Ceri Shaw



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Category: News

Lundy Li-Lo Dash 2019

By Ceri Shaw, 2019-04-01

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

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

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

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

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

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



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Adjudication from Peter Thabit Jones

Americymru 2018 Poetry Competition results

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

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

  The winner of the 2018 competition is Peter Lewis.

   Peter Thabit Jones
   Poet, dramatist, and publisher

Read the winning entries here:- Poems by Peter Lewis

Congratulations/Llongyfarchiadau to this year's winner Peter Lewis

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Adjudication from Mike Jenkins

''It was a tricky choice, but in the end I went for 'Flapper Girl' by Anisha Johnson, which really caught a moment in time very well. I really liked the humour of 'Nativity' as well."

The winner of the 2017 competition is Anisha Johnson.

Mike Jenkins

Read the winning entries here:- Flapper Girl by Anisha Johnson

Congratulations/Llongyfarchiadau to this year's winner Anisha Johnson

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mikejenkins1.jpg How many people know that the world famous International Welsh Poetry Competition began life in a small, independent pub, tucked away down a quiet side street in Pontypridd? Founded by Welsh poet Dave Lewis in 2007 the contest has been run and organised from the town ever since, is now in its thirteenth year and is the biggest poetry competition in Wales!

But what makes this competition so special? Some would say the judges, others the sheer quality of the winning entries but one thing is for sure the competition is here to stay.

Famous Welsh writer, filmmaker and environmental activist John Evans has played a big part. He judged the first two years and has returned on four other occasions choosing poems with subjects as diverse as 'the brutality of war', ‘the plight of captive killer whales’, ‘Munch’s The Scream’ and ‘vegetarianism’.

Other judges have included Sally Spedding, twice winner herself and a respected crime novelist. Celebrated children's writer Eloise Williams and Cardigan-based Bridport Prize winner Kathy Miles can also be counted amongst the competition’s excellent judges. This year, one of Wales' best poets, Cardiff City fan Mike Jenkins, returns for his second time at the helm.

But maybe there is another reason why writers from all over the world love this humble contest that began life as a drunken conversation between Dave Lewis and John Evans in a Clwb Y Bont backroom at one o’clock in the morning, and that is its honesty and integrity. Unlike many competitions your poems are judged anonymously and no filter judges are used. This means a complete beginner can compete against a seasoned veteran. A successful, traditionally published author can fight it out with a newly self-published blogger.

“We offer true equality,” says organizer Dave Lewis. “In a time when corporate greed and influence seem to infect every aspect of our lives and ruin the opportunity for the little guy to succeed the Welsh Poetry Competition is a rare beacon of hope,” he continues.

“Both myself and John love the underdog and coming from a no-nonsense town like Pontypridd you know you’re not going to get given anything for nothing, especially by the establishment that control the purse strings in Wales, so it’s best you just strike out on your own and go for it.”

The competition organizer, Dave Lewis, shuns the limelight however. A well-respected poet himself he continues to self-publish his often avant-garde work rather than seek acceptance from the mainstream just so he can continue to push the boundaries of his art. He also runs a small self-publishing company, called Publish & Print, where he helps other writers get into book form and realize their own ambitions.

This year’s judge, Mike Jenkins, needs no introduction of course being one of Wales’ top poets, famous for his lively performances and writing workshops. He has performed at the Hay Festival, won an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors and has co-edited Red Poets for 25 years, an annual magazine of left-wing poetry from Wales and beyond. His latest book is ‘ From Aberfan t Grenfell ’ (Culture Matters) with artist Alan Perry.

With entrants from over 40 countries having taken part in the past this year promises to be no different and with £500 on offer to the winner, plus many other prizes for the chosen runners-up, the International Welsh Poetry Competition will once again punch above its weight in the literary calendar. If you want to enter just check out this year's contest on the official website - www.welshpoetry.co.uk

International Welsh Poetry Competition 2019


1st Prize - £500, 2nd Prize - £250, 3rd Prize - £100, plus 17 runners up published on our website and in a future anthology.

Judge - Mike Jenkins

Starts - 1st Feb 2019

Closing date - 26th May 2019

Poems in English, 50 lines maximum

Entry fee - £5 (£6 PayPal)

Entry forms, rules and details on our website:


Competition Web site - www.welshpoetry.co.uk

Competition Judge – www.mikejenkins.net

Organiser Web site – www.david-lewis.co.uk

Twitter - @welshpoetrycomp

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smallpodd.jpg St David's of Wales Day Benefit Concert

Celebrate the patron saint of Wales' day with the Portland Phoenix Chamber Choir and the Welsh Dragon Choir, as they sing traditional songs of Wales and other cultures. There will be music followed by dessert and a silent auction.

The concert is to raise funds for the Chamber Choir's trip to compete at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod in Wales in July 2019.


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AmeriCymru: Hi Justin and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. What can you tell us about the history of the Phoenix Choir?

Justin: The Portland Phoenix Choir is a new non-profit choral organization made up of two separate choirs - the auditioned Chamber Choir and the non-auditioned Choral Union. It's made up of students, faculty and community singers who used to perform as the Marylhurst University Choirs. Sadly, Marylhurst, where I served as Director of Choral Activities, unexpectedly closed last spring, leaving us all musically homeless. In a really touching gesture, the singers asked me if we could continue singing together - thus the Phoenix choirs were born, choosing as our name the well-known image of the mythical bird that resurrects itself from its own ashes. It's our Chamber Choir that is traveling to sing and compete in Wales this summer.

AmeriCymru: You will be performing at the Llangollen Festival in north Wales this year. Care to tell us more?

Justin: It's a huge honor even to be accepted to compete at the Llangollen Eisteddfod. It's know worldwide as one of the finest choral festivals on the planet, and this year they received over a hundred applications. We're competing in two categories against choirs from all over the world. The winning choir gets the title of Choir of the World and the Pavarotti Trophy (named after the famous singer), but in reality, we're just thrilled about the chance to hear so many exceptional groups from all over the world, as well as represent Portland, Oregon, the Pacific Northwest and the United States on a highly visible global stage.

AmeriCymru: I guess transporting and accommodating a choir to an event like this is a massive logistical exercise. How are your plans proceeding thus far?

Justin: It's a logistical challenge, true - but it's a financial challenge above all. Since we're a non-profit that's literally six months old, and no longer have a university backing us up with their resources, raising the money to go is a tall order. Our singers are rich in musical talent but not so in financial resources. So we're looking for community partners interested in helping us represent the region and the world, as well as create ever stronger ties between Wales and the United States.

AmeriCymru: You have a fundraiser on March 1st here in Portland. Can you share the details?

Justin: Yes, we're very excited to collaborate with the Portland Dragon Choir, our city's fine Welsh chorus, on Friday March 1st. I'm sure I don't need to tell your readers that's St David's Day, the feast day of the patron saint of Wales. The music will feature Welsh favorites, storytelling, a silent auction, and our Chamber Choir singing the music we're taking to Llangollen. It's Friday, March 1st at St David's of Wales Church (of course!) in SE Portland, and tickets can be purchased online at wales.brownpapertickets.com.

AmeriCymru: How would you describe the choir's repertoire? Will you be performing any old Welsh choral favorites at Llangollen?

Justin: Our repertoire is quite eclectic; everything from sixteenth century polyphony, to challenging modern works, to African-American spirituals. En route to Llangollen, we're honored to be invited to sing two Evensong services at Christ Church in Oxford, so we're diving into that Anglican repertoire, too.

But we mainly want to celebrate Wales's incredible and beautiful choral singing tradition. We're currently learning "Calon Lan," so that we can be sure to please our Welsh audiences! We'll also be singing a Gymnafa Ganu in June at Bryn Seion Welsh Church, which looks like it will be terrific fun. Welsh is such a beautiful language, but quite difficult, so learning to sing it has been quite challenging!

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

Justin: We cordially invite you to attend our St David's Day Benefit Concert on Friday March 1st, to celebrate Welsh-American friendship and the choral music, songs and storytelling of Wales, and help us get across the pond to represent America at the Llangollen Festival. More information can be found at wales.brownpapertickets.com or, if you use Facebook, here: https://www.facebook.com/events/313780339242497/


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Word Game in Welsh

By Ceri Shaw, 2019-01-09

Venlo, the Netherlands - January 6, 2019 – Smiling Cube Studios today released WORD TANGO , a free word puzzle game in Cymraeg (Welsh), English, Cornish and 5 other languages for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

The rules are fun and very simple: the game shows words with missing letters. Letters can be dragged to the empty positions to complete the words. The goal is to find the correct words and proceed to the next level.

Word Tango is played without time-limit and is relaxing to play. It has an infinite number of levels, randomly generated for the player. The player can earn extra coins and use a hint when he is stuck.

The developers strongly believe in supporting multiple languages :

“  Most word puzzle games can only be played in a few major world languages, but many people speak a different language. We think people prefer to play in their own language. Our goal is to support more than 100 languages , big and small , in 2019 “

In it's first release, Word Tango can be played in English, Welsh, Cornish, Danish, Faroese, Icelandic ,Dutch and Frysian. More languages will follow soon.


* Free to play 

* Play and improve your language skills 

* Train your brain while having fun

* Infinite number of levels, randomly generated for the player

* No time limits, no pressure 

* Beautiful visual design for a pleasant experience 

* Use a hint when you are stuck 

* Play in 8 languages

WORD TANGO is now available as a free download on the App Store and Google Play Store

Google Play Store link:  https://play.google.com/ store/apps/details?id=com. smilingcube.wordtango

Apple App Store Link:  <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/word-tango-find-the-words/id1441751300?mt=8" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/word-tango-find-the-words/id1441751300?mt%3D8&source=gmail&ust=1547151648491000&usg=AFQjCNGp5LH_VhiwJYy8q7eMsY-iD5R6Gw" rel="noopener"> https://itunes.apple. com/gb/app/word-tango-find- the-words/id1441751300?mt=8

Youtube video:  <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3B9hL2wAdE" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3Dm3B9hL2wAdE&source=gmail&ust=1547151648491000&usg=AFQjCNEYp5ZgGVsGHSu159V12e3t1PadVg" rel="noopener"> https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=m3B9hL2wAdE



Smiling Cube Studios is a 2-person independent game developer from Venlo, The Netherlands. Founded in 2011, their goal is to make fun and educative high quality mobile games.


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Today,  BBC Cymru Wales  and  Arts Council of Wales  are excited to announce the names of twelve acts selected from across Wales to be part of the  Horizons  in 2018. 

Horizons is a unique showcase of new, independent contemporary music in Wales, supporting and promoting emerging Welsh music talent to wider audiences. Nearly 300 artists applied for a place on the project, which is now in its fourth year. 

A diverse list of a dozen of the finest emerging acts from across Wales, this year’s Horizons intake is notable for featuring strong, unique female musicians with 10 of the 12 made up of female solo artists and acts featuring female members. All 12 artists have a unique contemporary sound covering musical genres from indie, reggae, rock, folk and blues. 

The Horizons project will be bringing music to many festivals over summer 2018 starting with a launch show at this year’s   BBC   Music’s Biggest Weekend Fringe Festival  in Swansea where Huw Stephens will showcase some of the acts live on  BBC Radio Cymru . Tickets for the showcase are available from the Horizons website (link below). 

The twelve selected Horizons artists are:  

Adwaith  Carmarthen trio craft brilliant bilingual songwriting; their recent single ‘Fel i Fod’ has been streamed over 100,000 times on Spotify. 

Aleighcia Scott  Cardiff based reggae singer with a unique style and vocals whose wowed crowds in Wales, UK and Jamaica. 

Alffa   An exciting teenage two piece rock n roll band from Llanrug who are inspired by the blues. 

Campfire Social  A Llangollen collective whose exquisite knack for vocal harmonies and catchy instrumental textures earned them a slot at a Korean festival with Focus Wales last year. 

CHROMA   Fearsome Pontypridd rock trio led by Katie Hall, one of the most charismatic frontwomen Wales has produced in quite some time and a band BBC Introducing booked for Reading and Leeds last summer. 

Eadyth  A unique young Welsh language electronic producer from Merthyr,  whose futuristic and empowering sound is influenced by urban, soul and electro. 

Himalayas  An incendiary rock four-piece from Cardiff, they have been delighting crowds at This Feeling gigs across the UK, and showcased at SXSW for BBC Introducing this March. 

I See Rivers   A Tenby adopted female trio hailing originally from Norway crafting their own brand of awe-inspiring float folk. Through a studio in West Wales they found themselves drawn to and embraced by Wales. 

Marged  Welsh language cutting-edge pop star with evocative vocals and lyrics that chart self-discovery, she recently supported Katie B at a secret London show. 

Nia Wyn   An incredible voice and songwriting talent from Conwy whose work encompasses folk, country and pop she recently worked with Paul Weller on new songs. 

No Good Boyo  Cwmbran four-piece whose rousing celtic folk-inspired sound has delighted crowds at the National Eisteddfod of Wales and Lorient Festival, France. 

The Pitchforks  A young Tonypandy band whose floor-filling indie rock sound made them one of Radio One’s Huw Stephens’s ‘Ones to watch for 2018.’  

The 12 artists will be offered a platform at events across Wales and on BBC Wales’ national radio services - BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Radio Wales.  

Horizons acts were selected by a panel of experts from within the partnership and the wider music sector. Panel included Bethan Elfyn (BBC Wales), Aeron Roberts (ACW), Joe Frankland (PRSF), Eluned Haf (Wales Arts International), Dwynwen Morgan (BBC Radio Cymru), Dan Potts (BBC Radio Wales), Helen Weatherhead (BBC 6Music), Rachel K Collier (Musician), Dom Gourlay (Drowned in Sound), Simon Parton (Swansea Music Hub), Bill Cummings (Sound & Vision PR), Feedy Frizzi (Moshi Moshi Management), Liz Hunt (Wales Goes Pop!), Jason Camileri (WMC Platform Project), David Owens (Media Wales), Estelle Wilkinson (Talks on Tour), Owain Schiavone (Y Selar), Richard Parfitt (Musician/ Education), Helia Phoenix (Visit Wales/ We Are Cardiff).  

Lisa Matthews, Portfolio Manager at the Arts Council of Wales, says: 

“We’re proud to support Horizons for a further year and see another 12 artists have a creative and potentially career changing year. There have been some incredible opportunities created so far and we’re looking forward with excitement more incredible music experiences.”  

Bethan Elfyn, Project Manager of Horizons at BBC Wales, said: 

“The Welsh music scene has probably never seen such a time as this - a real explosion of creativity in so many towns and cities, and so we’ve been absolutely spoilt this year with the selection of talent.  We’ve got an incredibly diverse shortlist of artists, and we can’t wait to follow their journey for the next year. A few of the acts will be familiar names but there’s also bound to be one or two musical surprises for people to discover.”  

Joseph Williams from the band Himalayas, one of the twelve bands selected said:

“It’s a real pleasure to be a part of BBC Horizons along with other great Welsh artists. We’re looking forward to working closely with the Horizons team to help progress and develop as a band.”  

Horizons  is a unique showcase of new, independent contemporary music in Wales.  Now in its fourth year, Horizons is a collaboration between  BBC Wales  and  Arts Council of Wales .The  Horizons  project aims to be a comprehensive showcase of promising talent in Wales.  From providing promotional and performance opportunities. 

Music fans can follow the Twitter account @horizonscymru and  facebook.com/horizonscymru  for all the latest news.


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A Message From Iwan Roberts of Y Byd ar Bedwar

Screenshot from 20170215 122400.png My name is Iwan Roberts and I work for a Welsh current affairs series called Y Byd ar Bedwar (The World on Four).

I'm hoping to make a Welsh-language programme about the Trump presidency and his policies. What do people think so far? We've spoken with a few already, but I'm looking for other possible contributors.

In an ideal world, we would locate the program in California and meet people who live there - but it all depends on someone's story. I'm firstly looking for Welsh speakers who have something to say; they might have first hand experience with what Trump's policies mean to them. Or we would like to speak with someone who could take us and show us an element that might be affected by the new president. For instance: a nurse or doctor who would show what Obamacare means and how things would be without it or possibly its failings; a policeman, showing us the work that they need to do day-to-day; or someone who lives on the US/California and Mexican border and how this affects them (is the wall a good idea? Is the US dependent on migrant workers or not, and do they believe that US jobs need to be protected etc.?). Individuals who can help offer the people at home an insight.

We are looking for Welsh speakers, although if there are Welsh people with something to say, but who don't speak Welsh, that would be good as well.

I'm looking to make contact with as many people as possible at the moment.

I would be grateful for any help that you can offer. People can send me a message on Facebook, email me iwan.roberts@itv.com or call 00447789270021 .

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By Ceri Shaw, 2016-12-01


A well known publishers in Wales are launching their advent calendar today which will encourage people to read over Christmas. 

Publishers and printers Y Lolfa launch their advent calendar at 12pm today which will include recommendations of books to give as gifts or to read over the holidays and in the new year.   

‘We are very proud to launch our Christmas campaign which will encourage people to give books as gifts and to read over the festivities and beyond’ said Fflur Arwel, Head of Marketing at Y Lolfa.

‘Reading can bring pleasure and escapism or can be a way to learn and understand the world’ says Fflur, ‘It can also be a way to relax and capture any imagination – let alone the contribution books do to the lively culture of our country’  

The campaign follows the establishing of the ‘Welsh Bookshelf’ reading blog earlier this Autumn.  

The publishers will also be marking an important milestone next year.

‘2017 will be a big year for Y Lolfa as we look to celebrate the company’s fifty year anniversary’ added Fflur, ‘Look out for announcements of one big party and other events in the new year!’  

‘In the meantime we would like to thank our customers and everyone who has supported us this year and all years before. Onwards to the 50 th !’ she added.

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What's New On AmeriCymru?

By Ceri Shaw, 2016-10-29


Here at AmeriCymru we are committed to promoting Wales around the world as the nation that respects and promotes excellence in the Arts. In the past we have organised events ( Eisteddfodau) in Portland and L.A. and our latest venture is a partnership with the New Welsh Review to promote an international competition - The AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella. For more details and to enter, please see below. Meanwhile if you are not a writer you can still be a part of this initiative. Organising events of this kind costs money and we are raising funds to cover transport costs, prize money etc.. So...we are urging our members and readers to BUY A BOOK FOR WALES . All proceeds from these sales go to support the AmeriCymru Prize For The Novella . The winner will be announced at the Hay on Wye Book Festival in 2017.


AmeriCymru Prize For The Novella - Now Accepting Entries

The New Welsh Writing Awards 2017, run by New Welsh Review in association with Aberystwyth University and AmeriCymru, opens for entries on 26 September with two new categories, the Aberystwyth University Prize for Memoir and AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella.

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






Still time to carve your Welsh Dragon Pumpkins for Halloween!

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