Earwitness: A Search for Sonic Understanding in Stories by Ed Garland is out now!

Visit this site to order in paperback from Gwales for £7.99 or here to order in Kindle format from Amazon.

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"A cracking read... A significant intervention in [the] debate [of music, memory and memoir]… [Garland’s] new sonic world… opens multi-sensory doors as a reader… the ricochets of daily conflict turn into a phasing symphony redolent of Steve Reich… bears re-reading and instils new ways of doing so. I look forward to the next instalment." Fraser Mann, Music Memoir Research Group, University of York

"What an intriguing, funny, learned, thoughtful and moving essay Earwitness is. Part autobiography, part astute and incisive literary criticism, it stresses the vitality of literature to the development and sustenance of the soul; it allowed this writer to feel that he is doing something worthwhile, valuable, and essentially good. At its heart it is a poem of praise to both the redemptive power of words and the miraculous interconnectedness of human sense. A beauty." Niall Griffiths

Earwitness is a funny and occasionally poignant exploration of the sonic dimensions of literature. Ed Garland deftly weaves reflections on his own, self-inflicted, hearing loss and tinnitus with an analysis of important but neglected textual representations of sound. This book will change the way you listen to the written word.

Professor Kirsti Bohata, Swansea University

In this wise and searching book, Ed Garland creates a literary sound map of Wales, an elegy to listening and sounds he can no longer hear. Fascinating and moving. it makes the (silent) reader perceive not just sound and the act of hearing in new ways, it promotes ‘deep listening’. Like all good art, it alters our connection to and perception of the world.

Kaite O’Reilly, Ted Hughes Award Winner

About the author: Ed Garland is studying for a PhD at Aberystwyth University, researching sonic experience in contemporary fiction. He works as a copywriter. He was born in Manchester, and lived in Leicester and Bristol before settling in Aberystwyth. He was recently long listed in the Ivan Juritz Prize.

The winner of New Welsh Writing Awards 2018: Aberystwyth University Prize for an Essay Collection, Earwitness, by Ed Garland published on 31 October 2019

My Oxford by Catherine Haines was published on 7 March 2019

The winner of New Welsh Writing Awards 2017: Aberystwyth University Prize for a Memoir My Oxford is by Catherine Haines...

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“This powerful, thought-provoking debut explores the author's experiences of her eating disorder in a narrative that is emotionally and intellectually complex yet unflinchingly accessible. Her honest, crafted words are alive with meaning both in what they say and in the spaces they create for the reader's imagination.”
Frank Egerton, author of The Lock and Invisible

"Catherine has written a precise and gripping memoir that illuminates anorexia in a way I have never encountered. Eloquent and thoughtful, there is so much here for anybody who has wrestled with themselves.”
Bridie Jabour, author of The Way Things Should Be

"Searingly honest, sparing, taut, tightly controlled, provocative in the best way, considered and beautifully written."
Cathryn Summerhayes, literary agent at Curtis Brown.

"Superbly written; and as an author myself, I love the sparseness of the text - as if the words were doing to the page what the writer was dong to the flesh. It is a perfect example of the connection between style and content.'
Stephen Stoneham

Read a review by Jackie Law at her blog Follow the Hens here

Other Welsh Rarebyte titles still available to buy

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The winner of New Welsh Writing Awards 2017: AmeriCymru Prize for a Novella, The Plankton Collector, by Cath Barton was published on 26 September 2018.

Click on this link to order in paperback or ebook format from Gwales.

"A text to savour, one of those that remain with the reader well after the end. A wonderful blend of the imaginary and the real, both haunting and deeply moving." Curtis Bausse

"Caring and heart-warming... about people with memories we could all share... Will resonate deeply with anyone who has been through trauma. But anyone who has longed for happier, simpler times will find nostalgic memories becoming lighter too." James Lloyd, the Cardiff Review

“[Cath Barton] writes her story lines with such confidence and in prose that is so delightful to read, that I just couldn't put it down. It's beautiful. A delicate paean for coming together - full of understanding for the quirks and pitfalls and ultimate goodness in human nature.”
- Mavis Cheek, author of Amenable Women

“Haunts like memory, shimmering in and out of love and loss with unexpected, poignant hope. Richly lyrical, beautifully original”
- Helen Sedgwick, author of The Growing Season

“A brilliantly evoked examination of memory and innocence… delivers a kaleidoscope of compelling voices united by a spectral visitor, not from the heights, but the apparent depths. Haunting.”
- James Clammer, author of Why I Went Back

“Cath Barton tells the story… with a lyrical voice that is very much her own. This beautifully structured novella leads the reader to a resolution that is both moving and deeply satisfying.”
- Francesca Rhydderch, author of The Rice Paper Diaries

“Painterly… lush dreamy prose creates a vivid landscape, while its lyricism transports the reader. Cleverly creates a universe of new realities.”
- Cathryn Summerhayes, literary agent at Curtis Brown

"The story is told in such a delightful and matter-of-fact way, that it sounds just like a fairy tale for modern times. And its moral is one of hope."
- Rachel Carney at Created to Read blog. For full review, click here

"In haunting, exquisite prose the author explores the disconnects that exist within families as each deals with the internal difficulties inherent in life as it progresses."
- Jackie Law at Never Imitate blog. For full review, click here

"The Plankton Collector is as light and fleeting as a happy memory. It’s caring and heart-warming to read, about people with memories we could all share. It will resonate deeply with anyone who has been through trauma. But anyone who has longed for happier, simpler times will find nostalgic memories becoming lighter too.."
- James Lloyd at The Cardiff Review. For full review, click here

About the Novella

In this atmospheric novella, the mysterious Plankton Collector visits members of a family torn apart by grief and regret. he comes in different guises. For ten year-old Mary, he is Mr Smith who takes her on a train journey to the seaside. Her mother, Rose, meets him as Stephen, by her son's graveside. Rose's youngest, Bunny, encounters him as the gardener. For husband and father David, meanwhile, the meeting is with a love from his youth. And long-lost Uncle Barnaby takes the children for a week's holiday during which their parents begin a reconciliation. All visitors are manifestations of the Plankton Collector who teaches those he encounters the difference between the discarded weight of unhappy memories and the lightness borne by happiness recalled.

About the Author

Cath Barton was born in the English Midlands and now lives in Abergavenny, south Wales. Her short stories have been published in anthologies in Australia, the US and the UK, most recently in Normal Deviation (Wonderbox Publishing) and Nothing Is As It Was (Retreat West books) and in literary magazines The Lonely Crowd and Strix. Cath was Literature Editor of California-based Celtic Family Magazine (2013-2016) and is currently on the 2018 enhanced mentoring scheme for writers run by Literature Wales, working on a collection of short stories inspired by the work of the sixteenth century Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch.

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The winner of New Welsh Writing Awards 2016: University of South Wales Prize for Travel Writing, Bush Meat, by Mandy Sutter, pub date 15 October 2017.

Click here to buy in paperback format, and here to buy an ebook (Amazon Kindle) version.

For Sarah’s family, memories of early Sixties Aba in south-eastern Nigeria are scorched onto their hearts. A days-old burial mound exposed as an ‘exploded diagram’ of bones picked clean by beasts. Adaku the Barbary duck with a ‘melted face’, who was conscripted into friendship by six-year-old Sarah in the first of a lifetime’s unlikely alliances, forged by necessity and relocation. The narcotic puff let out from the freezer in the meat-man’s shack off the Ikot Ekpene road, where Maureen, Sarah’s lonely mother, gave up aspirations to be a ‘proper oil company wife’ to Jim, and risked buying ‘bush meat’. The dry ‘snakeskin’ bark of the old iroko tree on the bend of the town’s river, under whose shade Jim sought sanctuary from people, and whose ‘two long white catkins the tree one day bestowed onto his head like confetti.’

Back home, Jim swaps adventure and agency for woodwork and more whisky. Maureen, denying her love of Igbo crafts and cloth, considers reinventing herself as an Oxfam shop assistant. In the days before her grandmother’s funeral, Sarah finds the platitudes of her father evasive compared to the wisdom and ritual taught by servant Chidike while burying the household monkey. Sarah’s hard-won Nigerian barter goods, a silver thumb-ring and a dare taken to eat fried-fat market ‘snack’, become devalued. At Aba’s Sancta Maria, unaccustomed food was a cone of hot roast groundnuts paid for by a penny with a hole. In Britain, ‘unaccustomed’ means milk with a ‘thickened band of yellow’. Now, the currency is a dare Sarah first honours, then refuses.

As people of that time and place are scattered like those bleached bones, Aba acts as centripetal force on their imagination. Today’s city was a small town the like of which Tim Winton gnaws at from different angles in The Turning. Mandy Sutter’s approach is similarly innovative. Her themes are substitution, racism, and whether the spirit can ever survive transaction.

Mandy Sutter went to school in Nigeria and Bromley but now lives in Yorkshire with her partner and a large black dog called Fable. She has co-written two non-fiction books about the lives of Somali women. Her first novel, Stretching It, was published in 2013, her third poetry pamphlet, Old Blue Car, in 2015. She won first prize in the New Welsh Writing Awards in 2016 for this novel’s opening chapter, ‘Bush Meat’.


'The simplicity of the telling… is peppered with… metaphors which… give the language an emotive and sensory strength… A wonderfully constructed and engrossing book, at times poetic, funny and moving as each character is caught in the tension and release game which memory plays with experience.'
Sue Bonnett, Urthona journal of Buddhism and the Arts, Issue 34

'Magnificently-understated laugh-out-loud moments that creep up behind you like the monkey on the cover and tap you on the funny-bone.... Spear-sharp perception to cut you neatly to the quick. A centre of gravity - all the characters bearing more than their share. Not many books will make you think so much about the real human contrasts to be tasted in our lopsided world, and I don't think any will do it with such heartfelt laughs or such aching humanity.'Mollowen, Full Review

'A world a million miles away and yet only yesterday. Sutter captures it in aspic. Bush Meat is a sensitive, haunting collection that sets personal stories against a background of historical change. It is thoughtful and perceptive. And a real joy to read.'Suzy Ceulan Hughes, gwales.com

'It's the quality of the writing that really makes the book sing. Sutter's understatement and restraint, her wonderful handling of place, atmosphere and emotion made me trust every word... Despite tragic happenings, comedy and absurdity are never far away. Like one of the juju practitioners in her stories, she injects magic into everyday life and conjures up time and place and texture by focussing on a single object.' Kelpine Full Review

'[In] what is essentially a literary novel [there is] the page-turning quality of a good thriller.... From a very specific time and place, Sutter has fashioned a book that quietly and compellingly reminds us of our common humanity.' The Yorkshire Post
Feature & full review by the Yorkshire Post's Yvette Huddleston

'Told with great wit and insight into the human heart, and with language that betrays [the author's] previous life as a poet. A triumphant combination of concrete detail and unsettling magic.' Simeon Full Amazon Review

'Hard-drinking, easy-living father, overanxious, nervy mother and dreamy child, all are permanently affected by their African experience, by those they encountered and what they found themselves trying to become.... Plenty to think about.'Jenifer Dixon Full Amazon Review

'Packed with charm, mystery, and with its immersive quality, Bush Meat is a story from many perspectives.'May Full Amazon Review

'Skillfully evoke different eras and cultures with Nigeria as the touchstone.'DD Full Amazon Review

'Right from the [start] I was hooked.... A poignant and absorbing composite portrait of a family spanning several decades and traversing continents. The sense of place - whether Nigeria or London - is particularly evocative. But what elevates this book to a higher plane is the author's wise, sensitive and acute insight into human nature and relationships.' Mib B Full Amazon Review

'Beautifully atmospheric in the way it captures memories of place.... One of the best books that I have read this year.'M C Apper, Full Amazon Review

'Interesting and original.'Linda Full Amazon Review

'Couldn’t wait to finish it.... Sarah is a character that stays with you after you’ve read the book.'Amazon Customer, Full Amazon Review

Praise for Mandy Sutter

Sutter’s writing is] atmospheric... wonderfully unexpected... disquieting, touching and darkly humorous. Alison Moore, author of the Booker-shortlisted The Lighthouse

‘Triumphs, in its lean prose... humour... [and] evocation of a family divided by sexism and racism in 1960s Nigeria. Stitches together the threads of memory to create a moving tapestry of lost life, building bridges of understanding across time and place.’ Rory MacLean

Bush Meat from New Welsh Review on Vimeo.

Woman Who Brings the Rain: A Memoir of Hokkaido, Japan by Eluned Gramich

Cover Woman Who Brings the Rain Eluned Gramich

Winner of the New Welsh Writing Awards 2015: WWF Cymru Prize for Writing on Nature and the Environment




Woman Who Brings the Rain is available on Kindle eBook click here to order

As precise and nuanced as Japanese calligraphy, this memoir of the author’s stay on the remote Hokkaido island in the far north of Japan, has at its heart the mountain, Yotei-San, the region’s iconic equivalent to Mount Fuji. As much about learning a language (with connotations of ‘reading’ a wild landscape) as it is about nature, this dignified and nuanced work evokes what is cultured and cultivated, and yet also honours the wild; the untrans- latable. With its themes of seasonal transformation, the peripheral, folklore, loneliness and learning to belong, this work takes a personal philosophical stance in relation to the centre and the periphery.

We are offering the print edition at a special price of £7 (RRP £7.99) including post and packing until 31 August 2016. To take up this offer please email Bronwen Williams at admin@newwelshreview.com.


New Welsh Writing Awards 2015 3-minute winner filmic interpretation & performed reading

11-minute New Welsh Writing Awards 2015 shortlist showcase with author readings & animation

Wales Book of the Year 2016 Shortlist announcement, with detailed discussion of book towards the end

Wales Book of the Year 2016 Shortlist Readings



{Eluned Gramich} is a name to hear time and again in the future. {This writing} is as good as we the jurors have ever read... short but perfectly formed... absolutely perfect.'


Quite beautiful. {The author encounters a culture that is completely alien} and she does it with a poet's eye... precisely and vitally. She reads this unfamiliarity with all her imaginative nerve-endings open: the effect is quite remarkable... {reminiscent of a} netsuke {in its} precision.


Most rewarding is the philosophical approach... {Gramich's} embracing of... cultural multiplicity, fluidity and adaptability... suits perfectly the changing boundaries of our modern world.


'Enticing... a wonderful read which will nourish me for months to come'; 'Such an evocative read... very beautiful... visual story'; 'Really beautiful and thoughtful... a page-turner and highly recommended'.

Eluned Gramich

Born in Haverfordwest, Eluned Gramich studied English at Oxford and Creative Writing at UEA, before moving to live and work in Japan on a Daiwa scholarship. Her translated collection of German short stories, Goldfish Memory (Monique Schwitter), was published by Parthian in spring 2015. She is currently working on her first novel. Woman Who Brings the Rain won the New Welsh Writing Awards 2015, People, Place & Planet: WWF Cymru Prize for Writing on Nature and the Environment, in February 2015 under the title, 'Scenes from a Hokkaidan Life'.

New Welsh Rarebyte is an imprint of New Welsh Review that publishes the winners of the New Welsh Writing Awards as a Kindle ebook with White Fox.

Watch a performed reading and filmic interpretation of Woman Who Brings the Rain: A Memoir of Hokkaido, Japan

Watch interviews with the three shortlisted authors for the New Welsh Writing Awards 2015: WWF Cymru Prize for Writing on Nature & the Environment: Elaine Ewart (Heligoland: An Ecology of Exile); Philip Jones (Waves on the Hydrocarbon Seas of Titan) and Eluned Gramich (Scenes from a Hokkaidan Life)



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