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This review is taken from PN Review 45, Volume 12 Number 1, September - October 1985.

WIZARDS Roland Mathias, Burning Brambles, Selected Poems 1944-1979 (Gomer Press) £6.75
Dafydd ap Gwilym, A Selection of Poems, edited by Rachel Bromwich (Gomer Press) £9.75

The Gregynog Press set standards of book production which remain the envy of common or garden publishers, but elsewhere in Wales publishing was for long a cottage industry of far lower class. It will bear restatement that things have changed - in large measure due to the promptings and subsidies of the Welsh Arts Council (one of the unsung meritorious deeds of that oft-maligned body). Both these books would grace the shelves of the most discerning bibliophile, which says much for the publisher too. However, it is what lies between the elegant covers that counts and on this score also both deserve more attention outside Wales than they have so far received.

There was hardly a writer in Wales, not to mention a fair number from England and further afield, who had not reason to be grateful to Roland Mathias during his long stint as editor of the Anglo-Welsh Review. Many knew him as a sympathetic, sparkling correspondent concerned to nurture fledgling talents and to keep up that extraordinarily catholic and, while it was in his care, ever expanding journal. Each number as it fell through the letterbox threatened to brain the dozing dog, and gave subscribers enough literary fodder to keep them ticking for a whole quarter until the next arrived with an even louder thump. This tribute to his dedication as an editor is not misplaced here because, in the light of his editorial labours, it is the more remarkable that he produced five volumes ...


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