Death trap Anzio

Watching the D-Day commemorations reminded me that in January 1944 there was another landing – Anzio. And there are no commemorations:

“When Lucian Truscott’s 3rd Division was first selected for the operation, he pointed out to Clark that the position was a death trap and there would be no survivors. Agreeing, Clark canceled the operation, but Prime Minister Churchill revived it.”

The Irish Guards Battalion in which my father served was almost wiped out at Anzio – he was lucky to survive. He then was a prison of war – Boyd Clack – to return to hear soldiers of the Italian Campaign called “D-Day dodgers”.

Ironic too listening to historians talk about Churchill’s anxiety about D-Day because of the disaster of his making at Galipoli – when he was also responsible for the more recent disaster at Anzio and placing men in a “deathtrap” – helped by the incompetence of the American Generals in command.

But no commemoration for the Battle of Anzio – albeit deleted out of history!

Advance Notice – Sunday 12th May ’19 Voices on the Bridge @Globetrotters Bar, Pontypridd, South Wales Valleys Edition – Boyd Clack&Kirsten Jones and Many Friends! Limited Tickets Available.

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Boyd Clack’s acting credits include Twin TownHigh Hopes,  and Satellite City, the latter two of which he also co-wrote. He has also released the first part of his autobiography. Kisses Sweeter than Wine, and two music albums, Welsh Bitter and Labourer of Love.

The actor, singer and writer has spoken openly about his struggle with depression, which saw him have a breakdown at the age of 19 before being given treatment, in the first part of his hugely successful autobiography Kisses Sweeter Than Wine.”

A lot of artists suffer from depression and mental health things, and one of the few things that comes from it is a slant on art, an interesting slant on art. It’s probably the only positive thing that comes from mental illness. And not for everyone, but for some people it does.

“Depression is a weird thing you know? It’s something that is difficult to express to someone who hasn’t experienced it. One of the problems with depression is the actual word depression. It’s a word in common use when someone says ‘Ah I’m depressed today, my girlfriend’s left me, I’ve got exams coming up’. Actually clinical depression is a different thing, it’s as different as different can be. It’s the difference between a match going off and a hand grenade going off.”

Much more could be said but we’ll leave that in Boyd’s hands.

Kirsten Jones is a writer and actress, known for High Hopes (2002), Sorrow (2017) and Masterpiece (2010)

Pipers on the Bridge will be playing Uilliean Pipes and Fiddle.

Siôn Tomos Owen is a bilingual writer, cartoonist and presenter from Treorchy in the Rhondda Valleys. He’s currently working on two poetry collections, two children’s books & a Welsh graphic novel. Soon he will have a day off.

Rhoda Thomas is a regular performer on Swansea’s vibrant poetry circuit and at public and street events including Swansea Troublemakers, Merthyr Rising festival and the Llanelli 1911 Railway Strike commemoration. She is also a founding member of Live Poets Society. Her poems are in publications by Poets on the Hill and Red Poets, and she’s launching her third individual collection ‘then comes the birdsong’ this spring. Her work has been described as ‘profound, searing and honest’; ‘an iron fist in a soft velvet glove

Nicholas McGaughey is an actor living in Pontypridd. He is part of the Literature Wales Mentoring Scheme 2019. His poetry has appeared recently in Ink Sweat and Tears/Poetry Scotland/Lampeter Review/ London Grip and An Outbreak of Peace Anthology. He has work forthcoming in Prole / Edify Fiction and the anthologies  Story Cities/Noon and As You Were.

Ben Smith born 1972, Birmingham. Released two albums of original songs. Literature Wales Bursary recipient, Hay Festival Writer at Work, once sang for Slade. Winner 2005 Raw Edge Monologue Competition.

Mike McNamara was born in Northern Ireland but lives in S. Wales. He has had a collection of poetry ‘Overhearing The Incoherent’ published by Grevatt and Grevatt in 1997. His poetry has been published in Envoi, Orbis, Tears in the Fence, New Welsh Review, Acumen, International Times etc. Mike also had a selection of poems published in The Pterodactyl’s Wing (Parthian, 2003).

Suzanne Iuppa is an award-winning poet and conservationist living near Cadair Idris, in Snowdonia. She is of Italian, Welsh and Irish rootstock and was raised in an immigrant community in America before moving to the UK in the 1980s. She’s published two poetry series set in Wales; and several short stories under an amalgam of her grandmothers’ names, Luned DeSimon. She likes sharing her garden with pine martens and a goshawk.

Rob Cullen grew up on a council estate in the Rhondda. He went to Art School at Bristol, Cardiff and Brighton. He lived in New York.  Rob returned to South Wales working professionally with damaged and damaging people in the criminal justice system and latterly as an independent UK expert. He returned to creative work in 2013. Rob’s first collection of poetry “Uncertain Times” was published in 2016. His poetry has been published in I AM NOT A SILENT POET, The Bezine, The Learned Pig and Red Poets issue 34 & 35. He has a short story published in the anthology “Love – A Fall into Grace”.

Rob organises VoicesontheBridge – Hoorah!

There is no wheelchair access available at this venue.

Globetrotters is a cash only venue.


Ghost road


Lightest yellow whitening moorland grass stretching

waved wind shifting flows into the uplands plateau

distant ravens specked black in white grey clouded skies

wheel unhinged glide soar above the flat worn track

(excerpt The Ghost Road)


Stress related break from writing broken! And the relief when the words come through and the story begins to tell itself again a delight.





Write on!

“Write on!”

Its tough being a new author trying to get published!St Mary of Penrhys Decemebr 2014 007.JPG

“I enjoyed the idea of the opening chapter and the way it sets up the book, or series. it’s also quite filmic and I can see you are pitching this as a TV film idea as well as a novel (and its great to get such a clear business plan!)

Unfortunately…..” Part of long positive feedback from Publisher. But my novel is still unpublished.