About Us

Wales Arts Review is a home for high quality critical writing and arts coverage – a place where passionate and informed arts critics, from Wales and beyond, can find expression. Our writers are neither drum-beaters nor axe-grinders but simply knowledgeable and dedicated people who care deeply about culture and society.

Founded in March 2012, Wales Arts Review is a new media platform where a new generation of critics and arts lovers can meet to engage in a robust and inclusive discussion about books, theatre, film, music, the visual arts, politics, and the media.

Wales Arts Review commissions and publishes content in the English language, yet it proudly acknowledges that Wales is a bilingual nation with a richly diverse bilingual culture. We therefore do not restrict our focus to arts and literature delivered only in the medium of English. We have published reviews and articles examining works by Welsh language artists and companies; from the work of Theatre Genedlaethol Cymru to TV hit crime-thriller Y Gwyll. We have also covered the National Eisteddfod and were proud to announce that the winner of our 2014 ‘Greatest Welsh Novel’ prize was Caradog Prichard’s Un Nos Ola Leaud. Wales Arts Review looks forward to working with partner organisations on future projects that critically evaluate and celebrate all the languages of Wales.

In our first two and a half years, we published over a million and a half words by more than two hundred writers – we remain committed to advancing the art of criticism and run an annual mentorship scheme to discover and develop new writers from across Wales.

We believe that a vibrant arts scene is the expression of a confident, healthy and creative society. We further assert that a flourishing and vigorous critical culture is vital to its sustenance and development. As such, we regard Wales Arts Review as an important building-block in the new outward-looking, forward-thinking Wales.

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Gary Raymond

Editor

Gary Raymond is a novelist, short story writer, critic, and lecturer in English and Creative Writing. As well as a regular voice in Wales Arts Review, Gary has written for The Guardian, Rolling Stone Magazine, is a theatre critic for The Arts Desk, and is a regular commentator on arts and culture for BBC Wales. He has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, and a PGCE in higher education. In 2013, Gary published JRR Tolkien: A Visual Biography of Fantasy’s Most Revered Writer with Ivy Press, and his novel, For Those Who Come After, is out in October 2015 (Parthian Books).

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Phil Morris

Managing Editor

Phil Morris is a writer, academic and critic. He trained as an actor at LAMDA and has appeared on BBC Television and worked for a number of touring and fringe theatre companies.  In 1998 he founded True and False Theatre Company, and served as its Artistic Director. His plays The Harrow and Sadhana were staged at the Finborough Theatre in London in the late nineties. In 2004 Age-Sex-Location, which he co-wrote, was produced at the Riverside Studios, also in London. He returned to higher education and attained an MA in English and a second MA in Creative Writing, the latter from Bath Spa University. He also holds a PGCE in Post-compulsory Education. Before co-founding Wales Arts Review, Phil was a Senior Lecturer in English, Creative Writing and Applied Drama at the University of Wales, Newport. He has also lectured at Ohio University and the University of Dubuque, both in the US.

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Dean Lewis

Design Editor

Dean Lewis is a freelance illustrator & designer based in Newport, South Wales. He studied Animation at University of Wales College Newport. For the past 15 years Dean has worked in Pupil Referral Units teaching ICT & graphic design to pupils who are excluded from mainstream education. He is currently designing a series of covers for Parthian Books.

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Steph Power

Music Editor

Steph Power is a writer and composer who has been based in Wales for nearly three decades. As well as writing for Wales Arts Review, she is an opera and classical music critic for The Independent and a regular contributor to the new-music journal Tempo (CUP). Further reviews, polemical essays and poetry have been published by Planet Magazine, New Left Project, Poetry Wales, The Lonely Crowd, and Ink, Sweat and Tears. Her music has been performed by PM Music Ensemble, pianist Llŷr Williams and the Bridge Duo among others. Having studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the University of York, Steph has also been a freelance performer specialising in 20th-Century and contemporary music. She has appeared at the Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room and Queen Elizabeth Hall, Aldeburgh, Spitalfields and Huddersfield Festivals, New York's Bang On a Can Festival, on BBC Radio 3 and at many other venues in the UK and abroad.

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John Lavin

Fiction Editor

John Lavin has a doctorate in Creative Writing from the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David as well as an MA in the Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing from Cardiff University. He edited the short story anthology A Fiction Map of Wales (H'mm Foundation, 2014), and his own short stories have been published by The Incubator, Spork Press, Dead Ink and Parthian Books amongst others. As well as being the Fiction Editor of Wales Arts Review he is also the Editor of The Lonely Crowd and the co-founder and former Editor of The Lampeter Review.

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Ben Glover

Web Editor

Ben Glover is a political essayist, activist and campaigner. After graduating from Cardiff Metropolitan University, Ben has worked for a number of political parties on various projects and elections, both on a local and national level. The primary focus of his academic research and political writings has been investigations into the structures of power in Wales and abroad. He has written for The Raconteur and Wales Arts Review.

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Laura Wainwright

Associate Editor

Laura Wainwright has a PhD in English Literature from Cardiff University. She has published a number of critical essays in the fields of Modernism and Welsh writing in English, including  “Always observant and slightly obscure’: Lynette Roberts as Welsh Modernist’ (Yearbook of Welsh Writing in English); “A hell of a howl”: Gwyn Thomas’s The Dark Philosophers and ‘the language of the cry’ (Mapping the Territory: Critical Approaches to Welsh Fiction in English); and “Doesn’t that make you laugh?” Modernist Comedy in Jean Rhys’s After Leaving Mr Mackenzie and Good Morning, Midnight’(Journal of International Women’s Studies). Her reviews have appeared in Wales Arts Review, Planet: The Welsh Internationalist and New Welsh Review. Laura also writes poetry and her work has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.

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Craig Austin

Associate Editor

Craig Austin is the Review’s lead writer on pop culture, his primary focus being the relationship between the arts and social and political change.

Having spent his formative years in South Wales, Craig now lives in London, his location acting as an invaluable means of promoting Welsh arts to an ever wider audience. His writing has also appeared in NME and The Guardian. He is currently writing his first novel.

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Cerith Mathias

Associate Editor

Cerith Mathias is a journalist, TV producer and writer. Her TV work includes political and current affairs programming. Before her current role as Series Editor of The Wales Report, Cerith worked in BBC Wales' Political Unit for over a decade, where she produced a variety of political programmes. Cerith's arts and travel journalism appears regularly in publications both in the UK and the USA, with her interest in American literature making her a regular on the Southern literary trail. She is currently completing her first book - on the literature of the Deep South. Cerith will be joining the editorial staff of Wales Arts Review from June 2015.