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This report is taken from PN Review 186, Volume 35 Number 4, March - April 2009.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

End of year leisure has, as usual, brought opportunities to review recent events and publications. October saw Meic Stephens’s seventieth birthday celebrated at St Fagans National History Museum, on the outskirts of Cardiff. I don’t believe I have previously mentioned this wonderful branch of the National Museums of Wales, where farm buildings, shops, a chapel, a school, a row of workers’ cottages from Merthyr Tydfil and much else, most recently a now gloriously refurbished medieval church, dismantled from sites all over Wales, have been faithfully re-erected on a hundred-acre site, to stand more or less as they were originally. I visit frequently with grandchildren; it is one of the most popular cultural tourist destinations in Wales, in terms of our folk culture, the most richly rewarding.

Meic’s event was held in the miners’ institute, transported from its original place at Oakdale in the Gwent valleys. Well over a hundred filled the upper room to hear friends and literary associates going back to the 1960s, Arts Council colleagues, a student from his final career destination as professor at the University of Glamorgan, who recalled a sample of the wide range of his achievements, particularly as writer and editor. It was a fitting celebration for one who, in 2008, published an acclaimed first novel, Yeah, Dai Dando (Cinnamon); Necrologies (Seren), a collection of obituaries, mostly from The Independent, which is an essential supplement to any history of modern Wales; and as editor, The Complete Poems of Leslie Norris, with ...
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