Last night’s event at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea was a wonderful fusion of music, poetry and prose readings. Before going, I’d been intrigued by how the evening might work. Reading the promotional blurb, it sounded interesting, although with only one term of Welsh classes to my name, I was worried about the amount of Welsh language readings there would be. I needn’t have worried on that score, as there were only a couple of songs in Welsh (and I have no problem listening to Welsh being sung) and all the readings were in English. Not that I have a problem with things being in Welsh, I hasten to add. It’s just that it frustrates me greatly that I haven’t taken the time and effort to learn it and events like this remind me of my shortcomings – or have the potential to do so, at any rate. Read more
It took me a long while before deciding to cave in and read this book because I was convinced that it would turn out to be over-hyped and a disappointment.
This has been on the increasingly towering to-be-read pile ever since Barack Obama’s inauguration in January this year but finally got bumped up the list with his recent Nobel Peace Prize win.
Along with Simon Armitage, Don Paterson has to be one of my favourite living poets. I absolutely loved his collection, Landing Light, which I keep handy to dip into every now and then.
So I was delighted to wake up on this National Poetry Day, which happily coincides with my birthday this year, only to discover that he has won the Forward Prize for the second time with Rain, his most recent collection. Read more
Is it wrong to admit that I wanted a book I haven’t yet read to win the Man Booker prize? If it is, then I apologise (especially to the other five authors, whose shortlisted books I haven’t read either) but I’m nonetheless ecstatic that Hilary Mantel won the Booker Prize for the first time last night. She is such an incredible writer and fully deserves the recognition that winning such a prize will undoubtedly bring. Read more