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 four years, we have published over a 3 million words by more than three hundred writers – we also 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.

Gary Raymond

Editor

Gary Raymond is a novelist, critic, editor and broadcaster. He is one of the founding editors of Wales Arts Review. He is the presenter of BBC Radio Wales's The Review Show, and has appeared as a commentator on a wide range of platforms, including BBC Radio Four's Front Row, and The Guardian. As well as being a prolific non-fiction writer, he has written two novels, THE GOLDEN ORPHANS (Parthian, 2018), and FOR THOSE WHO COME AFTER (Parthian, 2015), and has edited several non-fiction books.

Ben Glover

Managing 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.

Steph Power

Senior Editor

Steph Power is a freelance writer and composer. In addition to Wales Arts Review, she is a critic for The Independent, The Stage, BBC Music Magazine, Opera Now and Tempo. Further writing and poetry has been published by Opera Magazine, Planet, Agenda, New Left Project, Poetry Wales and The Lonely Crowd. Her music has been performed across and beyond Wales. In a former life, she was a guitarist and percussionist specialising internationally in contemporary classical music.

Craig Austin

Senior 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.

Amelia Fae Baugh

Associate Editor

Amelia Fae is currently reading for her Masters in English Literature at Cardiff University with special interest in critical theory, twentieth century literature, and the works of Virginia Woolf and queer spatiality. Coming on board The Review in 2016, Amelia has managed the Writers' Rooms and Artists' Voice series' as well as playing a central role in founding the first Wales Arts Review Artist in Residence scheme of 2017.

Durre Shahwar

Associate Editor

Durre Shahwar is a writer of short stories, poetry, and a critic. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Cardiff Metropolitan University and was commended for the Robin Reeves Prize for Young Writers 2015. Her interests lie in race, identity, religion, intersectional feminism, mental health, and how this is represented in contemporary culture and writing. As well as Wales Arts Review, Durre's work has been featured in various publications and anthologies including Sister-hood Magazine, The Stockholm Review of Literature, and Halo Lit Mag.

Emma Schofield

Associate Editor

An academic, essayist and commentator, Emma Schofield has a PhD in English Literature from Cardiff University, where her thesis explored the connection between literature and devolution in Wales. She has contributed to a number of publications and is currently working on a book based on her research to date. Emma is particularly interested in the connections between politics, culture and identity in contemporary Wales. In her spare time Emma also runs the Writing Wales blog and has contributed to BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking programme through their New Generation Thinkers scheme.

Phil Morris

Associate Editor

Phil Morris is a writer, academic, critic, and from 2013-15 was Wales Arts Review's Managing Editor. 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.

Jafar Iqbal

Associate Editor

Originally from London, Jafar moved to Wales in 2015 to pursue a career in the arts. Since then, he has written for national arts publications such as Wales Arts Review, The Stage and WhatsOnStage, as well as many regional and online publications. He has donned many hats in the arts, including playwright, performer, script editor and marketer. Jafar loves theatre but is particularly passionate about fringe theatre, and is a champion for grassroots theatre and emerging artists.

Nia Edwards-Behi

Associate Editor

Nia Edwards-Behi is a cinema technician, film scholar and co-director of Abertoir, Wales’ International Horror Festival. Nia regularly writes film reviews and features for Aberystwyth-based magazine Ego and the genre-bending website Warped Perspective, as well as appearing as a contributor on Radio Wales, Radio Cymru and S4C from time to time. While specialising in horror, cult and extreme cinema, Nia is also particularly interested in social media, intersectional identity politics, and bilingualism.

The Wales Arts Review Board

Board Members

Kate Perridge (Chair)
Liz Hyder
Dr Karin Koehler
Dr Kate North
Dr Tomos Owen
Catrin Rogers
Dr Carrie Smith
Rhiannon Wyn-Hughes MBE