Diolch to editor Samuel Reid for asking me to contribute a poem to Field’s issue on the theme of ‘Control’. Many of my poems are personal, but this one has perhaps left me feeling the most exposed as it’s the first time I’ve written something around the OCD diagnosis I received last year.
‘Here’s What Happens When You Enter a Black Hole’ is a poem about a 25-year obsession with death, looking at some of the associated anxieties/compulsions. Last year’s OCD diagnosis was a very welcome explanation, and I’ve since received CBT which has honestly been life changing.
Now looking forward to seeing how the other eight writers have responded to this wide-ranging theme. You can pick up a copy of the issue on Field’s website: https://fieldzine.com
Loved returning to Hay Festival yesterday (after too long away) to see some of my poems included in the Hereford College of Arts AR Sculpture Experience. To experience the poems, you scanned a QR code next to the real-world sculpture and were taken to an Instagram filter where you could read them in augmented reality. Such an innovative way for people to experience poetry!
I’ve got two poems about climate change in Magma’s ‘Poems for Schools’ issue. Really love the idea behind this issue – to put contemporary poets in the hands of secondary school teachers and pupils. You can pick up a copy and read some poems here: https://magmapoetry.com/archive/magma-85
Delighted to be asked to contribute a poem to this stunning new charity anthology. Voices / Lleisiau is a collection of responses to contemporary Welsh artworks by seventeen Welsh writers, including Gillian Clarke, Eric Ngalle Charles and Zoë Brigley.
My poem – 'The Centre of the Earth Can Be Projected to the Closest Point on the Surface' – is about being told that my hometown was the centre of the world, and not yet finding a reason to disagree. It's written in response to Haf Weighton's artwork 'Growing on Green Lanes', and is accompanied by a Welsh translation from Manon Rhys. You can listen to me reading it here: https://youtube.com/watch?v=rqEIQ6P3Qi4
Copies of Voices / Lleisiau can be ordered from Nichola Hope via her website www.nicholahope.com. All proceeds from the sale of the anthology will be donated to Velindre Cancer Centre.
My short story 'The Chimes of Graig Trewyddfa' is published today on New Gothic Review. A ghost story set in my hometown Morriston, it's accompanied by this incredible illustration by Joseph Gough. Diolch to all at New Gothic Review for publishing it! You can read it for free at the link below:
Tan-y-Lan Terrace is the street my Gran actually lived on, and the idea for the story came from me walking her dog late at night and hearing an unseen ice-cream van. Everything else is mostly fiction, but I can't promise you won't see a robed figure if you ever visit Graig Trewyddfa...
My poem ‘Tetris Syndrome’ has been translated into Latvian in the latest issue of Strāva, alongside other poems from Broken Sleep Books’ ‘Hit Points’ anthology. Thanks so much to Aaron Kent and the Strāva editors for arranging this – diolch/liels paldies from Rīss Ovens Viljamss!
You can read the original poem in English in the Mario Red or Luigi Green edition of ‘Hit Points’. Both are available on the Broken Sleep website or from anywhere you buy books.
I spent National Poetry Day yesterday in the company of Emily Vanderploeg, Rae Howells, Natalie Ann Holborow and (in spirit) Mari Ellis Dunning at Waterstones, Swansea. A great event showcasing their recent collections and also delving into the behind-the-scenes writing processes. All the collections are available now from Parthian Books.
Poem from each poet + links to buy their books.
Absolutely delighted to have a new poem and an accompanying interview published by Poetry Wales today. 'Mother and Child' is inspired by two of Josef Herman's paintings at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea – a place my mother took me to regularly when I was growing up.
Earlier this week I visited the gallery and one of the paintings mentioned in the poem – 'Miners' (1951) – is actually on temporary display at the moment as part of Glynn Viv's 'Art and Industry: Stories from Wales' exhibition. As I say in the poem, it still steals a breath.
'Miners' (1951) by Josef Herman, on display at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea
Diolch yn fawr to Zoë Brigley and Poetry Wales for publishing the poem and asking me a few questions about my writing process for their #HowIWriteAPoem series. You can read the poem and the interview on their website:
The A470 is a 186-mile road that stretches across Wales from shore to shore, and I’ve got a poem in this new bilingual anthology celebrating it from Arachne Press. Diolch to editors Ness Owen and Siân Northey for choosing it, and also to Siân for translating it into Welsh!
The poem, ‘A Mountain We Climb’, is inspired by the regular journeys my mother and I made to visit my auntie in Llandudno when I was very young, often accompanied by my grandparents. You can read a little more about the inspiration behind it here: www.arachnepress.com/books/poetry/a470/melin-y-coed
A470: Poems for the Road / Cerddi'r Ffordd is the Books Council of Wales ‘Book of the Month’ for February so look out for it on displays in bookshops across Wales, or alternatively order a copy directly from Arachne’s website: www.arachnepress.com/books/poetry/a470