NWR Issue r7

Review 7

Here we review a book of essays and images that looks forward to our summer edition of the New Welsh Reader featuring an essay and poetry on the controversial subject of culture and nuclear power. Among other rave reviews is one of Carol Rumens’ latest, continuing the synergy as the Reader also includes work by the poet in response to the X–10 artistic collaboration around Wylfa on Ynys Môn.

Highly positive also are those loving fiction by veterans Stevie Davies (her novella) and Jo Mazelis (time-travelling short fiction); poetry by super-veteran Jeremy Hooker whose ‘marvellous’ collection makes the physical meet the intangible and Judy Brown’s latest (despite its title it feels ‘more solitary than joyful in a crowd’), plus memoir, travel and nature writing author Horatio Clare’s ‘philosophical, enchanting’ first book for children.

Less enamoured reviewers include those assessing poetry by Katrina Naomi (needs more subtle emotional exploration); Zillah Bethell’s latest novel of sexual fantasy and the artist Gwen John (too much sex for the reviewer’s taste); an overly academic look at National Theatre Wales which undermines its own message of accessibility, and (disappointingly since I saw the author’s first pieces on Welsh art published in Planet), Peter Lord’s magnum opus in a new edition that tries to do too much within its allotted space.

Finally, in a feature-length opinion piece that touches on the sensationalist literary treatment of female criminals and the pioneering book by Helena Kennedy QC whose message is still being ignored twenty-three years later, ‘Wales’ Secret Export’ reveals the scandalous lack of prison accommodation for women in Wales.


• Amy McCauley on The Tradition: A New History of Welsh Art, 1400–1990, Peter Lord (edited by Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan) (Parthian)

• Sophie Baggott reviews Locating the Audience: How People Found Value in National Theatre Wales by Kirsty Sedgman (Intellect Books)

• Claire Pickard reviews X-10, Power in the Land edited by Annie and Helen Grove-White (artists’ exhibition catalogue)

• Carla Manfredino on Ritual 1969 by Jo Mazelis (Seren)

• Daniel Leeman reviews Girl in Profile by Zillah Bethell (Honno)

• Michael Nott reviews of Equivocator by Stevie Davies (Parthian)

• Ashley Owen on Crowd Sensations by Judy Brown (Seren)

• Garry MacKenzie on Scattered Light by Jeremy Hooker (Enitharmon)

• Phillip Clement on Late Love Poems by Steve Griffiths (Cinnamon)

• Ashley Owen on The Way the Crocodile Taught Me by Katrina Naomi (Seren)

• Nathan Munday on Animal People by Carol Rumens (Seren)

• Fiona Orbell on The Boy Who Drew the Future by Rhian Ivory (Firefly Press)

• Fiona Orbell on Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot by Horatio Clare (Firefly Press)


‘Wales’ Secret Export’, Julia O’Hara reveals the scandalous lack of prison accommodation for women in Wales and urges that measures to improve the lot of women prisoners, advocated by Helena Kennedy in 1993, are implemented along the model of Scotland


previous editorial: Review 6
next editorial: Review 8


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