A series of short posts highlighting recent cultural and bookish chatter from Wales
This is the second post of D22 in which we look at literary and other cultural goings-on (Welsh speakers may prefer sgwrsio llenyddol Cymraeg) from the land of poetry and song.
Choosing the Next National Poet of Wales
Literature Wales, the organization responsible for the development of our nation’s literature, says that since issuing a “call-out” to the public on 20th January for National Poet of Wales 2022-2025, nominations have been “flooding in.”
Described as “an exciting and high-profile role which represents the nation and celebrates writing from Wales both at home and abroad,” the successful nominee will be expected to introduce poetry to new audiences and encourage others to use their creative voice to inspire positive change. They will take over from the current incumbent, Ifor ap Glyn – the 4th National Poet – and, like him, will act as an ambassador for the people of Wales, advocating for the right to be creative while spreading the message that literature belongs to everyone.
In addition, the position will involve taking on commissions to write poems for different themes and occasions, participating in events and festivals in Wales and abroad, undertaking a leading role in literary projects and campaigns, running workshops and meeting a wide variety of people at official events.
The selection panel for this important job will be Natalie Jerome, the literary agent and Deputy Chair of Literature Wales; former Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh-language Children’s Poet Laureate) and author Casia Wiliam; Agent for Change at the Arts Council of Wales, Andrew Ogun; and Ashok Ahir, Director of Communications and President of the Court and Chair of the Board of the National Eisteddfod of Wales.
Ifor will hand over the baton this May.
New Version of The Mabinogion to be Published
The Mabinogion, a famed collection of prose stories compiled in Middle Welsh during 12th–13th centuries from earlier oral traditions, has recently been rewritten for a new generation of young readers.
Led by the former Children’s Laureate Wales Eloise Williams and Welsh author and TV presenter Matt Brown, a Crowdfunder campaign launched in August 2020 financed The Mab: Eleven Epic Stories from the Mabinogi (as it has been renamed) and it is due for publication by Unbound on 9th June.
The book will feature eleven tales written by different authors, ranging from Sophie Anderson to Hanan Issa, and will include a foreword from the Welsh actor and political activist Michael Sheen. Each story will be written in English then translated into Welsh by Bethan Gwanas and will feature illustrations from Max Low.
In addition, The Mab Trail, a new interactive literary art trail in Pontypridd depicting the tales within the book, will launch the title before it hits the shelves.
“The Welsh are not like any other people in Britain, and they know how separate they are. They are the Celts, the tough little wine-dark race who were the original possessors of the island, who never mixed with the invaders coming later from the east, but were slowly driven into the western mountains.”
– Laurie Lee, I Can’t Stay Long
Categories: Reading Wales
The Mab has been trailed for so long I thought I had missed its appearance! Look forward to seeing it in June.
Apparently, the appeal was so successful that they raised 138% of required funds! 😊
The new edition of the Mabinogion has been on my radar for ages, since the crowd fund appeal and it’s a great selection of authors involved. Thanks for the reminder of the publication date, Paula. I’ve just finished reading Welsh Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends by Claire Fayers, on the shortlist for the Tir na n-Og English Language award which has whetted my appetite further.
I really look forward to reading your thoughts on Welsh Fairy Tales – also perhaps The Mab. 😊
Oh, The Mab sounds like an excellent idea. How super! And good to see it was well-supported. I’ve finished Brittle with Relics and am struggling to write a review that will do it justice!
Great! I look forward to reading your review, Liz! 😊
One day (year) I will make it all the way through The Mab, but in the meantime, a children’s edition might be perfect!!
It looks great fun. I’m sure it would be the ideal place in which to dip your toe into the Mabinogion! 😀