Issue 114,

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New Welsh Reader 114, Summer 2017


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

See the contents of Issue:


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