If you haven’t already seen it, here’s my advert for Nationwide Building Society! So pleased to have been asked to write a poem for their ‘12 Voices’ campaign. Hope you all had a lovely Christmas, here’s to everyone enjoying a much-needed lie in this Boxing Day.
Thanks to Wales Arts Review and Thomas Tyrrell for a very kind first review of That Lone Ship. You can read the whole piece here (including reviews of fellow Parthian poets Mari Ellis Dunning, Rhian Elizabeth and Kate North), but here's an extract:
"That Lone Ship, by Rhys Owain Williams, is another kind of poetry collection altogether, barnacled with haiku, patched up with odd borrowings from reading, memory and the news, full of curious nooks and obsessions. It’s much more a book to be leafed through, for the serendipitous luck of finding a poem that jumps out and speaks to you."
I'll be reading some football-related poems (and some non-football-related poems) at a Euro 2016 warm-up event next Thursday (7th June) in Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff.
Presented by Parthian Books and organised by Nick Fisk – author of The Blues are Back in Town – the event will feature poetry and general football discussion from myself, Nick and Tim Brenan, and a quiz from David Collins, whose Welsh Football Quiz Book has just been published by Y Lolfa.
The event starts at 7pm, and entry is priced at £3. You can find out more by going to the Facebook event page:
I recently sent some poems into the Wales PEN Cymru New Voices Competition. Judged by Fflur Dafydd and Owen Sheers, the annual competition is open to unpublished writers aged 18–30, with the winner becoming Wales PEN Cymru's nominee for the PEN International New Voices Award.
Standards for the competition are pretty high (last year's Welsh nominee Rebecca F. John won the whole thing), so I was delighted to be named as a runner-up, alongside the incredibly talented Natalie Ann Holborow, when the results were announced last week.
Wales PEN Cymru offers Welsh writers the opportunity to join an international organisation and belong to a world community fighting for free expression. Membership is open to writers, journalists, translators, editors and students of creative writing who subscribe to the aims of the PEN charter.
Congratulations to Robin Ganderton, who was named as the competition winner and 2016 Welsh nominee. I'm hoping Robin will make it two in a row for Wales at the 82nd PEN Congress in Ourense, Galicia later this year. Pob lwc Robin!
Welsh language press release: http://golwg360.cymru/newyddion/cymru/226599-cyhoeddi-enwebiad-pen-cymru-ar-gyfer-lleisiau-newydd-pen-rhyngwladol
Although I've been including a short line about my involvement in a public art project at Morriston Hospital in my bio notes for the last year or so, I've been reluctant to disclose anything further for fear that the project might not actually happen. Not because our facilitators, Artinsite, have given any indication that the project has ever been in doubt, but just because it's a pretty big deal to see your words committed to anything other than paper, and I didn't want to jinx it.
However, over the weekend, Artinsite forwarded some images of our poetry benches being installed the atrium of one of Morriston Hospital's new buildings. They exist. Unfortunately, the building has suffered an unrelated setback and now won't open until next spring – but our benches now sit awaiting cheeks, having navigated their way through the all the potential hiccups of the pre-production and production stages.