goolies chopped off!

No offence like!

In this context we cannot fail to mention the wonderful and whimsical 'A Pijin In Greggs', a personal favourite:-

This pijin was struttin is stuff down town,
ee wuz in Greegs lunchtime -
think ee wuz arfta the offer
of 5 ring donuts f'r a pound

.....

I come yer f'r a pastie
coz I wanna do a college course
t learn ow t be a seagull
an yeard this is where you enrol

And so, however you feel about the real thing, we think you will warm to literary 'Marmite'. If you are responsive to the idea of a poetry anthology infused with pathos and humour and delivered in contemporary working class vernacular, then this book is for you. Unreservedly recommended!

In fact why not buy all four of Mike's dialect collections? We include titles and links below for your convenience.

Sofa Surfin

Barkin!

Coulda Bin Summin

Graffitti Narratives



From the Wikipedia. A note on Marmite for our American readers :- "Marmite is a sticky, dark brown food paste with a distinctive, powerful flavour, which is extremely salty. This distinctive taste is reflected in the marketing slogan: "Love it or hate it." Such is its prominence in British popular culture that the product's name has entered British English as a metaphor for something that is an acquired taste or tends to polarise opinions."


Bryn Yemm

image1.JPGWhen The Beatles performed in his home town of Abergavenny; Bryn Yemm who was rapidly gaining a reputation as a prominent entertainer was amongst those invited to greet the “Fab 4”.

With over 10 albums of contemporary classic songs, together with performances throughout the world, Bryn is deservedly placed in the list of truly great entertainers. The Guinness Book of Hit Albums testifies this; acknowledging that Bryn was the only UK artist to have 2 chart entries in top 100 albums during 1986.

Today his albums offer a more reflective mood and once again he has identified exceptional musicians to collaborate on a truly inspirational album; a gift he demonstrated with “Gateway to Song” with the Morriston Orpheus Choir, “How Great Thou Art” with the Treorchy Male Voice Choir”, “Across the Bridge” with the Kidz R Us choir and the award winning “Let There Be Peace” with the Richard William Singers. Faith, Hope & Salvation – Bryn Yemm meets Salvation Brass – is an extraordinary collection of amazing songs, songs to inspire, songs to raise the spirit and songs to sing along with.

Salvation Brass are outstanding musicians, drawn from Salvation Army bands from across the UK. They contribute distinctive arrangements to each song under the guidance of the musical director Dean Jones. The Morrison Songsters realise the magnificence of the melody, then highlight and emphasise the essence of these songs. This album contains songs/hymns that are classics from Salvation Army Bands repertoire.

No matter where in the world I perform, I am proud to proclaim “I am from Wales – the land of song”; this is reflected by the inclusion of “Calon Lan” and “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah” (“Bread of Heaven” as sang by Welsh rugby fans worldwide).

Bryn enthuses “I am particularly excited and proud of my version of “McArthur Park”, with the brass band it thunders along”.

A lyric from “McArthur Park” says “I’ll never have that recipe again”; we hope that Bryn Yemm will continue to find the recipe for further collaborations with exceptional musicians and albums to inspire all ages.

Posted in: Music | 0 comments

hear_the_echo.jpgThe timeless story of the search for a better life is the inspiration behind and message of Rob Gittins’ new novel, Hear the Echo, which is set around an Italian café in a vividly portrayed South Wales Valleys community.

The critically acclaimed novelist has also won awards for his screenwriting, and has written for numerous top-rated television drama series, including EastEnders, Casualty, The Bill, Heartbeat, Vera and Stella as well as many original plays for Radio 4. In 2015 he received an Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of his work as EastEnders’ longest-serving writer.

The novel weaves together two contrasting stories, both of Welsh-Italian women in the same Valleys community but living 80 years apart. Chiara is a first-generation immigrant and has to deal with religious bigotry and prejudice in the close-knit mining community in which she lives in the run-up to and during the Second World War. The other thread follows present-day Frankie, who has her own struggles to keep the wolf from the door.

Hear the Echo reveals unexpected connections and commonalities:

“Going back into history sometimes makes clear just how relevant seemingly old stories can be,” says Rob Gittins, before adding:

“The women are different, the historical period is different but the trials and challenges they face are exactly the same. Each is seeking to escape a world that is at one and the same time a home and a prison, each is trying to work out the opposing claims of duty and desire, each struggles to navigate hugely difficult economic circumstances.”

The story was partly inspired by a love of the old Italian cafés of the Valleys, which Rob Gittins started frequenting after moving to Wales in the 1970s, and their unique character and tradition:

“They are extraordinary places, steeped in history and character, a far cry from the homogenised chain cafés that had already begun to appear by then and supplant them – a process that’s intensified over the years. There was always a magic about them – as well as a powerful sense of tradition – that I loved. They’ve brought so much to the Valleys, and really seem to represent the coming together of two very warm and welcoming cultures.”

But there was a second inspiration too:

“I’ve always been fascinated by the notion of ‘echoes’, the idea that – and despite all logic tells you – thoughts, emotions and characters can somehow reach you from across time. Sitting in some of those Italian cafés back in the 1970s, looking at all the pictures on the walls of the people who used to live and work there – it wasn’t difficult to imagine them still there somehow.

Out of that came the idea of two women intimately connected to one such café – the fictional, Carini’s, in this story. They’ve never met, they can never meet – but as the story progresses each becomes real to the other in ways neither quite understand.”

As one of the stories is set in the 1930s and 1940s, there was a fair amount of research to be done. As the author researched the era, mining communities, the high number of Italians who first moved to Wales in the 1930s and the xenophobia and religious bigotry that many faced, a clear message became apparent – similar issues have been affecting people throughout history:

“Both Chiara and Frankie are to some extent refugees. And refugees, in one form or another, are such a massive modern story. Modern day refugees have to undertake journeys and trials my two fictional characters could only wonder at, but the desire is exactly the same.

What Chiara and Frankie are celebrating is an impulse that beats even more strongly in the modern age in a sense; somewhere, out there, is something better and I want to find it.”

Hear the Echo will be launched Waterstones in Carmarthen at 6.30pm, on Thursday 19 July 2018. Free entry – a warm welcome to all!

Hear the Echo by Rob Gittins (£8.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.

Posted in: New Titles | 0 comments

Dyddiadur A5 Y Lolfa Bilingual Diary


By Ceri Shaw, 2018-07-10

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Mae Dyddiadur newydd A5 Y Lolfa newydd gael ei gyhoeddi. Gellir ei archebu yma am £5.99 (& £2 cludiant os yw’r archeb yn llai na £10). Bydd ein dyddiaduron eraill yn cael eu cyhoeddi yn fuan.

Y Lolfa’s new A5 blilingual Diary has just been released. It can be ordered here for £5.99 (& £2 if your order is less than £10). Our other diaries will be available soon.

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Posted in: Book News | 0 comments

finding_wales.jpgIn a new book titled Finding Wales, author Peter Daniels writes in praise of the Welsh and what drives Welsh exiles such as himself to return to Wales.

Mark Easton, BBC News’s Home Editor, has recently enlightened us with the results of his study into English identity, The English Question Project, in which he claims that ‘interlaced English and British identities remain an important part of how the people of England see themselves. For many it seems the two are almost interchangeable’. ‘Britishness’ means Shakespeare, the House of Commons, idyllic English country villages, the stiff upper lip, being conservative and traditional.

According to Llanelli born and Llantwit Major based author Daniels, “This doesn’t sound like the talkative, passionate, warm, open hearted Welsh. So perhaps we should remind Mark Easton and the world at large what the Welsh are like, and how we actually differ from the English.”

As a Welsh exile in England, Peter had a successful career in market research, but the strong ties he retained with his homeland through the London Welsh RFC and the London Welsh Association led to a fascination with his own national identity. And in his first book, In Search of Welshness, published in 2011, he charted the ways in which exiles living in England attempted to hang on to their Welsh characteristics and values in a London dominated social and cultural scene.

In Finding Wales he delves into the reasons why such exiles, including himself, have returned to Wales. Some admittedly have been forced to return because of family responsibilities or economic necessity. And others speak of a value for money ‘good life’ that is to be had in Wales, against a backcloth of its scenic beauty. But many yearned for more, for the friendlier community spirit that they feel exists in Wales, or an even deeper hiraeth for either the Welsh language and culture, or for a less class ridden way of life than they had encountered in England.

These returning exiles need however not only to sing the praises of the Welsh, but also to raise their voices in an attempt to wrestle back from Westminster a far greater degree of self determination in their everyday lives. But for the moment let’s just wallow in Welsh character, friendliness and humour as we follow the exploits of Peter Daniels’s returning band of Welsh exiles.

And what better time to study Welsh personality and culture than in National Eisteddfod week. Both books will be available at the stall of publisher, Y Lolfa, throughout the week.

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For those headed to the North American Festival of Wales (NAFOW) in the DC area later this year (Aug. 30 - Sept. 2), you still have an opportunity to enter one of our Eisteddfod competitions!

Everyone has a wide choice of seven (7) different competitions in singing or poetic recitation - suiting all ages and different levels of proficiency in Welsh. Singers can join our Semi-Professional (David Morris) competition to win a generous cash scholarship for travel to compete at next year's National Eisteddfod of Wales (Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru) in Llanrwst (North Wales).  The info./entry form is available at this link:  http://thewnaa.org/eisteddfod-competition.html .

All competitions are on Sat., Sept. 1, and are time-limited to help you enjoy everything else at the Festival.... So, enter today - or contact the Eisteddfod Committee with questions (see form) - and make yourself part of a great, historic Welsh tradition! 

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