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Back to school with our Library of Wales Poetry offer!

A favoured text of poetry courses UK-wide, the Library of Wales anthology Poetry 1900-2000 is being reduced to help all those picking up their books nice and early for the forthcoming academic term save those pennies!
 
If you buy three copies or more of the anthology from the Parthian webstore, you'll get 99p off the price of each copy you buy! Just enter 3ORMOREPOETRY in the 'Voucher code' box at checkout to receive the discounted price.
 
Poetry 1900-2000
 
Editor: Meic Stephens 
ISBN: 9781902638881
 
'Poetry 1900-2000 is ... a cultural act, and a landmark in the English language writing of Wales. It is by far the most comprehensive collection of Welsh poetry in English in the Twentieth-century which we have had – or are likely to have.' - Tony Brown, Cambria
 
A collection of poems by some of the most legendary names in poetry from Wales - David Jones, Idris Davies, Vernon Watkins, RS Thomas, Dylan Thomas and Alun Lewis. Featured also are works by contemporary poets such as Dannie Abse, Tony Conran, Gillian Clarke, Tony Curtis, Robert Minhinnick and Gwyneth Lewis.
 

Young Emma | Wales Arts Review

'Davies’ voice is attractive because it is so unusual, so untarnished by sophistication, and this may perhaps account for many aspects of Davies’ ‘otherness’ – something Bernard Shaw was attracted to. You could argue Shaw appreciated a social experiment related to his Pygmalion (1913) in Young Emma – the parallels are obvious, only in this facsimile Henry Higgins is an ex-tramp.'

Gary Raymond reviews the latest title in the Library of Wales series from Parthian Books, Young Emma by W.H. Davies, for Wales Arts Review

 

Buy Young Emma from Parthian Books

Sponsors announced for Swansea University Impact Awards 2015

We are pleased to announce that Parthian Books and the Library of Wales will sponsor the Award for Outstanding Impact in Culture and the Arts for the 2015 Swansea University Impact Awards.

 

The Impact Awards celebrate the ways in which the University’s research makes a difference to society, the benefits it brings, and the influence it has on individuals, communities, industry, and policy development.

 

The Awards recognise outstanding impact across six categories, which are open to University staff, researchers at all career stages, as well as research groups, partnerships and projects.

 

The Impact Awards form part of a programme of activities supported by the University’s Impact Acceleration Account, sponsored by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

 

Chris Marshall, who project manages the Impact Acceleration Account, said: “The University is very grateful to the organisations that have chosen to sponsor the event and made it possible to recognise publicly the achievements of our researchers.

 

“The University was founded by industry in 1920, with a remit to deliver research for industry. The results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 showed that Swansea ranked 22nd in the UK for research impact, so it is clearly still in our DNA to deliver research that impacts on the wider world.”

 

The Swansea University Impact Awards will take place on the 18th June, at the Marriott Hotel, Swansea.

Dannie Abse memorial: '1953 Winged Back'

Dannie Abse 1923–2014: A tribute featuring music by Jobina Tinnemans

22 September 1923–28 September 2014

 

Today marks the date of Dannie's Abse's memorial in London, and to celebrate this occasion, as well as the work of the man himself, we are delighted to present a musical interpretation of/accompaniment to Dannie's poem 'Winged Back', chosen to represent the year 1953 in Carol Ann Duffy’s bestselling anthology Jubilee Lines. The song can be listened to by clicking here.
 
1953
 
Dannie Abse
 
Winged Back
 
Strange the potency of a cheap dance tune.
– Noel Coward
 
One such winged me back to a different post-code,
to an England that like a translation
almost was, to my muscular days
that were marvellous being ordinary.
365 days, marvellous;
 
to an England where sweet-rationing ended,
where nature tamely resumed its capture
behind park railings. Few thorns. Fewer thistles;
to Vivat Regina and the linseed willow-sound
of Compton and Edrich winning the Ashes.
 
Elsewhere, Troy always burning. Newspaper stuff.
The recurring decimal of calamity.
Famine. Murder. Pollinating fires.
When they stubbed one out another one flared.
Statesmen lit their cigars from the embers.
 
Jobina Tinnemans is a Pembrokeshire-based contemporary composer, who composes in crossing genres of new classical and electronic music. In 2013 she received a MATA NYC commission, a festival co-founded by Philip Glass. She represented the UK at the World Music Days in Wroclaw, Poland, last year and is a New Voices composer for the British Council. Currently Jobina is working on a Sound And Music commission for the Apartment House ensemble in London. You can hear more of her music at www.jobinatinnemans.com.
 
Dannie Abse was born in Cardiff in 1923 and grew up in the city. After studying at the Welsh National School of Medicine, he moved in 1943 to London where he continued his medical studies at King’s College and Westminster Hospital; his military service was done in the RAF. Qualifying as a doctor in 1950, he worked as a specialist in a chest clinic on the fringes of Soho; he lived in Golders Green, but kept in touch with Wales through his support for Cardiff Football Club and his presidency of the Welsh Academy, the national association of writers, and for many years he had a home at Ogmore-by-sea; he also edited the anthology Twentieth Century Anglo-Welsh Poetry (1997). He published some sixteen books of verse; they include After Every Green Thing (1948), Walking under Water (1952), Tenants of the House (1957), A Small Desperation (1968), Funland (1973),Way Out in the Centre (1981), Ask the Bloody Horse (1986), On the Evening Road(1994), Arcadia: One Mile (1998) and Running Late (2007); many of his poems on Welsh themes are to be found in Welsh Retrospective (1997). He also wrote a number of prose works, mainly autobiographical, which include Ash on a Young Man’s Sleeve (1954) and A Poet in the Family (1974). His Collected Poems 1948-88, entitled White Coat Purple Coat, appeared in 1989 and his New and Collected Poems, nearly three hundred in all, in 2003; a small selection was published in the Corgi series as Touch Wood in 2002. At the heart of his work lay a fascination with the foibles of human nature and he reserved his warmest admiration for those who have refused to conform and have suffered as a consequence. As a Jew, albeit secular, he was particularly sensitive to political pressures; a stronger awareness of his Jewish identity came to the fore in his mature work and some of his later poems dealt specifically with the Holocaust. In all his verse there is, in about equal measure, a deep melancholy and a sheer delight in everyday experiences, some of which is based on his experiences as a doctor. His poems have a haunting power, in which there is a place for nostalgia, humour, irony, optimism and a delicious sense of the incongruous and mysterious.

Winners of the M. Wynn Thomas Prize 2015 Announced

Dr Heather Williams (Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth) and Jamie Harris (Aberystwyth University) have been announced as this year’s winners of the prestigious M. Wynn Thomas Prize for outstanding academic work in the field of Welsh Writing in English. Once again, submissions were of a very high quality, and the judging panel (Dr Matthew Jarvis, Aberystwyth University/University of Wales Trinity St David, Dr Aidan Byrne, Wolverhampton University and Dr Alyce von Rothkirch, Swansea University) were hard-pushed to arrive at a decision. The panel felt that the winners’ work showed exceptional scholarship as well as the willingness to explore new territory.
 
Winners receive £150 each and a full set of the Library of Wales titles published by Parthian Books. The prize will be awarded at the annual conference of the Association of Welsh Writing in English, ‘The Country and the City: Rural and Urban Wales’, to be held at Gregynog Hall, Powys, 27-29 March 2015.
 

Book launch for Carwyn as part of Welsh Week at the Brand Exchange

Carwyn: A Personal Memoir by Alun Richards is new in the Library of Wales series. It has been described by The Times "As one of the most readable books on rugby" written by the Pontypridd born writer and dramatist Alun Richards. This new and revised edition is launched at London's Brand Exchange on Friday, March 6th by the writer and publisher Lewis Davies, author of Work, Sex and Rugby and twice winner of Bryncoch RFC second team Player of the Year award. The launch begins at 6pm - 9pm and will be followed by an art exhibition.

Welsh Week is a week of Welsh art, food, music and culture to celebrate St David’s Day, organised by Brand Exchange and The Gallery Yr Oriel Newport Pembs. Entry to the gallery and events is free to invited guests. To reserve your place, please email enquiries@brandexchange specifying which event(s) you would like to attend or call 0207 389 9410.

Carwyn James treated rugby football as if it was an art form and aesthetics part of the coaching manual. This son of a miner, from Cefneithin in the Gwendraeth Valley, was a cultivated literary scholar, an accomplished linguist, a teacher, and a would-be patriot politician, who also won two caps for Wales. He was the first man to coach any British Lions side to overseas victory, and still the only one to beat the All Blacks in a series in New Zealand. That was in 1971, and it was followed in 1972 by the triumph of his beloved Llanelli against the touring All Blacks at Stradey Park. These were the high-water marks of a life of complexity and contradiction. His subsequent and successful career as broadcaster and journalist and then a return to the game as a coach in Italy never quite settled his restless nature.

After his sudden death, alone in an Amsterdam hotel, his close friend, the Pontypridd-born writer, Alun Richards set out through what he called “A Personal Memoir” to reflect on the enigma that had been Carwyn. The result, a masterpiece of sports writing, is a reflection on the connected yet divergent cultural forces which had shaped both the rugby coach and the author; a dazzling sidestep of an essay in both social and personal interpretation.

“One of the most readable books on rugby... a stylish contribution to the game’s history.” The Times

“The best evocation there is of this charismatic if restless man.” Gerald Davies

“The Welsh persona is at the heart of Alun Richards’s book, so much so that the reader could be forgiven for imagining that Dylan Thomas played fly half for Swansea and that Harry Secombe hooked for Pontypool, and perhaps still does... untold pleasure and excitement.” Chris Laidlaw, The Sunday Times

“A craftsman, a wordsmith who can compel you to re-read and savour a sentence, a paragraph or a number of pages...” The Observer

“Stayed up half the night and cracked the dawn. Loved it.” Cliff Morgan

“A beautifully written insight into the very heart and soul of Welsh Rugby and a handsome addition to the literature of the game.” Bill McLaren

The Library in Wales in 2015...

After releasing number 39 in the Library of Wales series last October - Rhys Davies' second novel in his acclaimed Rhondda trilogy, A Time to Laugh - we're barely stopping to pause for breath after the Christmas break in our quest to bring you more classic Anglo-Welsh fiction! Indeed, we have another four releases forthcoming in the next three months:

 

1) New, separate editions of Cwmardy and We Live, Lewis Jones' epic industrial novels of the 1930s, which will comprise numbers 4 and 41 in the series respectively. These are being finalised and will be released shortly, replacing the current dual edition.

 

Cwmardy

Lewis Jones

The first of Lewis Jones' two epic industrial novels of the 1930s.
 
Big Jim, collier and ex-Boer War soldier, and his partner Siân endure the impact of strikes, riots and war, while their son Len emerges as a sharp thinker and dynamic political organiser.
 
Cwmardy paints a graphic portrait of the casual exploitation, tragedy and violence as well as the political hope and humanity of South Wales industrial workers from the 1900s to the 1930s.
 
 
We Live
Lewis Jones
 
The second of Lewis Jones' two epic industrial novels of the 1930s.
 
Len, son of Big Jim and dynamic political organiser, takes centre stage in Lewis Jones' sequel to Cwmardy. Along his journey, he is influenced by Mary, a teacher, and the Communist Party, which becomes central to his work both underground and in union politics, and to his decision to leave and fight in the Spanish Civil War.
 
We Live paints a graphic portrait of the casual exploitation, tragedy and violence as well as the political hope and humanity of South Wales industrial workers from the 1900s to the 1930s.

 

2) Autobiography of a Super-tramp author W. H. Davies' moving and revealing memoir of real life at the turn of the century, Young Emma. This will comprise number 40 in the series, and will be released in early March.

 

Young Emma

W. H. Davies

 
Aged fifty, acclaimed by the literary intelligentsia and exalted by London society since the publication of The Autobiography of the Super-Tramp in 1908, W. H. Davies finally decided to marry. Casting aside the praise and trinkets which populated his old life, he took to the streets of London to find a bride towards the end of World War One.
 
From his affair with Bella, the wife of a Sergeant Major, to his year-long liaison with the gentle Louise, to the turbulent brushes with a drunkard who fears her own murder at his hands, Davies lurches from happiness and affection to annoyance and apathy. That is, until he meets Emma.
 
A moving and revealing memoir of real life at the turn of the century, Young Emma is W. H. Davies’ frank and honest account of the relationship with the woman he encountered on a London street corner who was to become his wife.
 
Featuring a foreword by C. V. Wedgewood and an appendix by George Bernard Shaw.
 
“An extraordinary memoir destined to become a classic” Publishers Weekly
 
“Young Emma is a masterpiece, and stranger than any fiction” Sunday Telegraph
 
“Classic... remarkable... an extraordinary manuscript” The Observer

 

3) Carwyn: A Personal Memoir, Alun Richards' personal reflection on the connected yet divergent cultural forces which had shaped both himself and the legendary Welsh rugby coach Carwyn James, will also follow in early March as number 42 in the series.

 

Carwyn: A Personal Memoir
Alun Richards

Carwyn James treated rugby football as if it was an art form and aesthetics part of the coaching manual. This son of a miner, from Cefneithin in the Gwendraeth Valley, was a cultivated literary scholar, an accomplished linguist, a teacher, and a would-be patriot politician, who also won two caps for Wales at outside-half. He was the first man to coach any British Lions side to overseas victory, and still the only one to beat the All Blacks in a series in New Zealand. That was in 1971, and it was followed in 1972 by the triumph of his beloved Llanelli against the touring All Blacks at Stradey Park. These were the high-water marks of a life of complexity and contradiction. His subsequent and successful career as broadcaster and journalist and then a return to the game as a coach in Italy never quite settled his restless nature.
 
After his sudden death, alone in an Amsterdam hotel, his close friend, the Pontypridd-born writer, Alun Richards set out through what he called “A Personal Memoir” to reflect on the enigma that had been Carwyn. The result, a masterpiece of sports writing, is a reflection on the connected yet divergent cultural forces which had shaped both the rugby coach and the author; a dazzling sidestep of an essay in both social and personal interpretation.
 
“One of the most readable books on rugby... a stylish contribution to the game’s history.” The Times
 
“The best evocation there is of this charismatic if restless man.” Gerald Davies
 
“The Welsh persona is at the heart of Alun Richards’s book, so much so that the reader could be forgiven for imagining that Dylan Thomas played fly half for Swansea and that Harry Secombe hooked for Pontypool, and perhaps still does... untold pleasure and excitement.” Chris Laidlaw, The Sunday Times
 
“A craftsman, a wordsmith who can compel you to re-read and savour a sentence, a paragraph or a number of pages...” The Observer
 
“Stayed up half the night and cracked the dawn. Loved it.” Cliff Morgan
 
“A beautifully written insight into the very heart and soul of Welsh Rugby and a handsome addition to the literature of the game.” Bill McLaren

 

 

 

Win the entire Library of Wales series in the 2015 M. Wynn Thomas Prize!

About the prize
The M. Wynn Thomas Prize is offered to celebrate outstanding scholarly work in the field of Welsh writing in English. There are two prize categories: the ‘Open’ category and the ‘New Scholars’ category. Essays submitted may be unpublished or published, in English or in Welsh. Published essays should be from 2013/14. Topics may include all aspects of Welsh writing in English as well as the inter-relationship of Welsh writing in English with cognate areas (Welsh Studies, history, cultural studies, film/media studies, translation studies, performance/theatre studies, digital humanities, comparative literature etc.). The judging panel for the 2015 Prize will be Dr Matthew Francis (Aberystwyth University/University of Wales Trinity Saint David), Dr Aidan Byrne (University of Wolverhampton) and Dr Alyce von Rothkirch ( Swansea University).
 
The prize is awarded for a piece of substantial scholarship that is engagingly written. We encourage submissions that are ground-breaking in terms of subject-matter and/or methodology/disciplinarity. Essays that grapple with new ideas in an intelligent and conceptualised way are preferred. It is awarded at the annual conference of the Association of Welsh writing in English, which takes place around Easter every year in Gregynog Hall (near Newtown).
 
Prize categories:
‘Open’ Category
Essays in this category will be approximately 6,000-8,000 words long, of the highest scholarly quality and either already published in, or of a standard appropriate to an international, peer-reviewed journal. Authors may be academics or scholars, who are not affiliated with an HE institution. 
Prize: £150 and a full set of the Library of Wales series of books published by Parthian.
 
‘New Scholars’ Category
Essays in this category will be approximately 4,000-7,000 words long and of highly developed scholarly quality appropriate to the author’s level of (postgraduate) study. Authors may be postgraduate students or students who have recently graduated.
Prize: £150 and a full set of the Library of Wales series of books published by Parthian.
 
Deadline:
Essays must be submitted by email or by post by 25 December 2014.
 
Contact Alyce von Rothkirch for more information and to submit your essays:
 
Dr Alyce von Rothkirch
DACE, Swansea University
Singleton Park
Swansea SA2 8PP

Dannie Abse 1923–2014

Dannie Abse

22 September 1923–28 September 2014

 

Dannie Abse was born in Cardiff in 1923 and grew up in the city. After studying at the Welsh National School of Medicine, he moved in 1943 to London where he continued
his medical studies at King’s College and Westminster Hospital; his military service was done in the RAF. Qualifying as a doctor in 1950, he worked as a specialist in a chest clinic on the fringes of Soho; he lived in Golders Green, but kept in touch with Wales through his support for Cardiff Football Club and his presidency of the Welsh Academy, the national association of writers, and for many years he had a home at Ogmore-by-sea; he also edited the anthology Twentieth Century Anglo-Welsh Poetry (1997). He published some sixteen books of verse; they include After Every Green Thing (1948), Walking under Water (1952), Tenants of the House (1957), A Small Desperation (1968), Funland (1973), Way Out in the Centre (1981), Ask the Bloody Horse (1986), On the Evening Road (1994), Arcadia: One Mile (1998) and Running Late (2007); many of his poems on Welsh themes are to be found in Welsh Retrospective (1997). He also wrote a number of prose works, mainly autobiographical, which include Ash on a Young Man’s Sleeve (1954) and A Poet in the Family (1974). His Collected Poems 1948-88, entitled White Coat Purple Coat, appeared in 1989 and his New and Collected Poems, nearly three hundred in all, in 2003; a small selection was published in the Corgi series as Touch Wood in 2002. At the heart of his work lay a fascination with the foibles of human nature and he reserved his warmest admiration for those who have refused to conform and have suffered as a consequence. As a Jew, albeit secular, he was particularly sensitive to political pressures; a stronger awareness of his Jewish identity came to the fore in his mature work and some of his later poems dealt specifically with the Holocaust. In all his verse there is, in about equal measure, a deep melancholy and a sheer delight in everyday experiences, some of which is based on his experiences as a doctor. His poems have a haunting power, in which there is a place for nostalgia, humour, irony, optimism and a delicious sense of the incongruous and mysterious. He died yesterday on September 28th 2014 at the age of 91.
 
Our thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time.

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