PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: to access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
PN Review Prize winners announced
Carcanet Press and PN Review are delighted to announce the winners of the first ever PN Review Prize. read more
Most Read... Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Kate BinghamPuddle
(PN Review 236)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue CELEBRATING JOHN ASHBERY Contributors include Mark Ford, Marina Warner, Jeremy Over, Theophilus Kwek, Sam Riviere, Luke Kennard, Philip Terry,Agnes Lehoczky, Emily Critchley, Oli Hazard and others Miles Champion The Gold Standard Rebecca Watts The Cult of the Noble Amateur Marina Tsvetaeva ‘My desire has the features of a woman’: Two Letters translated by Christopher Whyte Iain Bamforth Black and White

This report is taken from PN Review 188, Volume 35 Number 6, July - August 2009.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

At Tonyrefail Grammar School, some time in 1947-8, I first became aware of the source of the core narrative of Richard Llewellyn’s How Green Was My Valley. I remember the occasion well because it was a revelation that the novel was about a family from Gilfach Goch, my home valley, and I recall it now because 2009 sees the seventieth anniversary of its publication.

It was probably during a wet lunch hour, when, as a relatively senior pupil, I was keeping an eye on a well-behaved first-year class. I wandered among the desks exchanging a few words with individuals and looking at an exercise book here and there. One of the books I picked up, intending no more than a cursory glance, at once caught and held my attention. Among the earliest pieces of writing was an account of how the boy’s grandfather had told Richard Llewellyn about the early days of coal mining in Gilfach Goch, and the struggle between miners and coal owners at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth. The boy’s name was Teifion Griffiths, and the incident I have described certainly occurred in 1947-8, because (as he has recently told me) before that school year was over, his family left Gilfach for London and he continued his education there.

I have long thought How Green Was My Valley easily the best novel to come out of the experience of the south Wales coalfield. Re-reading it in ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image