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Christien Gholson's Blog Entries

Norman Schwenk's poetry collection A Book of Songs will be launched at Canton Library, Canton on Friday the 25th of September at 7pm.

Tristian Herbert looks at the man and the back catalogue.

Norman Schwenk was born in 1935 in Lincoln, Nebraska and grew up there. Having early discovered a love of reading and writing poems, and wishing to work as a teacher, he enrolled as a postgraduate in American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, becoming a teaching and research assistant in English. In 1960 he won a Fulbright Award from the U.S. State Dept., and for the next five years he was a Fulbright Lecturer in English at Uppsala University in Sweden. He came to Wales in 1965, having been appointed Lecturer in American Literature at Cardiff University.

The first book of short stories from the Welsh Short Story Network is launching this month. Secondary Character and Other Stories will feature work from 28 authors including Parthian authors Susmita Bhattacharya (The Normal State of Mind), Carole Burns (The Missing Woman and Other Stories), Carly Holmes (The Scrapbook), Nigel Jarrett (Funderland), Jo Mazelis (Circle Games, Diving Girls), and Susie Wild (The Art of Contraception).

Join the Network and authors in Swansea on Wednesday 9th September at Mozarts Bar and Venue for readings from the stories, live music by acoustic trio Anni Wall, and plenty of chat.

John Harrison, Tendai Huchu, and Dan Tyte will be appearing in Edinburgh at the end of August as part of the Edinburgh Book Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Grab your tickets before they sell out and pick up their books to read on the journey.

Descended from aviators and seafarers, John Harrison’s career has revolved around travel. For 15 years he has ventured to Latin America and the Antarctic Peninsula. Now he’s published a travel book, following in the footsteps of Hernán Cortés, the Spanish explorer, who engineered the fall of the Aztecs and the destruction of the greatest city then existing.

Charlotte Square Gardens
ScottishPower Foundation Studio
5A Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, EH2 4DR

Sun 23rd August, 5:30 - 6:30pm
As part of Edinburgh Book Festival

£10 (£8) / 0845 373 5888

Nick Fisk
Published October 2015
For around twenty years, Nick Fisk believed that one day he would find a letter on his doormat from Cardiff City FC requesting his services on the football pitch. When he realised it was unlikely he was ever going to even be offered the role of groundsman, he decided the next best thing would be to write about the club instead. 
A former member of the not especially notorious non-hooligan gang, The Sad Crew, Fisk has plenty of experience to draw from, in terms of going to football matches, and coming up with ridiculous chants that nobody ever joins in with. 
In The Blues are Back in Town, Nick charts the 2014/15 season, following the team and its fans, and trying to rediscover his passion for the recently relegated club, while at the same time, reflecting on the good old days. The blog he kept, The Fisk Report, gave an insight into not just what it’s like to be a typical fan, but what supporting the Bluebirds is like through the eyes of a Fisk.
He also charts the whole sorry saga of the ill-fated rebranding of the club, and looks back on his time as a fan in the 90s and early 2000s. 
This is a funny, enigmatic and personal book about the passion and belief of being a football fan.

Parthian poets are taking to the stage across Europe this autumn with appearances in Paris, Portugal, Brighton and Cardiff.

Kate Noakes' fifth collection of poetry, Tattoo on Crow Street launches this September. She lives and writes between Paris and London and will be reading at New Under The Sun festival, Saturday 26th September, Chapter Arts Centre, where the book will launch as part of the free Parthian Book Fair, 12-2pm. Kate also recently performed at one of our favourite bookshops Shakespeare & Co in Paris on the 11th of June and you can hear her reading poems from her new collection on Soundcloud.

Penarth Book Festival have added an exciting new event as part of their 2015 programme (11-19 October). For the first time they will be running the Local Writers Showcase and inviting writers to showcase their work at a free event on Saturday 17 October 10am-12pm at All Saints Church Hall, Penarth. 


Each writer will have a table/shared table to exhibit books and make sales to guests and its the perfect opportunity to talk about your work and publications.


It was wonderful to see some of the festivals we or our authors are involved with appearing in Karen Price's '7 small festivals you really should know about' feature in the Western Mail on Saturday. Congrats to Do Not Go Gentle, Caught by the River Teifi and PENfro.

The PENfro Book Festival is an annual event celebrating the quality and diversity of writing in Wales today, recognising the contribution of local publishers and booksellers, and encouraging more people to enjoy the wealth of books Wales offers. Held in the glorious setting of Rhosygilwen in Pembrokeshire, the festival aims to be friendly, informal and inviting to everyone from the casual to the most avid reader.  

Ahead of Tendai Huchu's Edinburgh Festival appearance to discuss his new novel The Maestro, The Magistrate and The Mathematician, his first novel The Hairdresser of Harare has been reviewed by the New York Times.

'...American publishing has embraced a vibrant chorus of voices from the African continent — Adichie, NoViolet Bulawayo and Chigozie Obioma among others. To which we can now add one more, Tendai Huchu, whose debut novel, “The Hairdresser of Harare,” [...] provides a fresh and moving account of contemporary Zimbabwe. [...] “The Hairdresser of Harare” ultimately wins us over with the vividness of its setting and characters, and with its reminder of the multitude of rich stories to be found in their daily lives.'

An exciting author blog update reveals that Half Plus Seven novelist Dan Tyte is off on a two-country mini tour this August...


You totally aren't going to believe what happens next...

Glen Peters

The second in the Mrs D'Silva's Detective Instincts series, coming to paperback February 2016