The Lives and Extraordinary Adventures of Fifteen Tramp Writers from the Golden Age of Vagabondage

Chris Moss finds that there is something romantic and true about the fourteen men and one woman who lived first, wrote afterwards, and saw in the tramping life a mode of being that was more meaningful than home-focused domestic existence

PUBLISHED ON: 03/11/20

CATEGORY: Reviews

Jim Phelan, in collection of Ian Cutler   An extensive list of words for people of no fixed abode in the introduction to this book reminds us how …

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Well-laid Hedges and Cider

Jim Pratt failed all his exams and was gently advised by his father to get a job. He recalls his first forestry posting at Osbaston, near the council’s rubbish tip in Monmouth, in 1960

PUBLISHED ON: 03/11/20

CATEGORY: Memoir

‘Coming to Mrs Wallet’s?’ Tom Johns was lighting his bicycle lamp, shielding the rather damp match that he had taken from a small tin and struck on hi …

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Barry Island: The Making of a Seaside Playground c1790–1965

How Penarth beat Biarritz Barry. Chris Moss traces the posh eighteenth-century roots of the working-class resort

PUBLISHED ON: 03/11/20

CATEGORY: Reviews

Some British seaside resorts double as lazy jokes. Skegness, Blackpool and Clacton-on-Sea are names that trip off the tongue when there’s chatter abou …

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Lest We Forget

Wanda Zyborska writes about HM Stanley, Denbigh, memorialisation and art, asking, How can we have equality without diversity in our cultural representations?

PUBLISHED ON: 28/07/20

CATEGORY: Column, Opinion

The recent actions of Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters tearing down statues of the slave owner Edward Colston in Bristol has drawn public attention …

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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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