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 211, Volume 39 Number 5, May - June 2013.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
The decline in churchgoing and Christian belief is gathering pace here, perhaps more hectically than elsewhere. The falling off began from a high point about the middle of the nineteenth century, when Wales could boast a higher proportion of adherents than any other European country. Only 72 per cent of the population still described themselves as Christian in 2001; a decade later it is 58 per cent. During the same period, the proportion of those who have no religion has increased from 19 to 32 per cent. In my previous letter (PNR 210) I referred to pockets of economic and cultural deprivation corresponding to post-1995 unitary authorities in the former industrial valleys of south Wales. These include communities that experienced the full force of the great Nonconformist revival inspired by Evan Roberts in 1904-5, when chapel membership attained unprecedented heights. Now Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf are, according to the census, among the five least religious parts of England and Wales.

The Anglicanism of my experience in the province of Wales seemed so unexacting that lapsing from it carried no burden of guilt. But I cannot deny regret has increased with the passage of years. At the very least, I subscribe to the view expressed by the unnamed narrator in John Updike's story 'Packed Dirt, Churchgoing, a Dying Cat, a Traded Car', first published in the New Yorker in 1961: 'Taken purely as recreation, what could be more delightful, more unexpected than to enter a venerable and ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image