Christien Gholson's Blog Entries
This week, the Independent warmly welcomed Angela V. John's 'excellent biography' of 'improbable revolutionary' Margaret Haig Thomas.
The review makes an heroic attempt to cover 650 pages-worth of Margaret's life and achievements, nods to her position as the foremost woman of business in the British Empire, launch of weekly magazine Time and Tide and her campaign to take her seat in the House of Lords, and hints at her often troubled relationships behind the scenes.
Read the review in full here.
The latest of Angela's series of talks about Lady Rhondda will be a talk and launch event at Swansea University, 5.15pm, 9th Dec. Entry is free and all are welcome. See our events page for futher details.
After many days in the office, it is always a good idea to go outside and have a walk in the fresh air. During the weekend, after attending two lovely poetry events, team Parthian set off for the mushroom picking adventure as an original teambuilding activity.
We were given an A4 paper with the pictures of both poisonous and edible mushrooms, two baskets and optimistic idea of eating mushrooms as a breakfast. Most of us apparently never picked mushrooms before and it didn’t help that some people told us these fabulous stories about various kinds of mushrooms causing death. To tell you the truth, I thought, that this all might be just some weird kind of natural selection or a rough way of firing the employees, in case we pick the wrong ones.
But after all, the mushrooming was awesome. Crossing the small river using the tree was fun and team-bonding, walking in the woods refreshing and toasts with mushrooms for breakfast were delicious.
And apart from the work experience I gained in Parthian using InDesign and Illustrator, I will probably add to my CV “mushroom picking” as my skill. You never know, it might be useful someday.
In this informal guide to Wales, Griff Rhys Jones rediscovers “the land of his aunties”. Born in Cardiff but raised in Essex, Griff is returning home on a mission to explore the real Wales: the one beyond the tourist trail that exists in the deep beautiful countryside, full of hidden treasures and eccentric characters that makes this country so unique.
With help from a hidden hand, Griff is set a number of quests in eight distinct regions that not only test his knowledge of his homeland but his body too, as he climbs, abseils, rides and canoes his way through some truly breathtaking scenery.
Join Griff on his journey through Snowdonia, Anglesey, the Gower, mid Wales, Brecon, Pembrokeshire, north Wales and Monmouthshire. Packed with all manners of weird, wonderful and enlightening facts, you’ll learn as much about Wales as you do Griff. Is Griff insufficiently welsh?
Last week, team Parthian was delighted to attend two wonderful poetry events. Firstly the launch of poetry collection Miners at the Quarry Pool by Nigel Jarrett was held on Thursday in Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff. The next day Sue Moules introduced her book of poems The Moth Box at The Cellar Bards poetry evening in Cardigan.
On both events, the open mic slots filled in seconds. Apart from nice performances by Nigel and Sue, the guests were able to listen to many other established and aspiring poets.
Miners at the Quarry Pool is a collection of above and below – and nearly every space in between. From the dizzying heights of photographs taken from an aeroplane to the miners just delivered from their daily work, the collection is an unapologetic, yet satisfying examination of the spaces we inhabit and our existence within those spaces.
In the latest issue of The Bay, Sarla Langdon defends the short story, praising Craig Hawes for mastering the difficult art form.
A lot of nonsense is talked by critics about short stories.The truly distinguished short story is an extremely difficult art form and in this anthology Hawes has shown his mastery of the genre, revealing impressive insights and vivid characterisation.
Craig's debut collection, The Witch Doctor of Umm Suqeim, hit shelves in October. The collection, a vision of contemporary Dubai from the perspective of a variety of expats from different parts of the world, tells tales of hardships and the high-life, paranoia and alienation, cruelty and love. The locations switch from parties at mansions to high-rise apartment blocks, taxi interiors to gyms, featuring an array of characters that span the city’s wide social spectrum.
It is Craig's personal tie to the affluent city and his intimate knowledge of it, being a Dubai-based journalist, that Sarla praises.
Emma Schofield has praised the once 'wild child of contemporary Welsh writing', Rachel Trezise, for her mature second short story collection, in Planet's Winter Edition, Issue 212.
The raw sense of frustration which resounded through her early works continues to course through the lives of many of the characters in this collection, but the stories here demonstrate striking maturity and scope. Cosmic Latte is not a full stop, but a colon which expands readers' horizons and promises to mark the start of the next phase in Trezise's writing career.
Schofield praises Trezise for branching out and not only soley writing about the Rhondda, 'her home turf', but for 'exploring an array of other countries and cultures'.
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated all over the world and every year, you can see green ribbons and shamrocks everywhere. But have you ever thought about where he comes from? Although he is widely known as the "Apostle of Ireland“, recent scientific research suggests that he was born in Wales, in a small village called Banwen.
Every March, people in Banwen celebrate the St. Patrick Day, but that is not enough to raise the awareness of this place. Two weeks ago, another step to popularize Banwen was made: the new sign introducing the village as the birthplace of St. Patrick was put up.
George Brinley Evans, Parthian author and Banwen resident says: “Our hope is that we can take a leaf out of the town of Fatima in Portugal's book. In 1917 three little girls playing in a field ran home and told their mother they had seen a vision of the Virgin Mary. That little town is now a city with an average of four million visitors a year. If we can only attract a fraction of that number it would find employment for many of our young people.”
In order to get to the “River Room” in British Parliament, we had to go through an “airport style” security check. After going through several sets of corridors and stairs, we found ourselves in the River room, which really deserves its name – through the windows you can see the river Thames in all its glory.
Well! We're part way through the UK's National Short Story Week and you've not heard a peep from us about it... How remiss! And we've so many exciting short story collections coming up too...
So, faster than you can say catalyst, I'd like to treat you to a sample from Alix Nathan's historical fiction collection His Last Fire, due for April 2014. Copies of which arrived in the Swansea office this week! Hilary Mantel (yes!) has referred to Alix's writing as 'the best kind of historical fiction [and] she is an original, with a virtuoso touch'.
These strange and gem-like stories take you to the revolutionary closing years of 18th century England, where, among other stories, Jack Cockshutt, arsonist by trade, is returning to rescue his victims and profit from their relief, finding the woman who just might save him; a beauty castigates her customers with passages from Paine's Rights of Man; and a labourer is contracted to spend seven years locked up beneath a dilettante's country house. This sample is taken from the collection's title story: