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Carwyn: A Personal Memoir by Alun Richards is new in the Library of Wales series. It has been described by The Times "As one of the most readable books on rugby" written by the Pontypridd born writer and dramatist Alun Richards. This new and revised edition is launched at London's Brand Exchange on Friday, March 6th by the writer and publisher Lewis Davies, author of Work, Sex and Rugby and twice winner of Bryncoch RFC second team Player of the Year award. The launch begins at 6pm - 9pm and will be followed by an art exhibition.

Welsh Week is a week of Welsh art, food, music and culture to celebrate St David’s Day, organised by Brand Exchange and The Gallery Yr Oriel Newport Pembs. Entry to the gallery and events is free to invited guests. To reserve your place, please email enquiries@brandexchange specifying which event(s) you would like to attend or call 0207 389 9410.

‘[Nigel Jarrett has the] ability to trawl the impassive depths and hew from them something to hold', so says Phoebe Walker in her review of Miners at the Quarry Pool in Lunar Poetry #5.
Walker feels a connection with the poems and describes the collection, dedicated to the author's coalmining grandfathers, as a personally reflective collection of ‘quietly visceral poems, pregnant with the peril and pain of the excavation – of all types – that Jarrett’s dedication implies.' She admits that, although the collection houses a number of somewhat difficult poems that 'evaded [her] at first reading', they are enjoyable and 'still saturate [the] mind’.

After releasing number 39 in the Library of Wales series last October - Rhys Davies' second novel in his acclaimed Rhondda trilogy, A Time to Laugh - we're barely stopping to pause for breath after the Christmas break in our quest to bring you more classic Anglo-Welsh fiction! Indeed, we have another four releases forthcoming in the next three months:


Alun Richards
Carwyn James treated rugby football as if it was an art form and aesthetics part of the coaching manual. This son of a miner, from Cefneithin in the Gwendraeth Valley, was a cultivated literary scholar, an accomplished linguist, a teacher, and a would-be patriot politician, who also won two caps for Wales. He was the first man to coach any British Lions side to overseas victory, and still the only one to beat the All Blacks in a series in New Zealand. That was in 1971, and it was followed in 1972 by the triumph of his beloved Llanelli against the touring All Blacks at Stradey Park. These were the high-water marks of a life of complexity and contradiction. His subsequent and successful career as broadcaster and journalist and then a return to the game as a coach in Italy never quite settled his restless nature.
After his sudden death, alone in an Amsterdam hotel, his close friend, the Pontypridd-born writer, Alun Richards set out through what he called “A Personal Memoir” to reflect on the enigma that had been Carwyn. The result, a masterpiece of sports writing, is a reflection on the connected yet divergent cultural forces which had shaped both the rugby coach and the author; a dazzling sidestep of an essay in both social and personal interpretation.
“One of the most readable books on rugby...
Several reviews for our books have appeared in various journals across the winter. Here is what some have written about our new releases. 
The reviewer for Little Man by Richard James Jones in the PBS Bulletin writes of a ‘compelling debut collection', one in which 'Richard James Jones revels in that contrast of the poetic and profane....The mystery builds the more we look, the music of this collection chiming in the very chafe of comic and cosmic.’ 
Little Man is now available, here.
Whilst in New Welsh Review (NWR), Prof. Tony Brown took a look at Story, volumes I and II, both edited by Dai Smith.

'Her vocabulary is unpredictable, surprising, uncompromising… She uses words as a physical, sensual act: her words don't sooth, they don't serve, they destabilise, they devastate, they keep secrets, they hook you with images passing by your face like intercity trains.’ New Welsh Review


January's Author of the Month, Stevie Davies, has won numerous awards for her fiction and has been longlisted for the Booker and Orange Prizes, but her writing also encompasses an impressive range of genres, from history to literary biography and poetry criticism. Several of her books have been adapted into radio and screenplays. Stevie lives in her hometown of Swansea, where she is Professor of Creative Writing at Swansea University. She is a perfectionist (she wrote Kith and Kin eight times before she was happy with it) and a passionate sea-swimmer, cyclist and walker on the Gower.

'I have always wanted to write. As soon as I could hold a pen, I was writing stories. I still have one I wrote when I was six. It is a story about Germans shooting each other. I'd illustrated it too, but it's appalling!


'Writing has been my life, even when I was in boarding school my energy went into writing letters home. It was my release.'

Stevie’s latest novel Awakening is hot off the press for January and is Wales Book of the Month. 


He was looking a little thin after the Christmas break (the only one might I add), but as we creaked back in to things in the Editorial and Marketing office yesterday, who should settle on the sill to keep a beady eye on proceedings but Eric.

He’s been choosing to nest by our translated fiction since we moved in to the Swansea office and we thought it was high time to honour him with his own place on the blog as we retire the much abused and less morale-boosting Parthian Plants.

Kept an eye on author Dan Tyte’s social media recently? He’s been creating personalised reading videos for well-known celebrity readers and you can have a cheeky watch of them too if you’d like to find out about weekends that slowly encroach in to the week, and be introduced to Sister Gina the mid-priced mystic.

Shaun Keavney, DJ at BBC radio 6, was touched by his, and you can watch it too here.

There's one for Richard Ayoade, director of Submarine, Dan’s Scandinavian brother in arms here.

And one for famous PR-type Alastair Campbell.

Half Plus Seven is a 'coming of age novel snorting with energy' (Daily Mail) and 'a lethal cocktail of Bukowski and Mad Men' (NME). The first edition sold out before it was even officially published. This is a tale of sex, drugs and sausage rolls, as a jaded PR man seeks meaning and love in his life and addresses past, present and future along with a misfit cast of mystics, tramps, bar flies and copywriters. A story of redemption for those who still haven’t managed to settle down by the age their parents had a third kid. The ones who’ve aged not grown...

Now you’re on a watching spree, why not check out the book's official trailer too.

Stevie Davies

'George Eliot would be impressed...’ Historical Novel Society


Wiltshire 1860. One year after Darwin’s explosive publication of The Origin of Species, sisters Anna and Beatrice Pentecost awaken to a world shattered by science, radicalism and the stirrings of feminist rebellion.

But society is not the only thing wracked by tumult and torment: Anna’s anomalous love for Lore Ritter and her friendship with the freethinking and ambitious Miriam Sala carry her into areas of uncharted desire, while Beatrice is forced to choose between her beloved Will Anwyl and the evangelist Christian Ritter.

Each is riven by inner contradictions, but who will survive when the sisters fall into a fatal conflict with one another?



‘One of our most consistent and undervalued writers whose unsentimental, quietly revelatory novels have [continually] cropped up on the Booker and Orange shortlists’
The Guardian

                                                         For Michaela
                        A hare slips
        into scrub juniper. Sparse snow. Wind
                        whorls the ear. Music
        of the long night.
             Time of year when the self loses

                  What looks out of your eyes
      on these nights walking home from work?

 Rio Grande Gorge, Near Taos, New Mexico


               When I touch the side of your face, I touch
                                 the ceremony sometimes:

            A horsefly dives.
            Raven’s shadow crosses slick rock.
            Bleached juniper roots surround a flat stone.

      We wrote poems, read them out loud, passed
                                      the wind-coiled salted curves
    of strata’d sandstone, limestone, grey-green-maroon
         oxidation of iron, and ocean-side fossil-crush
                        of leaf and fern,