REPUBLIC: REVIEWS 2023
“This experiment is part of the fabric of keeping Welsh contemporary. Datblygu pen a song ‘Bar Hwyr’ (‘Late Bar’) to taunt a hostile, drunken audience. Dadaism and anarchy: the pertinent challenge to a respectability haunting Welsh culture.”
“Dada in Pontardawe” REPUBLIC
“It’s difficult to describe just how good Republic is at times. Music, memories and words collide in what should be a tangle of recollections; it should be chaotic and confusing and yet, it works. Williams is light in writing and her tone, moving with ease between reflection and amusement in a way belies what a tightly written collection this actually is. Dive into the collection and you’ll soon find Williams unpicking these very themes herself within the actual pieces…
Williams has spoken previously of her desire to create an “anti-memoir”, writing which maintains distance between itself and the material it covers, Republic achieves that. An extraordinary collection which pitches the personal against the political, and lets neither off the hook.”
EMMA SCHOFIELD WALES ARTS REVIEW 3RD APRIL 2023
“I, like many writers, believe that restraint can cause unusual and unique imaginative compulsions and creative outpourings, and that is what’s to be found in this wonderful collection, for sure.
I adore Republic… it’s told through the eyes of a woman coming of age.. but the ‘I’ in this collection is myriad/multiple, and the book goes so far as to call itself an ‘anti-memoir’, expanding on this to further challenge pastoral cliches and chocolate box ideas of Welsh places…
This excellent collection comes with a soundtrack, which I would urge you to listen to, but make sure you get the book as well”
MAB JONES BUZZ Magazine April 30, 2023
“Williams is clearly passionate about music and its place in social history; she has a formidable knowledge of bands and lyrics. She has used this as a vehicle to take the reader on journeys through coming of age, through what home and belonging feel like, through the impact of political movements on the lives of ordinary people. Republic is an ambitious, thought- provoking, very clever and utterly contemporary take on the poetry collection. I think anyone who cares about poetry and who is interested in form, voice and the so-called accepted ‘rules’ of writing, should read this and feel emboldened.”
PAT EDWARDS LONDON GRIP 4th May
“The poems throughout are beautifully evocative, with each line carefully chosen to deliver maximum impact.
Williams never allows herself to stray into commonplace nostalgia, but her writing is so descriptive that it can occasionally transport the reader back in time..The writing is deft and authentic, creating a vivid sense of place and compelling us to share Williams’ indignations and sympathies.
I must close by apologising that this review has been so long in the writing. I made it a habit to read for only as long as it took me to drink my morning cup of coffee, and this measure of time proved most satisfactory.
Rather than rushing ever onwards through the pages (an experience which can be jarring when reading poetry or flash fiction), Republic became something to savour, to sit in the sunlight and ponder and enjoy slowly, encouraging me to look at a familiar world anew and to savour the little, seemingly inconsequential moments Williams captures so neatly that make up who we really are.”