The recent actions of Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters tearing down statues of the slave owner Edward Colston in Bristol has drawn public attention to memorials as never before. People question why we ought to remember so many horrible white men (97.5% of human statues in the UK are of men). For academic Claudia-Florentina Dobre, […]
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Early Twentieth-century Welsh Plays in English, Vol 1: ‘A Dirty Broth’

Chris Moss assesses how this anthology of classic plays (including Taffy by Caradoc Evans) identifies the factors that deprived Wales of a recognisable tradition of playwriting and how these three plays share themes of religion, community, identity and family

PUBLISHED ON: 28/07/20

CATEGORY: Reviews

The first volume of a two-book series devoted to Welsh writing for the theatre,  A Dirty Broth, contains the complete texts of just three plays. You m …

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Saints and Lodgers: Poems of WH Davies

Chris Moss identifies something of Newport in the original Supertramp who belonged to no poetry school

PUBLISHED ON: 28/07/20

CATEGORY: Reviews

I am the Poet Davies, William, I sin without a blush or blink: I am a man that lives to eat; I am a man that lives to drink   Thus, with the easy …

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The Secret Glory

Issy Rixon on an early twentieth-century Gothic coming-of-age novel about nonconformity, nature, art and keeping your beliefs secret

PUBLISHED ON: 22/07/20

CATEGORY: Reviews

Arthur Machen’s The Secret Glory is a dark Gothic fantasy that has everything from breaking school rules to searching for the Holy Grail. Originally w …

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Insomnia

Lee Tisdale admires a novella, published complete with its own censorship history, satirising Soviet rule in Latvia

PUBLISHED ON: 30/06/20

CATEGORY: Reviews

Alberts Bels’ accessible and compelling novella Insomnia depicts Soviet-era Latvia through the eyes of Mr Eduards Dārziņš. This man allows a fleeing w …

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The Shaking City

Oliver Heath enjoys a poetry collection which addresses the pitfalls of memorialisation, memory and history

PUBLISHED ON: 30/06/20

CATEGORY: Reviews

Many of us find ourselves reflecting on the past with a certain fondness as we head towards uncertain times. There is an absolute quality to history, …

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Footnotes to Water

Desi Tsvetkova is fascinated by a poetry collection that explores threatened tongues through giving voice to culverted rivers in Bangor and Paris, and touches on themes of lost heritage, herd mentality and cultural pollution

PUBLISHED ON: 30/06/20

CATEGORY: Reviews

Zoë Skoulding is a poet and translator whose newest collection with Seren deals with bodies of water and how they connect to people’s lives. Footnotes …

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Wing

PUBLISHED ON: 30/06/20

CATEGORY: Reviews

Nature takes centre stage in Matthew Francis’ poetry collection, Wing. Published by Faber, it was The Guardian’s Poetry Book of The Month for February …

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The Price of the Picturesque

The package tour was invented in Wales. In the week the ‘travel ban’ is likely to be lifted, Chris Moss calls for a reinvention of Welsh tourism after coronavirus

PUBLISHED ON: 30/06/20

CATEGORY: Opinion

The Emptying of Covid-19. It sounds like the title of a Thomas Pynchon novel. But for three long months, the skies cleared, the beaches were clean and …

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RS Thomas: Letter to a Young Poet

John Cap on what advice RS Thomas gave him in 1994    

PUBLISHED ON: 29/06/20

CATEGORY: Letters

In his poem, ‘To a Young Poet’, RS Thomas wrote: ‘For the first twenty years you are still growing, / bodily that is; as a poet, of course,/ you are n …

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