Craig Austin writes about the late Phil Morris, founding member and former Managing Editor of Wales Arts Review, who has died at the age of 48, and announces the Wales Arts Review anthology, Home To You, that Phil had conceived, curated and edited over the last 18 months, and will be published in 2022.
I last saw Phil only a matter of weeks ago – in a pub, on the Thames, in the area of SW London that we both independently gravitated towards. It was one of those post-work catch-ups that are often so easily postponed, conceded to the forces of fatigue and familiarity. Thankfully, I don’t have to live with that regret. Not just because of our recent loss, but also because I would have missed out on an evening of joy and warmth, and timely bonhomie. Evenings with Phil were always like this; immersing ourselves in vivid and occasionally outlandish conversations about what we’d been working on, the plans we were hatching, about the possibility of things.
This night felt a little different though. As we traded jokes and raised glasses, Phil was mainly keen to discuss the most recent publication project he’d initiated and led; one that had become something of a driving force and an undoubted labour of love for him. He spoke about his passion for the craft, his admiration for the writers, and his desire to get the work out there as soon as possible – to give it the platform that it deserves.
It’s for this reason that we’re so committed to bringing Home to You – an anthology of writing edited by P.J. Morris, marking 10 years of Wales Arts Review, to fruition next year. Its contributors originate from both inside and outside Wales, and many live far beyond its borders, but all have their reasons to call the nation home.
It will act as our lasting tribute to our dear friend, Phil, and will reflect one of his core beliefs, an ethos he so passionately believed in: the power of art to help make sense of the world.
Contributions to the Wales Arts Review anthology include exclusive new essays from writers such as Horatio Clare, Charlotte Williams, Kaite O’Reilly, Jonathan Edwards, Elan Grug Muse, David Llewellyn, Gwyneth Lewis, Rhian E Jones and others.
Craig Austin is a writer and critic and Senior Editor at Wales Arts Review
You can read Gary Raymond’s tribute to Phil Morris here.