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This report is taken from PN Review 137, Volume 27 Number 3, January - February 2001.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

You might just possibly have wondered what has become of Yr Academi Gymreig, the Welsh academy of writers, in its new role as literature promotion agency for the whole of Wales (PNR 120 and 122). It is getting along quite nicely. The Welsh and English language sections co-operate well, a great many events have been promoted in partnership with local bodies in all parts of Wales (over 2500 in the two years or so since the agency was set up, with an aggregate attendance of almost a quarter of a million), and Academi members have had unprecedented opportunities to meet convivially (at their own expense of course) at dinners in places like Cardiff Bay and Portmeirion. This perception of something resembling progress in the right direction was confirmed by a complimentary first evaluation of the agency from the Arts Council of Wales. It declared the administration effective and praised various aspects of the work, including A470 the bi-monthly magazine that advertises literary events, the continued success of the Writers on Tour' scheme, and technological advances: the database of writers and performers and the Academi web-site.

The ACW has recently undergone its own evaluation. The outcome has been far less cheerful. It was only two years ago (also in PNR 122) that I remarked the appointment of Joanna Weston as chief executive of the Arts Council of Wales in succession to Emyr Jenkins, famed father of exceptional daughters, one of whom, Ffion, may succeed Cheri Blair as hostess ...


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