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This report is taken from PN Review 141, Volume 28 Number 1, September - October 2001.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

The first week of April brings precious little sunshine. Yet more rain puddles the saturated lawn where moss and weeds, which seem not to mind it, have all but replaced the grass. Birds are gargling their morning songs and, so pervasive is the gloom, we breakfast still by lamplight. The news media are equally depressing. Once in a while the post lifts the spirits, as it did only yesterday with the arrival of the latest number of Poetry Wales.

The magazine has just started its thirty-sixth year. When Meic Stephens launched it in 1965, he declared (in the third number - the first to include an editorial): 'Our business is to publish the best available poems by young men and women who are writing now, in and about Wales.' Reviewers could be let loose on books by Theodore Roethke, James Turner, and George Mackay Brown and, later, the work of major writers from other countries in translation, such as Fernando Pessoa and George Seferis, but in that issue and consistently thereafter the poets were nearly all Welsh by birth or upbringing. Number 3 had only two exceptions: Robert Nye, an English writer who wrote about Welsh rural life from an address in mid-Wales, and Raymond Garlick who, although born in London, had long since declared his allegiance to Wales and had edited that other vitally important showcase of Welsh writing in English, The Anglo- Welsh Review, for eleven years.

As it got into its stride, ...


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