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Simon Mundy in Chile

 More for Helen of Troy author, Simon Mundy, tells us about his recent trip to Chile.

An interview with Robert Minhinnick

Januarys blog features an interview with prize winning author Robert Minhinnick

Island of Lightning collects together various kinds of writing about countries and places almost too numerous to mention, and yet there’s a coherence to the book. One of the reasons for this is a series of what appear at first to be occasional reports – ‘The Way They See It At Buba’s’, ‘The Outlook from Felin Gwcw’ and, in its way, ‘nok, nok, nokia on Heaven’s Door’ in Finland. What's the idea about these snapshots from and about a certain place and how do they fit into the greater scheme of the book?

Young Dog, Old Parrot

In Hemingway's Footsteps: Jaki McCarrick's summer in Paris

New Stories from the Mabinogion Series Finale

It’s six years since a gang of four of us sat around in the Bridgend loft office of literary publishers Seren, and came up with the idea for New Stories from the Mabinogion.

Since then we’ve travelled round the orbit of Mars, to the outskirts of India, back to World War ll, through drug-fuelled hallucinations of Iraq, through the forests and council estates of Wales and into the bizarrely mythical world of the near future with its drones and dystopia. And all this in addition to a myth cycle which already included enchantment, shape-shifting, knightly heroics, love and betrayal.

Rhys Mwyn: Reflections on an interview with Clancy Pegg for her forthcoming book

Disclaimer : as always I will try to be objective – as always I will fail. I blame Morley/Burchill/Parsons and Savage. It is impossible to write about Welsh Pop Culture and not succumb to Morley/Burchill/Parsons/Savage-isms.The Face was my Bible, these writers both informed and inspired.

What's it really like in the Seren Office?

Room of One’s Own

All I could do was offer you an opinion on one minor point – a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction: and that, as you will see, leaves the great problem of the true nature of woman and the true nature of fiction unresolved. Virginia Woolf

It was 1928; the jazz age was in full swing in the US and the Bloomsbury set were lording it over the rest of the artistes in London. In Wales many aspiring and established writers had left – for London and Bloomsbury in particular. Publishing opportunities back home were limited and the roads to Russell Square and the less reputable pubs to the west, in Fitzrovia, were paved with the dreams of writers from Arthur Machen to WH Davies, Dylan Thomas to, erm, Dorothy Edwards.

The Price of a Book

I am fortunate enough to work in both bookselling and publishing. Books and bookselling are my passion but time and time again, myself and fellow booksellers are faced with this very common scenario:

 

 

Customer: have you got ………….. in stock?

Bookseller: Yes, we do, I’ll go and get it for you.

 

Bookseller brings the book back and the customer has a good look through. After a while the customer comes to the desk and says one of several things:

 

- Do you price-match?

- Thanks, I’ve had a good look, I definitely want it but I can get it cheaper online.

- Is it on offer?

 

Our answer is No. We don’t price-match

The customer will then discard the book and nonchalantly stroll out, no doubt thinking, great, I’ve seen the book and I’m going to save myself 75 pence (or some-such price)by buying it online (despite the fact that it just cost £5 to park the car, petrol on top, for a day of browsing). We’ve all done it. At this point I want to shout after the customer:

Barry John

Barry John

who tacked like a yacht
through breakers,
tidewreck where he'd

been, whose arms, hips,
swapped fly half
-truths tacklers grasped

too late, was a spool
casually unwound
around sharp eyes

lining him up just right.
Then he'd crossed
their lines, parachuted

in, pass master
of the national art,
straightforward veering.

From North by South: New and Selected Poems by John Davies

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