Issue 114,

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New Welsh Reader 114, Summer 2017


Editorial:


Roman Wall Blues (Gwen Davies)

In this edition, the past is glimpsed through secretions of silt and mud. In ancient times at Ephesus, silt buries the temple of Artemis; in 1922, a harbour clogs with corpses in the Smyrna Massacre, and in 2012, sixty-one refugees are drowned off Ahmetbeyli. Karen Phillips reports on the melancholy past of modern-day Izmir, Turkey.

Cynan Jones' story, 'Object', is also set where 'the vegetation petered out as the marsh gave way to silt'. Here, a treasure of the present time, akin to 'some wafer, to be put upon the tongue... a thing of worship' is unearthed well into our future where it confounds then is deemed 'worthless'.

Marshland, at Llanrhidian, is also the setting for misplaced anthems and a mothertongue, in ‘Songs of the Soil’ by Jessica Mookherjee. The poem finds the banks of the holy Ganges to be a place of creation, as there 'a leathery man dressed in white rags // took the ground in his hands, made a bird- / shaped flute with the winds tongue.'

The river Thames on the other hand, is a force of destruction in J Twm's 'Dirty Old River': 'now i spend my / days and nights getting young men / drunk and taking them back south of the / river, he laughs trying to touch my neck... the secrets of london / are lapping the steps... drifting with the grime and / filth.’

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New Welsh Reader 114 contents:

Essay: My Artemis, My Ephesus by Karen Phillips

Essay: One Foot in the Water by Kieron Smith

Essay: The Poet, The GP, The Publican and a Pig Named Wallis by Adrian Osbourne

Essay: Memoir of Dylan Thomas by David Hughes

Interview: The Cycling Biographer by Ben Skelton

Misc: Letter to Phil Richards, landlord of the Cross House Inn, Laugharne, by Dylan Thomas

Creative: Some Kind of Immortality by Tony Curtis

Creative: Almost by Anita Mir

Creative: Object by Cynan Jones

Poetry: 'Songs of the Soil' by Jessica Mookherjee

Poetry: 'Said and Unsaid' by Charlie Bird

Poetry: 'Roman Wall Blues II' by Jeremy Wikeley

Poetry: 'The Blue Hour' by Bethan Lewis

Poetry: 'Squall Weather' and 'Tharn' by Heidi Williamson

Poetry: 'The Wolf's Den I' and 'The Wolf's Den II' by Christine Hamm

Poetry: 'Dirty Old River' by J Twm


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