The lineup keeps getting better!
Mab Jones is a “unique talent” (The Times), who has read her poems all over the UK, in the US, Ireland, France, and Japan. She is the author of Poor Queen (Burning Eye Books, 2014) and take your experience and peel it (Indigo Dreams, 2016), which won the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize. She has also won the John Tripp Spoken Poetry Audience Award, the Word Factory Neil Gaiman Short Story comp, and the Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, amongst others. In 2015 she was the recipient of a Creative Wales Award. Currently, she teaches a creative writing class at Cardiff University, coordinates International Dylan Thomas Day, and is a freelance contributor to the New York Times. She recently presented a poetry programme on BBC Radio 4. www.mabjones.com
Mike Jenkins Retired Comp teacher, lives in Merthyr. Conducts creative writing workshops for children and adults. Co-editor of Red Poets magazine for 22 years. Winner of Wales Book of the Year for short story collection ‘Wanting to Belong'(Seren). Latest book of poetry is ‘Nobody’s Subject’ (BBTS).
Rhian Elizabeth was born in 1988 in the Rhondda Valley. Her first novel, Six Pounds Eight Ounces (Seren, 2014), was set in that valley and shortlisted for The International Rubery Book Award. In 2016 she was a winner of The Terry Hetherington Young Writers Award. Right now she is working on a collection of poems entitled ‘the last polar bear on earth’- poems all about being sick and being in love.
Rob Cullen studied at Bristol and Cardiff art colleges and lived in New York and Brighton. Rob was an expert to the criminal and family courts. He retired in 2012. His short story The Choice was published in an anthology in 2015. Rob has written short stories published in Ystrad Stories related to the paintings of Ernie Zobole. His poems have been published in the online magazine I AM NOT A SILENT POET. A collection of poetry “Uncertain Times” was published in 2016. He is currently working with a publisher on a collection of short stories and poetry. www.celfypridd.wordpress.com
Julia Rose Lewis is working on her PhD in poetry at Cardiff University. Her poems have appeared in the Moors Poetry Collective anthologies, 3am Magazine, Poetry Wales, and Missing Slate. Zarf Poetry published her chapbook, Zeroing Event 2016). Finishing Line Press is publishing her chapbook, Exhalation Halves Lambda in 2017.
Dave Lewis is from Pontypridd, south Wales. He has written newspaper columns, sports stories for the BBC, is organizer of the international Welsh Poetry Competition and also runs Publish & Print. His poetry has been featured in magazines all over the world. He has published fourteen books to date including a crime thriller trilogy based in Wales and Africa. He also has a bike. For more details visit his website – www.david-lewis.co.uk
Cara Cullen is a bilingual writer and musician from South Wales and recently completed a bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Oxford. Cara was brought up within a family of artists and environmental activists and this has been a strong influence on her writing.
Gerhard Kress takes photographs, plays music on various instruments including the drainpipe. He writes, mostly, but not exclusively, words. He has supplied the folk and early music world with frame drums, renaissance, shaman and communal giant drums. Mabon Arts have published ‘Inanimate People’. A collection of photographs shown at Pontypridd Museum, the Pop Factory and is going to be exhibited at the Welsh Assembly in 2017.
Mark Blaney won the Somerset Maugham Prize for Two Kinds of Silence. Recently published in Agenda, Poetry Wales, The Interpreter’s House and The Lonely Crowd, his first poetry collection Loud music makes you drive faster is newly available and his third story collection Doppelgangers is also published by Parthian. Mark is a Hay Festival Writer at Work in 2017, has been shortlisted for this year’s Wales Media Awards and has been longlisted for the National Poetry Competition.
Des Mannay is the winner of the ‘rethinkyourmind’ poetry competition (2015). Placed 2nd and highly commended in the Disability Arts Cymru poetry Competition (2015). ‘Gold Award’ winner in the Creative Futures Literary Awards (2015), shortlisted for the erbacce-prize for poetry (2015, and 2016), Welsh Poetry Competition (2015), The John Tripp and Idris Davies poetry competition; part of Rhymney Valley Literature and Arts Festival 2016, and the Disability Arts Cymru poetry Competition (2016)
Des has performed at numerous venues, including the ‘Unity’ Festival, ‘Maindee’ Festival, ‘Hub’ Festival, ‘Stoke Newington Literature Festival’, KAYA Festival of World Music & Arts, and Walls:Muriau – Welsh mental health arts festival. He helped organize a refugee solidarity fundraiser – performing alongside ‘Attila the Stockbroker’ as part of the ‘Arguments Yard’ tour. He is also instrumental in setting up ‘Poets On The Picket Line – South Wales Chapter’; delivering solidarity stanzas to people on strike. https://www.facebook.com/groups/270024053347490
Matthew John Frederick of the Climbing Trees and much more!
Watch this space!
Snow blows in off the Severn
in the distance
the hills of Exmoor are white.
Bridges aren’t just about getting somewhere
in this age of having to get somewhere
or to be somebody whatever that means.
Bridges are about connections
about joining one side to another
to join divides and separations.
Bridges span different views
bridges connect generations
make things come together
make old things new
bridges make life possible
bridges span and connect
bridges aren’t about divisions
bridges join and mend
the gulfs between us
help us speak to one another
allow us to bring things in
allow us to take things out
allow us to meet and share
allow us to see things anew
to span divides, connect, renew.
Bridges are life givers
so let’s join together
and not let divides
part us from life
or keep us away
from one another.
Bridges give meaning
so let’s build bridges together.