Catullus in the Kingsway

March 16, 2019 0 Comments
Catullus in the Kingsway

Here comes Tommo the TeethMr White, the dentist’s dream.Flashes ‘em at every man jack,Everywhichway. In the courtroom he sits,An intern for the defence team.While Counsel jerks the jurors’ tears,he just grins. In the crem up at Morriston, a mum weeps for her dear boy, her one and only.But he just grins. Whenever,Wherever,Whatever he’s up to,he […]

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‘Y tu mewn’ T.H. Parry-Williams

March 9, 2019 0 Comments
‘Y tu mewn’ T.H. Parry-Williams

Yr ysgrif fyrraf gan T.H. Parry-Williams yn ei gasgliad Lloffion (1942) yw ‘Y tu mewn’.  Y fyrraf, ond nid yr ysgafnaf.  Mae iddi ddau fan cychwyn: sylw ar ddau air Cymraeg (‘perfedd’ ac ‘ymysgaroedd’), a delwedd weledol: … aeth modurwr hwnnw dros gyw bach melyn ac aros i edrych ar yr alanas a chydymdeimlo â’i […]

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Why isn’t visual art a big thing in Wales?

March 3, 2019 3 Comments
Why isn’t visual art a big thing in Wales?

How healthy are the visual arts in Wales?  Not just in the sense of how many or how good are the artists, but other, more contextual questions, such as:  How are they valued?   How are they supported?  How are artists encouraged and trained?  How are the arts used to bring new life to depressed communities?  […]

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Edward Thomas in Swansea

February 24, 2019 0 Comments
Edward Thomas in Swansea

Killed by a shell, a year short of his fortieth birthday, on 9 April 1917, at the start of the Battle of Arras, after seventeen years as a prose writer and a mere two years as one of the twentieth century’s finest poets.  The bare facts of Edward Thomas’s life conceal a complex character and […]

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August Kleinzahler’s mother

February 15, 2019 0 Comments
August Kleinzahler’s mother

One of the benefits of being able to wander round a really big bookshop – I was in London, in the huge Waterstones in Piccadilly – is that you come across books that you’d be very unlikely to stumble across in a smaller shop – let alone on the imaginary shelves of the appalling Amazon. […]

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A new Public Libraries Act for Wales

February 8, 2019 4 Comments
A new Public Libraries Act for Wales

One of the saddest features of our age is the rapid decline of the public library.  What was once a crucial and heavily used part of local public provision has become, with some exceptions, a starved, neglected and run-down service. According to the latest CIPFA statistics for the UK, spending on public libraries dropped again, […]

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The Sicilian Expedition: a second Brexit footnote

February 3, 2019 0 Comments
The Sicilian Expedition: a second Brexit footnote

After the 2016 Brexit referendum I suggested that the historian Thucydides, in the fifth century BC, can help us to understand how democracies have the capacity to change their decisions on major policies – and both the capacity and the duty to do so when those decisions are clearly, in retrospect, unwise or disastrous.  A […]

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Writing for affect

January 26, 2019 0 Comments
Writing for affect

By accident I happened on four late-night radio voices discussing ‘consent’.  Their focus was Samuel Richardson’s 1740 novel-in-letters, Pamela; or, Virtue rewarded, and Martin Crimp’s current stage production at the National Theatre, When we have sufficiently tortured each other, which is based on chunks of Richardson’s lengthy book.  Both are tough reads, in the #MeToo […]

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Lying diagonally in bed

January 18, 2019 0 Comments
Lying diagonally in bed

Book 6 of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy contains an insight that few, if any, novels – or indeed any works of non-fiction – published before or since, have achieved. In chapter 39, a message reaches the house of Tristram’s parents that Uncle Toby, his father’s brother, a veteran injured in the groin in the siege […]

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Dilyn Iolo

January 13, 2019 0 Comments
Dilyn Iolo

Bore mwyn, di-haul o Ionawr, a dyma bedwar ohonon ni’n cychwyn ar Daith Gerdded Treftadaeth Iolo Morganwg.  Taith gylchol o ryw bedair milltir a hanner yw hon, un o gyfres o deithiau cerdded wedi’u dyfeisio gan Gyngor Bro Morgannwg, gyda help Valeways, Ramblers Bro Morgannwg a’r Undeb Ewropeaidd (cofio hwnnw?). Taith berffaith ar gyfer canol […]

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