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This report is taken from PN Review 255, Volume 47 Number 1, September - October 2020.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
As an organisation, Yr Academi Gymreig, or ‘Academi’, the banner under which the Welsh Academy of writers has operated since 1998, appears moribund. I hope this is a misapprehension occasioned by my failure to keep abreast of its activities, and that writers continue to meet socially and to participate together in literary events. The last such occasion in which I had a part to play was in June 2009: a bus tour with talks of places associated with Roland Mathias. Led by John Pikoulis, biographer of Alun Lewis and then Chair of the English-language section of Academi, it was one of a series that also included visits to what one might call Raymond Williams country, around Pandy near Abergavenny, and Alun Lewis’s Aberdare. The buses started from Cardiff, picked up paying customers en route and were invariably well filled with people (mostly of mature years, it must be conceded) who were knowledgeable and interested. The Roland Mathias tour took us to the Plough Chapel in Brecon, to the grave of Henry Vaughan in the churchyard at Llansantffraed, and to Talybont-on-Usk, its reservoir lapping at the tumbled stones of the poet’s birthplace. It will be a grievous loss if this kind of experience is no longer offered to a public hungry for poems.

I have written before about the Welsh Academy of writers, which had its origins in conversations between two giants of twentieth-century Welsh-language literature, Bobi Jones and Waldo Williams. Their intention was to gather support for a new magazine to serve the distinctive literary culture that they ...


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