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Wales Arts Review Volume 3 Issue 7



Wales Arts Review 3.7 is very proud and excited to look at, amongst other things, the art and literature of children with our first Young Persons’ Special. This issue is jam packed with reviews and interviews and articles looking at art made for and by younger people, and we even have the opportunity to publish some of our youngest ever contributors as they take their first steps into hopefully long careers in the arts.

Year 6 pupils of Glan Usk Primary School in Newport, Ben Cooksey, Ellie-May Griffiths, Elliot Counsell, Michael Allen and William Binning came together to interview novelist, poet, and former Young People’s Laureate of Wales, Catherine Fisher, to talk about her career, her upcoming movie, and Ms Fisher’s top tips for becoming a writer. Elena Gower and Nova King (both aged 9) discuss their love of Rachel Renee Russell’s The Dork Diaries, in Dork Diaries Forever!’ And 11 year-old Phoebe Anglin has a Q ‘n’ A for Horrid Henry Author Francesca Simon.

Award-winning theatre director Sarah Argent discusses the importance of live performance to children, in ‘The Audience of the Future or the Audience of Today?’ Wales Arts Review is extremely honoured and pleased to publish four new children’s poems from Brian Patten, John Lyons, former US Children’s poet laureate Kenn Nesbitt, and current US laureate J. Patrick Lewis, with an introduction to them by our poetry editor, Carl Griffin.

Costa-nominated Hayley Long, author of the Lottie Biggs series and What’s Up with Jody Barton? writes about her long and successful struggles to make things simple, in ‘Lottie Biggs is Not Easy’. Another Young Adult big-hitter, the best-selling Lucy Christopher, author of such dark novels as Stolen and The Killing Woods, discusses why she writes, why YA fiction is so exciting, and why Hollywood is now taking notice.

Brian Noyes was on hand to experience the innovative work of the Young Music Makers of Dyfed.

We have a new and exclusive children’s story from Jon Gower, ‘The Dragon Who was Scared of Fire’.

Carl Griffin takes a look at the new television incarnation of the Nick Hornby novel, About a Boy, and finds, to his surprise, a great deal to like.

New editor of young persons’ arts website theSprout, Sam Easterbrook, writes about his time with the magazine, and his journey from young reviewer to the editor’s chair with ‘Life at The Sprout’.

We also have the eighth nomination in the series of our search for the Greatest Welsh Novel, which has a decidedly younger appeal than some others on the list.

It’s not all about the Young Persons’ Special this issue, however, and you don’t get much further from art for children than a visit to The Laugharne Weekend. Senior Editor Gary Raymond returned to Dylan Thomas’ old haunts for the lit festival for the first time in five years to find it now very much comfortable with its own identity, and some extremely enlightening and exhilarating events.

Steph Power reviews John Metcalf’s new opera, six years in the making, of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood, a ‘straightforward homage to Thomas’ bucolic creation’.

Helen Sandler was at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre to see the live performance of the new score for Hitchcock’s silent classic, Blackmail, composed by Aber alumni Neil Brand. Helen also reviews a retrospective at Aberystwyth Arts Centre in ‘A Universal Archive: William Kentridge as Printmaker’. Continuing our visual arts coverage, Adam Somerset was at the West Wales Centre for Crafts in St Clears for the exhibition of photographer Mervyn Rees.

And Mab Jones reviews Papertrails promenade theatre piece, a mixture of poetry and dance and performance, Day to Go around Barry.

Banner illustration by Dean Lewis

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