Page 10 - March 2019 EGO Magazine
P. 10

local // lleol



                                                                                                                                              The best
                                                                                                                                              multicultural
                                                                                                                                              Welsh home a
                                                                                                                                              poet could wish
                                                                                                                                              for.



                                                                                                       Nothing can quite prepare you for it. As
                                                                                                       an event on a national scale, it’s quite
                                                                                                       uniquely Welsh – none of the corporate
                                                                                                       hysteria that would follow a big prize in a
                                                                                                       larger country, but a feeling of significance
                                                                                                       (deserved or not) that endears you to a big
                                                                                                       exuberant community of well-wishers.

                                                                                                       Speaking of the Eisteddfod, Tregaron
                                                                                                       has recently been announced as the
                                                                                                       2020 host. Exciting times ahead for
                                                                                                       this part of the world? Very exciting! It’s
                                                                                                       crazy to think it’s been over 35 years since
                                                                                                       the Eisteddfod was last held in Ceredigion,
       I’m mostly ok, but some words can   Laureate) has been the highlight  rewarding things I’ve done as a poet   and it’s only been in the county three
       still get away and it can take a while   so far? It certainly came at an   have come from collaborations. So   times since 1976. It’s high time we got to
       to get the cogs in my brain turning   important time for me and felt like   I’d have to say visiting India many   enjoy the kind of cultural and linguistic
       smoothly in Saesneg!         a big vote of confidence. I’ll always   times and working with long-term   boost that only the ‘prifwyl’ can offer.
                                    be grateful to Literature Wales for   collaborator Sampurna Chattarji.   Mind you, fund-raising fatigue may well
       When did your relationship with  giving me that opportunity, and for   She’s an English-language poet and   have settled in by then!
       Aberystwyth begin? It’s people   many others. More recently, I’ve had  novelist who lives in Mumbai, and
       that make a place. I made lifelong   a lot of fun starting two new projects  a very good friend. Last year we   This magazine will be distributed
       friends in Aber as a student – we   with good friends and fellow poets   published a collection of poems   on St David’s Day. What does being
       still keep in touch and meet up for   – with Aneirin Karadog, Clera, the   together, Elsewhere, Where Else   Welsh mean to you? In the current
       reunions. I’m obviously biased, but   only Welsh-language poetry podcast  / Lle Arall, Ble Arall, and another   political climate, not being British. Being
       surely Aber has to be the best place   in the world (see eurig.cymru), and   collection, this time for children,   Welsh is much more than that, of course,
       on earth to be a student, especially   with Hywel Griffiths, Cicio’r Bar   will be published this summer.  but it’s clearer to me than it’s ever been
       in the Welsh language. But there’s   poetry night at the Arts Centre.                           that resisting Britishness is extremely
       life here post-pub crawl too! The   The next will be held on 6 June   In 2016 you won the Prose medal   important if Wales is to survive in any
       community around Morlan and   with singer-songwriters/poets (and   at the National Eisteddfod. As   meaningful way. The British political
       Capel y Morfa near where we live in   husband and wife) Iwan Huws and   someone who’s dedicated his   establishment cares not one bit about
       town is as vibrant, supportive and   Georgia Ruth.       career to exploring the Welsh          Wales and is to all purposes in a state of
       welcoming as you’d wish to find                          language, to be recognised             collapse over Brexit – surely we can do
       anywhere.                    Your writing has taken you   at the ultimate gathering of          better?
                                    all over the world including   ‘Welshness’ must have been a
       You’re still a young man but   Bangladesh, Kenya, Colombia,   massive buzz? It was awesome! As   Finally, if you had to sum up the
       your CV is rather jam packed   Hungary and India. Is it possible  well as the ceremony itself and the   beauty of where you live in 10 words
       to say the least. Would you say   to pick a favourite poetry   whole hoopla afterwards, one thing   or less, what would you say? The best
       being appointed Bardd Plant   related travelling experience?   I’ll remember always is people’s   multicultural Welsh home a poet could
       Cymru (Welsh Children’s      As you can guess perhaps, the most   immense good-will and kindness.   wish for.




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