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Wales Arts Review Volume 3 Issue 4

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Wales Arts Review 3.4 leads with a longform review from Adrian Masters of Ad and Wal: Values, Duty, Sacrifice in Apartheid South Africa by former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain. Hain tells the fascinating story of his parents’ activism in 1960s Pretoria, an activism that had an enormous influence on his own part in the downfall of apartheid, and more specifically, the trading of British banks under the fascist regime. In addition to the review, Adrian also had a long conversation with Mr Hain about the book, the process of interviewing his own parents, and the personal journey.

We are also, this issue, proud to publish the second new Welsh short story in partnership with the Rhys Davies Trust of 2014, from up and coming author Carly Holmes, ‘Ghost Story’. Carly is also in discussion with our fiction editor John Lavin, talking about her work, her ambitions, and her new novel, in ‘Magic and Loss: in conversation with Carly Holmes’.

In our search for The Greatest Welsh Novel of all time, it is our fiction editor, John Lavin, who this issue argues the case for Stevie Davies’ last novel, Awakening, a powerful historical drama, which Lavin argues is a profound psychological exploration of the things that unite people through the ages.

In our longform essays, Matthew Mathias reports back from his search for a definition of Welsh cultural identity at the International Rugby 7s tournament in Nevada, in ‘Viva Cwm Vegas’.

This Sunday night will see the glitzy Hollywood parade and crowning moment of the awards season, covered here in Gary Raymond’s annual and extensive Oscars Preview.

In the visual arts this issue, Adam Somerset casts a critical and approving eye over the exhibition of Peter Blake’s illustrative tribute to Under Milk Wood at the National Museum in Cardiff. And Sarah King looks at and interviews the people behind the new limited edition LP, Dub Cymraeg, a collaboration between Llwybr Llaethog and abstract artist Elfyn Lewis.

In books, Jim Morphy reviews the new novel from Cynan Jones, The Dig, published this month by Granta. Cath Barton looks at a new collection of short fiction from Welsh writers, Rarebit. Peter Gaskill looks at one of a slew of books to come out this year focusing on the life of one of our most celebrated poets with Vernon Watkins on Dylan Thomas and Other Poets and Poetry. Our poetry editor Carl Griffin reviews the work of a ‘genius’ in Tiffany Atkinson’s new collection of poetry So Many Moving Parts.

In music, Steph Power was at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for Sinfonia Newydd: A Percussion Explosion.

Wales Arts Review is also proud to publish a new poem from Daljit Nagra, the ground-breaking and highly stylistic social commentator, ‘Ah Brown Skin Brown Skin How I Love You Brown Skin’.

And in theatre this issue, Jon Gower was at the Sherman to see how Theatr Genedlaethol’s production of Saunders Lewis’ Blodeuwedd moved from countryside to stage. Julie Bainbridge caught Welsh playwright, Kelly Jones, at the Yard Theatre in Hackney as she performed her new show The Drowned Girl. And Elin Williams was in Swansea to see another Dylan Thomas’ focused artwork, Rhodri Miles as the great poet in Clown in the Moon.

And finally, in our series of mini-essays, Dylan Moore’s Welsh Mythologies looks at the tradition of the School Eisteddfod.

Banner illustration by Dean Lewis

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