Thank you to everyone who came to the hometown launch of That Lone Ship at TechHub Swansea last Friday night. It was so nice to see so many people I know in the same room. Thanks also to Joe Bayliss for playing for us – ‘For You’ was on repeat in my (slightly hungover) head all Saturday morning.
Ann Bjerregaard has just posted a lovely write-up of the launch on the Parthian Books Intern Blog: "Poems acquire a certain intensity when read out loud in the place they are set, and through the poet’s powerful voice, Swansea became a charmed place." You can read the full write-up here:
Fellow Parthian poet Rhian Elizabeth has kindly offered to shine a light on my work during her takeover of the Parthian Books blog. Rhian says some really nice things about me in this interview, including praising my "talent for befriending old ladies and drinking beer." I'm afraid you'll have to read the whole thing for greater context:
Such a pleasure to read alongside five brilliant Parthian and Seren poets at the Cardiff Book Festival last night. That Lone Ship is launched! Thanks to everyone who came to support, and to everyone who bought a copy of the book.
Part of the evening was live-streamed on Parthian's Facebook page for those who couldn’t make it: facebook.com/parthianbooks/videos/237320710290528
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."
At the beginning of this year I was appointed assistant editor of The Ghastling: a literary magazine dedicated to 'the macabre, ghosts and the oh-so strange'. I've been a big fan of the magazine since The Ghastling crypt first cracked open in 2014, so it was really exciting to be asked to join the team by editor Rebecca Parfitt.
My first Ghastling submission window – for a themed edition in celebration of the bicentenary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – was a baptism of fire, with sixty stories to choose from. I often ended up sat alone in my living room, reading long into the night. The shortlist of stories that I presented to Rebecca at the end of the process were the ones that had got under my skin – the ones that made me question if that really was the radiator rattling in the hallway. Eventually our combined shortlists were whittled down to ten stories, which were then sent off to Art Director Nathaniel Winter-Hébert so he could work his magic. The issue is now available to buy, and it’s so good to see this monster in print!
We had a table at the inaugural Swansea Zine Fest last Saturday. There was a really interesting and diverse selection of publications on show at Volcano Theatre, and it was great to be involved. If you didn't manage to pick up a copy at the festival, you can head over to theghastling.com to order this issue or (even better) purchase a subscription.
My debut poetry collection That Lone Ship is now available to pre-order on the Parthian Books website. Pick up a signed copy for £8 with free P&P (if you’d prefer a rare unsigned copy then let me know).
You can read some of the poems that will be included on my Poetry page.
Had a lovely (albeit fleeting) trip to Laugharne yesterday to read at the Forecourt Fringe Festival. Squeezed in a poem about Under Milk Wood on the steps of Dylan’s BookBus too. Will definitely be back next year!
I'm really happy to have a haiku published in the first ever issue of Wales Haiku Journal. Edited by Paul Chambers, the journal is free to read online and they've just launched their inaugural edition.
Paul has outlined his exciting vision for this much-needed addition to the Welsh literary landscape in this article, published today by Wales Arts Review. That's well worth a read too.