Blackbox Manifold 25 – Experiments from Wales 2021

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Issue 25 Blackbox Manifold dedicated to Welsh Innovative Poetry  curated by John Goodby Goodby writes: “This is a selection of recent work by eighteen poets who were born and / or brought up in Wales, or who are from elsewhere but work and write in Wales, or who have other meaningful ties to the country. Most of it was written in the last twelve months or so and therefore dates from the fraught countdown to Brexit, and a good deal of it was written during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, directly or indirectly, it often reflects a strange and changeful period. Some of the poetry has been published before, but… Read More →

New Anthology of Surrealist Poems

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New Anthology of Surrealist Poems Imagined Invited  (Hafan Books, 2020) edited by Peter Greenslade and original artwork by Mark Sanders Sometime last year  the kind David Greenslade sent our an invitation to some poets Surreal Poetry Game “This  Game has rules  (repeat . . . r.u.l.e.s.    draconian/brutal) You are invited to write a poem meditating on the parlour game of Imaginary Dinner Guests (this is the game where we ask, “Who would you invite if you could invite anyone from time and space?”)  The Rules  Please compose a poem mentioning: between three to five guests  (no more than five) at least one of the guests must have a connection with Wales at least… Read More →

Evacuation Route

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  This article- prose document has been published in Welsh in O’r Pedwar Gwynt  https://pedwargwynt.cymru  (Diolch mawr i Sioned Rowlands)   In the Californian sky you notice a web of lines between  the telegraph poles. A cat cradle of connections. The loops of electricity create heavy black threads in air. Your eye catches the odd yellow plastic ribbon tied around a pole’s waist. It is 1991 and these are markers of the first Iraq war. Berkeley has not always been so hospitable to its returning veterans. The following spring there will be a curfew in this city. Rodney King’s  savage beating by the LAPD, and the acquittal of the police… Read More →

Isabelle Galleymore’s Significant Other THE POLLARD PRIZE 2020

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      REVIEW  FOR POLLARD FIRST VOLUME PRIZE 2020 – JUDGING PANEL Pollard Prize Announcement 21st April, 2020 Isabelle Galleymore’s stunning first volume Significant Other, describes encounters between the natural world and human consciousness. The volume’s spare, if not condensed lyrics, represent minute acts of perception. Galleymore’s tightly-wrought poems document our world during a time of ecological crisis; these poems represent the Anthropocene. Using the lyric form as a recording of precise detail and as an anatomy of emotion, Galleymore creates a compendium of our creature world while narrating stories of human love lost. The intertwining of personal narratives with a documenting of natural world, complicates the relationship between… Read More →

Cerdd ar gyfer for Cymru’n Cofio – Estyn yn Ddistaw- Wales Remembers

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Y Gwyliwr   Picsileiddir mil o fylchau lle cwyd wynebau dan y don   Dringa haul dros fryniau at groesbren ddu   sy’n sgleinio dy lygaid nôl mewn iddi,   gan anadlu trefi, pentrefi, dinasoedd; galar a lynir â sment ar wal.   Pethau plufiog wedi’u gosod mewn corneli yn syllu nôl arnom. ​_____ Mae dy gerddi’n adrodd am dy gariad at y lonydd hyn:   briallu, mieri, cen, mwsog, bedw’n prifio.   Wrth gerdded i’r ysgol, carchar i grwt â phennau gliniau du   fe gnoaist ar bensil nes i’r dannedd gwrdd â’r canol.   Yna daeth rhywbeth i fritho’i uchelgais:   cyfryngu’r natur mewnol drwy emyn a sgrifennwyd  … Read More →

Commissioned Poem for Cymru’n Cofio – Estyn yn Ddistaw- Wales Remembers

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Watchkeeper for Gwilym Williams   Pixels break a thousand spaces where floating faces rise.   Sun clambers over hills to a black cross.   That shines your eyes back into it,   breathing in villages, towns, cities mourning cemented onto walls.   Plumed objects placed in corners looking back at us.   _____ Your poems tell me how you loved these lanes:   Primroses, brambles, lichen, moss, birches thickening.   Walking to school, a prison to a small boy with dirty knees   you chewed a pencil until teeth touched lead.   Then something flecked its ambition:   An inscape mediated the inscribed hymn   of fire, hearth, light. Patterns… Read More →

Brexit’s Hard Hit Neighbours

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Originally published in Welsh in O’r Pedwar Gwynt (Dec 2018)   Arriving at my final destination, I am slightly disoriented. I am travelling from Dublin to a work meeting in Northern Ireland. I have changed my train at Belfast and have caught another train to Coleraine. This is the furthest north I have travelled since living in the Irish Republic. Initially, I am greeted by friendly signs advertising the Bushmills whiskey distillery. There is also a North Coast Guided Tour for Game of Thrones departing from Coleraine’s Railway Place. During this short visit, I am reminded, by the loud conversations of a film unit during my motel breakfast, how important the success… Read More →

UTERUS/ Walking in Her Shoes: The Eighth Amendment Repealed

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First Published in Welsh in O’r Pedwar Gwynt 30th May 2018 https://pedwargwynt.cymru/dadansoddi/gol/diddymur-wythfed-diwygiad With thanks to editor Sioned Puw Reynolds  and Angharad Penrhyn-Jones     We are walking behind a giant uterus. The uterus is made out of pink fluffy material. There are two feet visible underneath. Two wooden poles prop the most magnificent fallopian tubes and ovaries I have ever seen. As we speed up, one ovary keeps on bouncing off my daughter’s head. ‘What is that?’ she asks pointing above  ‘Those are called fallopian tubes’  I  answer, giving her a very elementary lesson in biology. People around us smile, they can hear the biological terminology in the midst of our… Read More →