Gaabriel Becket


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Paul Steffan Jones AKA Michael Browne Ceri Shaw


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The Terry Davies Story coverThe bestselling autobiography of the first superstars of rugby union, Terry Davies, has reached the shortlist of rugby book of the year at a prestigious awards.

Terry Davies - Wales’s First Superstar Fullback by Terry Davies with Geraint Thomas has reached the The Cross Sports Book Awards Rugby Book of the Year short list.

‘The Cross Sports Book Awards is the major annual promotion for sports writing and publishing leading to Father’s Day. The Awards will be filmed and aired on Sky Sports.

In his autobiography, Terry Davies reveals the truth about his life in rugby in the 1950s as well as the loss of his talented brother to leukaemia at a young age.

He also reveals all about what happened to that crossbar that was stolen from Twickenham in 1958.

The book tells of the remarkable life story of the Lions star, encompassing his childhood in Llanelli, learning rugby in Strade School, making his debut as a schoolboy for Swansea, entering the Royal Marines and winning his first cap before going on to become a household name

The boy from Bynea, who combined the good looks of a young Robert Redford with silky skills and tough as teak tackling, went on to wow crowds across the rugby playing world through his displays for Wales and the British and Irish Lions in 1959. The 2017 British and Irish Lions will embark on their tour to New Zealand in June.

From the highs of touring New Zealand and beating the All Blacks in their own back yard to the lows of a career-threatening shoulder injury, his rugby journey, which began as a nervous 17 year old one rainy day up in Ebbw Vale and ended with universal acclaim, is real Roy of the Rovers stuff .

‘Terry is a natural storyteller,’ said co-writer Geraint Thomas, ‘His book is packed with humour. He typifies the Welsh humour once so prevalent amongst the working class,’

‘His tale is both a social commentary and cultural account of Welsh life pre and post war as well as a priceless account of a bygone age of rugby union’ added Geraint.

‘As a young inspiring player he left a huge impression on me due to the way he stood out from the rest.’ added Sir Gareth Edwards, who wrote the introduction to the book.

The book is presented in memory of Terry’s brother Len, who was caped for Wales before Terry, but died in his twenties of leukaemia.

Geraint Thomas is a Swansea Valley based journalist, writer and playwright. After graduating from Cardiff University's School of Journalism he secured a position as a news reporter on the South Wales Evening Post where he is currently still employed. He also writes the occasional feature for Swansea Life magazine.

Category winners will be announced at a star-studded black tie dinner at – Nursery Pavilion, Lord’s Cricket Ground on 24th May at 6pm.

The winners of the awards will become the shortlist for the overall Sports Book of the Year 2017, voted by the public at

The Terry Davies Story: Wales’s first superstar fullback by Geraint Thomas (£9.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.

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Obituary of Dr. J. Marshall Bevil

By gaabi, 2017-02-09

AmeriCymru member Dr. J. Marshall Bevil has passed away this last week in Houston, Texas. Jack Bevil was a husband, father and grandfather.  A Doctor of Musicology, forensic musicologist, composer and arranger and a teacher of music, for years he directed the Lovett Elementary school string orchestra and mentored other school orchestras to competitive performance, teaching hundreds of children, changing their lives and improving their communities.  

Jack Bevil played and composed for the Welsh crwth and was kind enough to speak on and perform the crwth for us at the 2011 West Coast Eisteddfod. You can watch him performing, and speaking a little Welsh, at the event, below:

He was kind of enough to share audio files of his performance on the crwth with us all here:

Jack Bevil was an amazing addition to our community here on AmeriCymru, an artist, a scholar and a very decent human being who was proud of and worked to share his Welsh heritage.  We are honored to have had the immense pleasure of meeting him and being the recipient of some of his generosity and kindness.  There is no one else like him and he will be greatly missed.

Dr. Bevil's family have posted the following regarding his memorial service on his page on facebook:

"Jack's memorial arrangements are as follows.

"Friday 5pm-8pm: Visitation at Klein Funeral home. 9719 Wortham Blvd., Houston, TX 77065

"Saturday: 10am memorial service at Klein Funeral home.

"Saturday: 1:30pm short graveside ceremony at Anahuac Cemetary.

"In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Camp Sweeney. It is a camp for diabetic children. I attended the camp every summer between ages 11 and 18 and it truly changed my life. Jack was very thankful a place like camp Sweeney existed and would like to pass that gift on to others. Follow the following link if you would like to donate.

"Please contact Dafydd Bevil if you have any questions."

You can find his obituary here, on the site of the funeral home:

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Tis’ the season to be jolly, giving and grateful and AmeriCymru is thankful for all our amazing members, for your friendship, your contributions to the network and everything we’ve learned from you all over the years.  

The end of 2016 marks eight years of AmeriCymru.  Thousands of people around the world found the site, became part of it and joined us in celebrating Wales and Welsh heritage, sharing your own experiences and telling everyone more about Wales.  We created a non-profit, the Meriwether Lewis Memorial Eisteddfod Foundation (MLMEF) and used it to put on five years of the West Coast Eisteddfod as a live event, bringing Welsh and Welsh-American writers, musicians and artists to new audiences, and to sponsor years of our online competitions.  

Please donate to support AmeriCymru in the New Year!

Donations are paid to the Meriwether Lewis Memorial Eisteddfod Foundation, a US 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in the State of Oregon.  You can verify our non-profit status on the IRS website and find us on charity reporting sites Guidestar, Great Non-Profits and CharityScout

Nadolig Llawen, Merry Christmas from AmeriCymru! red dragon on Christmas tree

In 2017, we are honored to participate with the New Welsh Review and Aberystwyth University to sponsor the AmeriCymru Novella award, a first-ever opportunity for Welsh and Welsh-American writers in the United States and Canada to participate in the New Welsh Review Writing Awards.  This competition has previously only been open to writers in Wales.  

In addition to allowing Americans and Canadians to submit work for the first time, the competition is being judged by its first Welsh-American, AmeriCymru member David Lloyd.  David was the winner of the 2015 West Coast Eisteddfod short story competition and the editor of Other Land, a collection of poetry describing the Welsh and Welsh-American experience, in addition to authoring other collections of poetry and novels and directing the creative writing program at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York.  

We need your help to make this and other projects possible with your tax-deductible, year-end donation.  We are sponsoring the competition, the competition prize and bringing our judge and the winner of the novella category to Hay-on-Wye in Wales to receive their prize at the Hay Book Festival.  Everyone who works on our projects and events is an unpaid volunteer, Ceri and I included and, of course, we also donate out of our own pockets to fund activities. 100% of your donations goes to fund costs of the projects and events we put on.

Please show your support and donate this holiday season!  Help us bring on the Welshness!

Gaabriel Becket from Welsh-American social network interviewed mezzo soprano Megan Morris after her performances at the 2011 North American Festival of Wales in Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Posted in: Music | 0 comments

This is a hilarious portrait series by Washington state photographer, Kevin Horan, for a show in Dallas, Texas called "Critters." I would love to go see this whole show!

Walking around Hay today

By gaabi, 2016-06-03

Ceri and I are in Talgarth, Powys, in Wales attending the annual Hay Book Festival. Today we went to the festival first and then to the town of Hay-on-Wye, to wait for Niall Griffiths to arrive and meet us at the Blue Boar pub.

The town is full of people milling around window shopping, eating ice cream, a dad brought a giant bubble loop to play with his and other children in the parking lot just below the castle - a lovely pack of wild, happy, bouncing kids running and dancing after giant bubbles which floated out and over the wall of the castle grounds.

three sidewalk poets at Hay-on-Wye

Ceri met three poets for hire, sitting at a table on the very narrow sidewalk. Selling poems they pounded out for passersby on typewriters set on rickety tables in front of them, they were surrounded and fortified by glasses of beer and cider.  We decided to commission a poem for the landlady and all the other wonderful people at the Castle Hotel and this is what we got:

Ode to Talgarth

The G & T certainly helped.

Steadied me in that

Sea of writers.

I swam with ideas.

Landlady, hold the lantern on the mooring

as I approach.

I won't drip too much on the rug,

but you'll have to sit up with me a while.

( - Tim Siddall, Lewis Parker, Edmund Davie)

Posted in: travel | 0 comments

Back to Welsh Literature page >

This was the thing that brought us to Hay, an invitation to come to the New Welsh Writing Awards shortlist announcement ceremony, put on by the literary magazine, the New Welsh Review.  Below is their press release,with details on the event.  There are also links to read the stories and to vote for the winning story, any reader can vote -

Travel Writing Prize shortlist encompasses three continents

2016 New Welsh Review, New Welsh Writing Awards shortlist members2016 New Welsh Writing Awards shortlist, Photo: Left to right, Mandy Sutter, Nathan Llywelyn Munday, John Harrison

New Welsh Review, in association with the University of South Wales and CADCentre, announced the shortlist for the New Welsh Writing Awards 2016: University of South Wales Prize for Travel Writing at an event at the Hay Festival on 1 June.

Two professional writers, John Harrison and Mandy Sutter and PhD student Nathan Llywelyn Munday are now in the running for the top prize, which will be announced at a ceremony at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff on 7 July 2016.

The Prize celebrates the best short form travel writing (5,000-30,000 words) from emerging and established writers based in the UK and Ireland plus those who have been educated in Wales. The judges are New Welsh Review editor Gwen Davies and award winning travel writer Rory MacLean.

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

The shortlist comprises two books and a long-form essay in uplifting prose set in Europe, Africa and South America. In Mandy Sutter’s ‘Bush Meat: As My Mother Told Me’, a Nigerian domestic scene unfolds, where subtle and interdependent racial and class issues are seething under a tight lid. John Harrison’s book tracks the rise and fall of the pre-Columbian city of Tiwanaku in Bolivia, highest city in the ancient world and the hub of a trading empire stretching from Chile to Peru. And European creation myths are the theme in Nathan Llywelyn Munday’s map of the highs and lows of the grand narrative as he treks with his father through the Pyrenees.

The standard this year was once again so high that a further three, highly commended entries were awarded, which will all be published in extract form in the autumn edition of New Welsh Reader (112), New Welsh Review’s creative magazine, publishing on 1 September. Entrants will receive a standard fee of £170 for publication. These highly commended pieces, two long-form essays and a prose book, range from a Trans-Siberian train voyage, through explorations of home, exile and return in Ghana and Liberia, and a love story to underground springs of Mayan culture in tourist-riven Yucatan.


John Harrison (London, England) The Rains of Titikaka

Nathan Llywelyn Munday (Cardiff, Wales) Seven Days: A Pyrenean Trek

Mandy Sutter (Ilkley, England)            Bush Meat: As My Mother Told Me

Highly commended

Hannah Garrard (Norwich, England) No Situation is Permanent

Julie Owen Moylan (Cardiff, Wales) Anxiety and Wet Wipes on Train Number Four

Karen Philips (Pembrokeshire, Wales)           Stranger Shores

Shortlist Showcase with Interviews, Readings and Animation, produced by Emily Roberts in partnership with Aberystwyth University: (this will go live at 4pm on 1 June).

Last year’s winner, Eluned Gramich, whose essay Woman Who Brings the Rain: A Memoir of Hokkaido, Japan has just been shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year 2016: The Open University in Wales Creative Non-Fiction Award. Her essay is available as a Kindle ebook (£2.99) and in print in shops throughout Wales and via (£7.99).

New Welsh Review also announced the Best Travel Book Poll shortlist at the event. The shortlist of three titles was voted for by the public from an original longlist of 20 titles selected by co-judges Gwen Davies and Rory MacLean with nominations from the students of the University of South Wales and librarians across Wales.

Losing Israel by Jasmine Donahaye (Seren)

Wildwood: A Journey through Trees by Roger Deakin (Penguin)

A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor (John Murray)

The public will now be able to vote for the winner, which will be revealed on 7 July. For more information visit    #newwelshawards

For images, more details on the Prize, Travel Book Poll and for interview requests please contact Megan Farr on or 07912149249

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