Hello Summer! After storytelling my way through a heat wave of a Glastonbury Festival I’m now spending some time by the sea in Cornwall reading, writing and celebrating relative’s birthdays — we are a family of many cancerians — from my own, to my Film-Star-Glamourous Nan’s 80th. Wales must be missing me, but fear not readers, I am still in the loop of literary happenings there. Let me fill you in on the news…
And the winner is…
Philip Gross won Wales Book of the Year 2010 for I Spy Pinhole Eye(Cinnamon Press), a collaborative work between poet (Gross) and photographer (Simon Denison)! Certainly a good year for the man on the prizes front. The poet was presented with the £10,000 prize by Minister for Heritage Alun Ffred Jones at a glitzy ceremony at the St David’s Hotel in Cardiff Bay on Wednesday 30 June. The runners up on the English-language Short List were Terri Wiltshire for her novel Carry Me Home (Macmillan) and Nikolai Tolstoy’s The Compilation of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi (The Edwin Mellen Press), each taking cheques for £1000 home with them.
The Media Wales People’s Choice Prize, which was voted for by the public via an online poll, was awarded to another poet! Richard Marggraf Turley took the prize for his collection Wan Hu’s Flying Chair (Salt). The Welsh Language Reader’s Prize went to Manon Steffan Ros for her novel Fel Aderyn (Y Lolfa).
Still talking prizes, Carys Davieshas won the Olive Cook Short Story Award for her story ‘The Quiet’. Carys was announced as the £1000 winner at the Society of Authors’ 2010 Awards in London on Tuesday 15 June 2010. Carys’s first collection Some New Ambush (Salt, 2007) was on the 2008 Wales Book of the Year Long List, nominated for the 2008 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize, was a Finalist for the 2008 Calvino Prize and was shortlisted for the 2009 Roland Mathias Prize. Just a bit good then?
Writers’ Day at the Dylan Thomas Centre
The auditorium was packed for the free writer’s conference in Swansea on 17 June 2010. Organised in partnership between the Dragon Initative and the creative writing programmes at Swansea University and Trinity College, Carmarthen the day offered insight into the publishing industry. Sessions geave advice on many aspects of getting your book published from the relationship between writer and editor (Fflur Dafydd and Gwen Davies of Alcemi), the role of the small publisher (Dominic Williams, Parthian Books), the life of a poet (Paul Henry, Seren) and how to become or get a literary agent (Euan Thorneycroft , A M Heath) as well as plenty of time for questions both during the sessions, and, more informally over lunch. Well done to a very pregnant Fflur Dafydd for curating the event, it was a wonderful success.
Ledbury Poetry Festival
‘A rare genuine joining of place, poetry and people’ — Carol Ann Duffy
Philip Gross, winner of Wales Book of the Year 2010 and the TS Elliot Prize will be headlining this year’s Ledbury poetry extravaganza. They say:
“We present a huge range of events from readings, to talks, walks, open mics and performances combining poetry with music, dance and good food. There will be many opportunities for discussion, laughter, creativity, as well as revelry and dancing!”
The Guardian wrote, “This celebration of verse is the largest of its kind in the UK and also the most energised, giving a real sense of poetry as an important living, contemporary literary form.” I’d second that. Pack a bag and go and wax lyrical.
The international storytelling festival returns to the fairytale coastal setting of St Donats this weekend. Three packed days of tales from the best traditional storytellers from around the world.
This year’s themes include 1001 Nights, African Scatterlings and Tales to Sustain. A wide range of authors, storytellers and musicians will be taking part include Chirine El Ansary, Jan Blake, Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara, Sianed Davies, Xanthe Gresham, Ben Haggarty, Michael Harvey, Robert Irwin, Armenia’s Kotchnak Ensemble, Hugh Lupton, Daniel Morden, Georgia’s Mteibi Choir, and Chris Wood. The festival also hosts market stalls, international cuisine and morning story walks.
For more information, including how to book tickets, visit the festival website or call St Donats Arts Centre Box Office: 01446 799100
A Kind of Loving
To celebrate 50 years since the publication of Stan Barstow’s cult classic A Kind of Loving Parthian Books are bringing out a new edition of the novel. The lad-lit forefather is a book about love, lust and loneliness has been adapted for the screen, stage and radio. A new adaptation by Diana Griffiths will be broadcast on Woman’s Hourin 15-minute episodes. Episodes 1-5 will be broadcast from 12-16 July at 10.45am. Episodes 6-10 will be broadcast from 19-23 July at the same time.
My holiday reading list:
Salt Blue – Gillian Morgan (Honno)
Paper Spurs – Olga Merino (Parthian)
The Deer Wedding – Penny Simpson (Alcemi)
***Bumper review blog coming soon!***
Right enough typing, time for a stroll along a three-mile beach me thinks.