EDITORIAL NWR Issue 56
First a gripe...And then the good news
What's the difference between Socialist Worker
and New Welsh Review
? Bizarrely, the revolutionary tabloid is the one that's welcome in W.H. Smith's, the show-home of metropolitan print-capitalism, while we understand that New Welsh Review
may no longer be sold in any of their stores in Wales, after a directive from Head Office.
It's not a question of wasting their space with a magazine that won't sell. Issue 54, with that striking image of our poetry editor gazing up at Mount Parnassus, sold very well at one railway station in particular, thanks to Linda Adams, who arranged to keep them in stock, and place the magazine face-on. In any case, all the Welsh-interest books have been removed from the shelves, so it's not just us they are picking on. Nor is this because the staff don't want the Welsh stock as Linda was told wryly, this is not how they feel it should be, and now the store 'could be anywhere'. The same decision has been made by Waterstone's (see our letters pages), that is, only to stock what can be ordered centrally and stocked profitably in every UK store, with obvious consequences for small publishers and 'regional' magazines.
Ah, so that's what globalization looks like! It's ironic, but the free-market left to its own devices leads to a lack of choice and variety, whether of fresh veg, poultry, or poetry. The prospect seems to be a privately-owned version of a command economy that Chairman Mao have endured the Long March for. Our feature on Tower Colliery in this issue might suggest some alternative ways of going about things.
If you care about what you read, and wish to see a market for Welsh writing, lobby the Assembly do it now!And then the good news
As New Welsh Review
goes to press, I am arranging the handover to a new Editor, who takes up her post in June, Dr Francesca Rhydderch. Francesca is one of Wales's most promising literary critics, and has been highly regarded by writers with whom she has worked as an Editor at Gomer Press.
I was contracted to edit four issues, and though the work has been an enormously rich experience and privilege, I'm ready to stop commuting and see more of my children! I'm tired but happy, and happy for Francesca, who has the energy and flair to realise the full potential of New Welsh Review
. I can tell you only that the next issue of the magazine will be very different, and her distinct editorial personality will, I'm sure, be immediately apparent.
I must thank the Editorial Board for the faith they have shown in me, and especially thank Tony Brown for his support when, as Robin's part-time assistant, I was thrown in the deep end. And Catherine Merriman, as short story editor, has not only read meticulously through our submissions but given unsparingly of her time to encourage and advise as many of the writers as possible. I will always look back with pleasure and pride on the warm relationship this magazine has with its writers.
Thanks to Andy Dark for his good cheer and inspired covers, and thanks to my co-workers, Linda and Alison, sterling comrades both, and true unstinting friends of New Welsh Review
. Thanks above all to our readers, and subscribers to the magazine.
previous editorial: Shapes of Wales
next editorial: A prospect of the sea