Sunday, 31 May 2015

May 2015: Literary Links

Bookish reading and the like...

Korean Artist Beautifully Illustrates What Real Love Looks Like

On 13th May 1888, Beatrix Potter, aged 22, recorded a trip to Machynlleth in her diary; 
"May 13: Went with Mamma and Papa to Machynlleth, Merioneth. From Euston to Stafford by Holyhead Mail all very well, but the Welsh Railways are past description. Four hours to go sixty miles between Shrewsbury and Machynlleth. When mushrooms are in season the guard goes out to pick them. Machynlleth, wretched town, hardly a person could speak English. Wynnstay Arms, to which we were directed, closed these two years. Lion, only other, a singular place."
"Countryside most beautiful, but on rather a large scale for getting about."
"Welsh seem a pleasant intelligent race but I should think awkward to live with. The children exceedingly pretty, black or red, with clear complexions and bright blue eyes. The middle-aged are very plain but the old people are better. The language is past description."

The Enemies Project from Poetry Wales provided some of the best spoken word I've seen in Wales for ages and ages... I went to Cardiff AND Swansea and would have liked to see more. here's their website:

May 2015: Life Happenings Happened

Photo Highlights

Book Research

Running away with circus

Reading for Fun

Nom Nom, new vegan shop at castle emporium has these gf beauties

Emotions, post-election

Flowers and sunny celebration

£1 charity shop sale haul

May 2015: Parthian Happenings That Happened

Bye Bye May, You were a busy one. Here are the highlights...

Tyler Keevil was shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year (again) for his short story collection Burrard Inlet and won the Silver Medal in the Independent Publisher Books Awards. You can read my author of the month piece on him here:

Georgia Carys Williams was shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards 2015 for best short story collection for her debut Second-hand Rain.

Carole Burns read from The Missing Woman and Other Stories at First Thursday in Chapter, Cardiff on May 7th

We launched Richard Owain Robert's debut short story collection All The Places We Lived at Chapter in Cardiff on Thursday 14th May and lots of people came along...

Read a story from All The Places We Lived on The Quietus website.

And then, at the Southbank Centre in London, Half Plus Seven novelist Dan Tyte battled for his literary life in a war of words against Joe Dunthorne, Amber Tamblyn and Nat Luurtsema at Literary Death Match. His Rarebit story 'Onwards' has also gone on display on the wall of The Little Man Coffee Co in Cardiff. Look:

& he appears in a film by the Intellectual Property Office in which he tells how he went about protecting the copyright in his debut novel.

Susmita Bhattacharya's short story 'Summer of Learning' was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and she was longlisted in the Thresholds Essay Competition 2015.

Parthian went to Hay to host a Writers Reception with Wales Arts Review and Swansea University...

& then we all enjoyed hearing John Harrison and Francesca Rhydderch in conversation about his new book 1519. Read more about this title on Wales Arts Review

Carly Holmes has been on a mini tour of West Wales and Jersey to launch the paperback edition of her 2014 novel The Scrapbook. Here's a good review of it by Bethany Pope

Finally, Desire Line by Gee Williams launched on 1st June 2015 and is Wales Book of the Month (Welsh Books Council) and WH Smith Book of the Month for June.

Friday, 8 May 2015

The Lonely Crowd: JACK-IN-THE-BOX

I have a new short story up on The Lonely Crowd today. It is called 'Jack-in-the-box' and you can read it here. Here's the first paragraph...

You did not expect him to return to you on the bendy bus, but that is where he finds you. Something about its rubber innards – the accordion ribcage inhaling and exhaling – reminds you of his concertina demeanour. Your squeezebox: he was always stretching, always reaching for something higher. Books from the top shelf; imaginary basketball hoops. Always jumping up to tap at signs and street furniture, swinging from bars and branches as you passed, monkeying down the high street with a spring in his step. As if he wasn’t tall enough already, but he was, two heads above you; so that you’d need ballerina point work to tippy-toe up for a kiss, hand stretched skywards for balance. UpuPUP and he’d lift you; dangle you, a puppet, from his arms. He filled every space with his bouncing and fidgeting and talking but now it is your turn to uncoil.