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PN Review 276
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This article is taken from PN Review 271, Volume 49 Number 5, May - June 2023.

For PN Review Sam Adams
It must have been in 1973 that Meic Stephens, then Literature Director at the Welsh Arts Council, was approached by a Manchester-based publisher seeking an editor for an anthology of Anglo-Welsh poetry he proposed to add to his list. This was unprecedented, a shock: Meic had devoted a good deal of office time fruitlessly endeavouring to persuade publishers in England to take an interest in writing from Wales. The project landed in my lap, for which I was and remain extremely grateful. Ten Anglo-Welsh Poets, which took its place alongside similar collections from Ireland, Scotland and America, was my introduction to Carcanet, and of course to Michael Schmidt and PN Review. The magazine was an eye-opener. I had assisted Meic, founding editor (in 1965) of the quarterly Poetry Wales, by looking after the reviews section, and knew that, though not unwelcoming to ‘outsiders’, it considered its primary duty to serve Welsh writers and our bilingual reading public. And here was a younger, elegant periodical out of a city with a population then very similar in size to that of Wales, which had a world-wide catchment of contributors and readers. Nor did it deal exclusively in English-language literature: poetry in translation featured frequently along with critical studies, literary lore and news of writers and writing from around the globe. Clearly, its editor possessed a breadth of vision and a generous spirit of intellectual goodwill to match the fearsome resources of energy needed to keep up a bi-monthly production and an academic day job – not to mention a burgeoning press, volumes of his own poems and fiction, and authorship ...

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