Seren News

11 December 2012 - 10:22am
Special Offer: Three Poetry Collections by Deryn Rees-Jones - all for £12.50 (plus p&p)   Deryn Rees-Jones’s moving new poetry collection, Burying the Wren, has been nominated for this year’s T.S. Eliot Prize and was a 2012 Poetry Society Recommendation (Autumn). A poet who wins rave reviews from critics and readers for her precise, keenly sensitive use of language, and for the honesty with which she engages with some of life’s central events: birth, death, love. "contains poems that leave me speechless, at the same time so simple and so complicated that my words fail and only hers will do." - TLS If you liked this book, you may be interested in some of her previous titles, at a special price of 3 for £12.50 (+p&p) The Memory Tray - Deryn Rees-Jones’ lively debut collection explores issues of gender and identity, memory and desire. Shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection. Signs Round a Dead Body - Love, in all its permutations, suffuses this book, and sensuous details abound: from poems like ’Making Out’ and ’From His Coy Mistress’, about the fears and vacillations of love, to the disillusionment of the Nerudian ’Songs of Despair.’ Quiver (hardback) - A book-length poem, a murder-mystery in verse. Fay Thomas, a poet, becomes a murder suspect after she stumbles over the body of her husband’s former lover. With the help of her friend Erica, trailed by a bewildered policeman and haunted by a ghostly figure, she tracks the killer through the docklands of Liverpool, before the final dramatic showdown in Chinatown. To order this fantastic offer, please click here Mabinogion Signed Set of Eight Books Only £56* (+p&p) With the recent publication of the two installments of the increasingly popular Mabinogion Series, we are offering the eight novels signed by the authors and first editions for only £56* (+p&p). This critically acclaimed series, dubbed "the greatest service to the Welsh national epic since Lady Charlotte Guest" by the Guardian, includes award-winning authors with their take on the Mabinogion myths and bringing a 21st Century twist into the aged old tales. Authors include Owen Sheers, Russell Celyn-Jones, Gwyneth Lewis, Niall Griffiths, Fflur Dafydd, Horatio Clare, Lloyd Jones and Cynan Jones. *This Mabinogion set is just £56 (+p&p) if you are a member of the FREE Seren online book club - if you would like to join, click here. If you do not wish to join, this eight-signed set is available at £70 (+p&p)                

Seren News

12 November 2012 - 09:06am
New Stories from the Mabinogion We have just released another two new stories to the increasingly popular Mabinogion Series. Both award-winning writers Lloyd Jones and Cynan Jones will be launching their new titles at Waterstones in Aberystwyth on Tuesday 27th November 2012 at 7pm. New Stories from the Mabinogion gives leading Welsh authors the chance to retell these medieval stories of Celtic mythology and Arthurian Britain in entirely their own way, creating fresh, contemporary novellas while keeping the old tales at the heart of the new. To find out more about the diverse and dynamic stories from writers at the height of their powers click here  "Seren's series of new stories inspired by the Mabinogion may be the greatest service to the Welsh national epic since Lady Charlotte Guest..." - The Guardian Meet the Author Wednesday 14th November, 6.30pm: Deryn Rees-Jones and Grahame Davies are reading from their new poetry collections at Keats House, Keats Grove, Hampstead, London, Greater London NW3 2RR.  

Latest News

19 April 2012 - 10:31am
Congratulations to Patrick McGuinness, who finds his debut novel The Last Hundred Days on the shortlist for the Authors Club Best First Novel Award. The shortlist was announced on the eve of the London Book Fair 2012. The winner will be announced in May and will be judged by D J Taylor. The other shortlisted authors include Alice Albinia, Kevin Barry, Clare Morgan and Padrika Tarrant. Patrick has enjoyed some great success with his debut novel, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize 2011 and shortlisted for the 2011 Costa First Novel Award.  

Seren News

26 March 2012 - 03:59pm
For the release of the new novella, The Gospel of Us by Owen Sheers, which is now also a film starring Michael Sheen, there will be numerous events over Easter weekend at Port Talbot, Wales. The film premiere is Sunday 8th April at the Apollo Cinema. The book will be available to buy in the cinema all weekend. (See below for more information on the book). To see a list of screenings of the new film, click here Robert Minhinnick's short story collection The Keys of Babylon has been long-listed for the Edge Hill Short Story Award 2012. Robert's collection is on the long-list with 30 other authors including Edna O'Brien, Robert Shearman, Hanan Al-Shaykh and Tessa Hadley. Prize co-ordinator Dr Ailsa Cox, Reader in Creative Writing and English at Edge Hill University, said: "This is the biggest and most eclectic long-list we've ever had, with a fantastic mix of voices and styles. Clearly, writers and their publishers are recognising the significance of this prize, unique in the British book world". The shortlist will be revealed in May and the winners announced at an awards ceremony on 5th July at the Free Word Centre in London. Meet the Author Thursday 5th April, 7.30pm 2012: First Thursday reading at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff with Christopher Meredith The Book of Idiots and Duncan Bush The Flying Trapeze. Followed by an Open Mic session £2.50 Thursday 5 April, 7.30pm 2012:  The acclaimed Welsh author, poet and scriptwriter, Owen Sheers, presents his new novella The Gospel of Us, a retelling of the Passion of Christ, based on the author's groundbreaking National Theatre of Wales play. Tickets £3 (with £1.50 redeemable against The Gospel of Us and £1.50 redeemable against any other of the author’s books on the night.). A Chepstow Bookshop Event. Saturday 7th April, 1.00pm 2012: The Gospel of Us Launch. Meet author Owen Sheers at Port Talbot Library, 1st Floor, Aberafan Shopping Centre, Port Talbot. Entry free, but booking required. Call 01639 763491 or email to reserve your place.

Seren News

27 January 2012 - 12:45pm
To keep up-to-date with all new titles out in 2012, you can sign up for our free email newsletter - click here. When you purchase books via the website you can also save 20% by joining our free online book club, it takes minutes to enter your information. Like us on Facebook Seren Books and/ or follow us on Twitter @SerenBooks

Lightning Beneath the Sea

Grahame Davies, Lightening Beneath the Sea
Grahame Davies
"He is a thoughtful, meditative, serious poet and well worth reading." - Sheenagh PughLightning Beneath the Sea is the first collection of poems in English by Grahame Davies, featuring the work that he has honed over the years as he has read them at literary festivals, conferences and events world-wide.  He is already well-known for his prize-winning Welsh-language poetry and fiction, and for his scholarly non-fiction.  He brings a native warmth, an intimate, conversational tone, and a raised civic awareness to these poems.He favours rhyme and meter in a number of memorable instances like ‘Capital Bookshop’ and ‘Valley Villanelle’; he can use a longer, narrative, free verse line as in ‘Dangerous’; and there are several ‘found’ poems as in the witty ‘The Complete Index of Welsh Emotions’. He observes other nations  with the same keen, ironic eye that he casts on his own country and is as concerned with character and the vagaries of relationships as he is with wider cultural concerns.“Check here for the meeting of form with freedom, for tradition and for avant garde and for examples of the kind of splendid literary shenanigans that only real poets can succeed at in a verse which melds two cultures into an exciting whole.” – Peter Finch “Because Grahame Davies forever makes the perfect imperfect sense, the smallest things exploding into God or Language or the Sea Itself. That’s the surprise of the poem, the ease of a great writer: that you don’t notice the lightning as it emerges from the depths, but what it illuminates. No need to answer. Read the poems. Grahame Davies is a known treasure in Welsh, and now we English-speakers get to share the wealth.” – Bob Holman Listen to Grahame Davies read his poem, ‘Capital Bookshop, Cardiff’: [video:] 

Seren's 30th Birthday Party Celebrations

21 September 2011 - 10:04am
Seren would like to invite you to help celebrate 30 years of publishing. Guest of Honour Dannie Abse. We are having a street party here at Bridgend on the 1st October 2011, 11am - 4pm. There will be a slice of birthday cake and a soft drink for everyone, also a lucky dip - a free read on us! Meet the editors and a few of the Seren authors. We will be selling Seren books at discounted prices. Special offers on a range of food all day from the deli based next door to Seren. Please feel free to bring along family and friends - the more, the merrier.

Writing King Kong

Writing King Kong, Robert Seatter
Robert Seatter
@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }@font-face { font-family: "Georgia"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } Writing King Kong explores the way we write the world, and reinvent it both for our own development and delusion. From an elliptical self-help manual to a telephone party line where we become ‘an accidental spy’ on another life, from the ambivalent comfort of a drunken night singing hymns to the elusive proximity of family trees, the recipe for summer pudding as elegy for a lost friend or a mantra of engineering facts (‘six million hand-driven rivets’) about Sydney Harbour Bridge to comfort a dying father.  Along with King Kong, Anton Chekhov, Marilyn Monroe and Shakespeare’s comic lovers, the likes of Gershwin, Robinson Crusoe, Ulysses, Fred and Ginger also find their way into this eclectic, multi-voiced collection.  At the heart of the book is a sequence of poems inspired by the writer’s travels in South America, conjuring both the exactitude of place and the strange unreality of journeying. "His poems can remind us how complex a business it is to recall and rebuild a world, and how the act of doing so comes bundled with its own sense of loss" - Paul Farley, Poetry London Listen to Robert Seatter read his poem, ‘Goodbye’: [video:] 

Losing Israel

Jasmine Donahaye
Wales Book of the Year Non-Fiction Winner, English Language Category 2016In 2007, in a chance conversation with her mother, a kibbutznik, Jasmine Donahaye stumbled upon the collusion of her family in the displacement of Palestinians in 1948. She set out to learn the story of what happened, and discovered an earlier and rarely discussed piece of history during the British Mandate in Palestine. Her discoveries challenged everything she thought she knew about the country and her family, and transformed her understanding of the place, and of herself. Losing Israel is a moving and honest account which spans travel writing, nature writing and memoir. Through the author's personal situation it explores the powerful and competing attachments that people feel about their country and its history, by attempting to understand and reconcile her conflicted attachments, rooted in her family story - and in a love of Israel's birds. A life-long bird watcher, Donahaye uses birds in Israel and her home in Wales to provide an unexpected and intriguing linking trope across the various themes of the book. Losing Israel stands apart from other titles about the Israel/Palestine situation with its focus on the British Mandate period, Palestine’s history in the 1930s, and the kibbutz movement. Her writing is frank and often immediate: the locations in Israel and Wales are sensually alive, and the author's physical exertions felt by the reader. Her childhood memories of her mother’s kibbutz, and her own experiences in Israel and Wales as an adult also bring originality to her writing. Losing Israel works on many levels - family relationships, the nature of patriotism and nationalism, cultural dislocation, the story of the Jewish diaspora and Israel, how history changes from one generation to the next, the histories of the dispossessed and the oppressed. In combining history, birdwatching, and her personal story Donahaye has written an accessible and human book about an habitual controversial conflict.

Carrie Etter Shortlisted for the 2014 Ted Hughes Award for New Work In Poetry.

3 March 2015 - 11:11am
Carrie Etter Shortlisted for the 2015 Ted Hughes Award
Carrie Etter has been shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for new work in poetry for her collection Imagined Sons, in which she reflects on the experiences of a birthmother who gave her son up for adoption.Imagined Sons interweaves two kinds of poems to produce a deepening sense of a birthmother’s consciousness. In the ‘birthmother’s catechisms’, the same question—How did you let him go?, for one—evokes different answers over time, while the ‘imagined sons’ are prose poems in which the birthmother encounters her son once he’s come of age. His guises include a pilot, a criminal, even an olive. Through these two forms, Imagined Sons takes a non-confessional approach to what might otherwise be considered a confessional subject.The Poetry Society's Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry seeks to recognise excellence in new poetry. The award acknowledges poetry that goes beyond just the page, highlighting exciting and outstanding contributions made by poets to our cultural life in 2014. This year the cultural and the everyday converge to create a thrilling shortlist.Also making the shortlist are Patience Agbabi, Imtiaz Dharker, Andrew Motion and Alice Oswald. The winner of the £5000 will be announced on April 2nd 2015 at an event in Mayfair, London.Established in 2009 by Poet Laureate and Vice President of the Poetry Society, Carol Ann Duffy, the £5,000 prize is funded with the annual honorarium the Poet Laureate traditionally receives from HM The Queen. The award is one of the only prizes to acknowledge the wide range of work being produced by poets – not just in books, but beyond. Previous winners of the prize include Maggie Sawkins in 2013 for Zones of Avoidance and Kate Tempest in 2012 for Brand New Ancients.