A group reading in support of the new book from Grey Mare Press and Carolina Wren Press, whose launch coincided with a 60th birthday retrospective exhibition of, and monograph on, the great contemporary Welsh artist, Clive Hicks-Jenkins.
All six of us -- three Yanks and three Brits -- have written poems in response to his paintings, and The Book of Ystwyth includes a generous selection, illustrated with full-color details of the paintings in question.
The reading, ably MC'd by Damian Walford Davies, had each poet appear twice, once on either side of a break (which occurs in part 3), so that the first poet was also the last, the second was the penultimate, etc. Here's a key to who appears in which video:
Catriona Urquhart (read by Clive Hicks-Jenkins and Ian Hamilton): parts 1 and 4
Andrea Selch: 1 and 4
Callum James: 2 and 4
Marly Youmans: 2 and 3
Damian Walford Davies (as reader): 2 and 3
Dave Bonta: 3
Anita Mills was the camerawoman. I take the blame for the sound and all the editing. The bookstore's set-up had the podium, and therefore the readers, in shadow, which meant that the camera often focused on bookshelves beyond, and that in the process of lightening and increasing contrast on the videos, the color turned spotty, whence the decision to make it black and white. I assure viewers who have never been to Wales that it is a fully modern country now, and almost everything is in color all the time.
Quite apart from its contents, which are of course brilliant, the book is a beautifully designed object with high-quality paper and image reproduction, retailing at a very affordable $15.95/£9.99. It was published in the U.K. by Grey Mare Press greymarepress.co.uk/ystwyth.html in association with Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru/The National Library of Wales, and in the U.S. by Carolina Wren Press carolinawrenpress.org/books-and-merchandise/poetry/the-book-of-ystwyth and may be ordered from either one.
A note on copyright: these video and audio reproductions of poems are the property of the authors or their heirs, and are fully protected by applicable copyright laws in the U.S. or U.K. I release my own portion of this reading (part 3) for reuse and remix, if anyone wants to have a go at it, under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike (3.0) license.
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