The Hay Poetry Jamboree celebrates its third birthday with another magnificent line-up of some of the best and most exciting poets on the contemporary scene, amongst them Allen Fisher, Carol Watts, Ralph Hawkins, Maggie O’Sullivan, Sean Bonney and Kelvin Corcoran. Robert Sheppard delivers this year’s academic lecture, Elysium Gallery from Swansea present Bus Stop Cinema, an extravaganza of short films in the chapel. Come and sample the amazing atmosphere of this small but extremely telling festival.

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AND SUPPORT US BY BECOMING A FRIEND (you’ll find info on the Friends page).



6.30 – 7.30 pm Festival Launch Reception

7.30 – 9.15 pm Ralph Hawkins and Allen Fisher


11 – 12 am Film-maker Colin Still on the making of his award winning 1996 documentary How Terrible Orange Is/& Life: A Film on Frank O’Hara

2.00 – 4.00 pm Helen Lopez, John Freeman, Angela Gardner, Rhys Trimble, Paul Green

5.00 – 6.00 pm Lecture by Robert Sheppard

7.30 – 9.15 pm Sean Bonney and Carol Watts


11.00 – 12.00 Frances Presley and Glenn Storhaug

2.00 – 4.00 pm Gavin Selerie, David Annwn, Tiffany Atkinson, Zoe Skoulding with Poetry Wales (with guest readers Steven Hitchins, Carrie Etter and Richard Gwyn).

7.30 – 9.15 pm Kelvin Corcoran and Maggie O’Sullivan

9.30 – 10.30 pm Chicken of the Woods – Closing Concert


All day Saturday 4th in the chapel, Elysium Gallery, Swansea presents Bus Stop Cinema, an international festival of short films.

In the gallery – 28th May – 5th June – EARTH ART. An exhibition of work by Jackie Yeomans, Ros Burns, Kate Raggett, Peter Horrocks, James Carter.   www.earthartexhibition.wordpress.com

The Hay Poetry Jamboree is sponsored by:





Bookings and Information on all events from: goodbard@yahoo.co.uk

Venue: Oriel Contemporary Arts, Salem Chapel, Bell Bank, Hay on Wye

Entrance to 7.30 events £5 (Concessions £3). All other events FREE (donations welcome)


Allen Fisher is a poet, artist, publisher and art historian, lives in Hereford. first published in 1968. Publisher of Edible Magazine and Spanner and co-publisher Aloes Books. Worked in performance and installations from 1971. Exhibited in many shows from Fluxus Britannica Tate Britain to Lifting from Fear, King’s Gallery York.  Examples of his work are in the Tate Collection, the Living Museum, Iceland and various private collections. His long poetry sequence 1982-2005, Gravity as a consequence of shape, was published in 3 volumes as Gravity, Entanglement and Leans; other recent books were Proposals: poem-image-commentary 2010; Birds, poems 2009; Confidence in lack, essays 2007; Singularity Stereo, poems 2006, and the collected poetry of Place 2005, from the 1970s; his recent tour of work has been under the banner Complexity Manifold in Buffalo, Albany, Ohio, New York, London and Cambridge. check out: http:www.allenfisher.co.uk

Maggie O’Sullivan: For over thirty years, Maggie O’Sullivan’s work has appeared extensively in journals and anthologies (including Poems for the Millennium, Volume 2) and she has performed her work, often in collaboration, internationally. She is the editor of out of everywhere: an anthology of contemporary linguistically innovative poetry by women in North America and the UK (1996). Recent publications include Body of Work (2006), WATERFALLS (2009) and ALTO (2009). murmur is due 2011 from Veer, as is The Salt Companion to Maggie O’Sullivan. Her website is HYPERLINK http://www.maggieosullivan.co.uk

Sean Bonney‘s books include The Commons, Document, Baudelaire in English and Blade Pitch Control Unit. He lives in London, where he is conducting research into the connections between radical poetics and leftist activism. His work has been translated into several languages.

Carol Watts published her first chapbook brass, running with Equipage in 2006, described by the American critic and poet Charles Alexander as ‘a revelation’. Her first collection Wrack followed in 2007, and since then three chapbooks: When blue light falls 1 and 2 with Oystercatcher Press, and this is red with Torque, as well as the artist’s book, alphabetise. Her recent work moves across different media and includes a collaborative performance for live voice, film and dance called In the Fold. Her poetry has been anthologised in The Reality Street Book of Sonnets, Infinite Difference: ‘Other’ Poetries by UK Women Poets, and is included in the forthcoming collection of radical landscape poetry, The Ground Aslant. Since 2005 she has been working on a site-specific sequence called Zeta Landscape, which explores the land and rhythms of a farm on the banks of the River Vyrnwy in Powys through pastoral and prime numbers.

Ralph Hawkins has been consistently writing poetry since the late seventies. He has collaborated on visuals and words with Bob Cobbing, Alan Halsey and Kelvin Cocoran. He published Ochre Magazine in the eighties with Charles Ingham and Active in Airtime with John Muckle in the nineties. Shearsman have published his The Moon The Chief Haidresser (highlights) and Marzipan. His latest publication is from Oystercatcher Press, Happy Whale Fat Smile. His writings about other poests such as Ted Berrigan, Douglas Oliver, Alice Notley and Allen Fisher can be found online at Intercapillary Press

Kelvin Corcoran’s work came to prominence with his first book Robin Hood in the Dark Ages in 1985. Nine subsequent collections have been enthusiastically received and his work has been anthologised in Britain and the USA. His New and Selected Poems is now available from Shearsman Books. The sequence Helen Mania was made a Poetry Book Society choice in 2005. His most recent book Hotel Shadow was published by Shearsman in 2010. Currently underway is a project to record several longer poems with traditional Greek music.

Robert Sheppard has recently published two books from Shearsman simultaneously, a book of poems, Berlin Bursts, and a collection of essays on contemporary British poetry: When Bad Times Made for Good Poetry. A book of sonnets, Warrant Error, is also published from Shearsman; and he has edited or written books on Lee Harwood and Iain Sinclair. His poetry appears in numerous anthologies, including the Reality Street Book of Sonnets. He is currently completing the works of the fictional Belgian poet Rene Van Valckenborch and is beginning to write critically on poetic form. He is co-editor of the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry with Scott Thurston and manages a blog(zine) on his own – Pages, at:  www.robertsheppard.blogspot.com

Paul A. Green: raised in London, educated by Jesuits. Studied at Oxford and U of British Columbia, ( UBC Creative Writing programme) Freelanced in Vancouver for CBC Radio Ideas , often on esoterica , also role as Little Brother Saul of Solid State Soul Show. Later: lecturer in Devon , supply teacher in inner London, used-book operative in Hay. Currently teaches media at Royal National College for the Blind, Hereford. Writing/performing in various modes since late sixties. Not to be confused with well-respected poet and publisher Paul Green of Peterborough. Poetry and short fiction in diverse magazines & anthologies e.g Angels of Fire, Prism International, Poetry Review, Poetics and New Worlds. Pioneered techno-jazz poetry with Lawrence Russell at www.culturecourt.com. Recently on-line in: Great Works ,Toxic Poetry, Shadow Train, The Recusant, Nth Position. Video poems with artist Jeremy Welsh, as The Quantum Brothers, featured at 2010 Hay Jam. Selected Poems ( working title: Gestaltbunker) due from Shearsman Books in late 2011. Plays include: The Dream Laboratory; (CBC Radio); Ritual of the Stifling Air (BBC Radio); The Mouthpiece (Resonance FM); Power/Play (Capital Radio); The Voice Collection (RTE); Terminal Poet (New Theatre Works) and Babalon (Travesty Theatre). Novel: The Qliphoth – “A word quest launched from the edge-lands of arcane knowledge.”– Iain Sinclair.

Frances Presley was born in Derbyshire, grew up in Lincolnshire and Somerset, and now lives in north London. She studied modern literature at the universities of East Anglia and Sussex, writing dissertations on Pound, Apollinaire, and Bonnefoy. She worked as a librarian, specializing in community development and anti-racism projects and, more recently, at the Poetry Library. Publications of poems and prose include The Sex of Art (North and South, 1988), Hula Hoop (Other Press, 1993), and Linocut (Oasis, 1997). She collaborated with the artist Irma Irsara in a multi-media project about clothing and the fashion trade, Automatic Cross Stitch (Other Press, 2000); and with the poet Elizabeth James in an email text and performance, Neither the One nor the Other (Form Books, 1999). Somerset Letters (Oasis, 2002), with drawings by Ian Robinson, explored intersections of community and landscape. The title sequence of Paravane: new and selected poems, 1996-2003 (Salt, 2004) was a response to 9/11/2001, and the IRA bombsites in London. Myne: new and selected poems and prose, 1976-2005, (Shearsman, 2006) takes its title from the old name for Minehead in Somerset. Her latest book, Lines of Sight, published by Shearsman in 2009, includes ‘Stone settings and Longstones’, an approach to the Neolithic stone sites on Exmoor, part of a multi-media collaboration with Tilla Brading. Presley has written various essays and reviews, especially on innovative British women poets. Her work is included in the anthologies Infinite Difference (Shearsman, 2010), and Ground Aslant: radical landscape poetry (Shearsman, 2011)

Gavin Selerie was born in London, where he still lives. He was formerly a lecturer at Birkbeck College. His books include Azimuth (Binnacle Press, 1984), Roxy (West House Books, 1996), Days of ’49 [with Alan Halsey] (West House Books, 1999) and Le Fanu’s Ghost (Five Seasons Press, 2006). He has appeared in anthologies such as The New British Poetry (Paladin, 1988), Other: British & Irish Poetry since 1970 (Wesleyan University Press, 1999) and The Reality Street Book of Sonnets (RSE, 2008). Music’s Duel: New and Selected Poems 1972-2008 was published by Shearsman Books in 2009. Extracts from his current project Harriot Double may be found online. As usual, this involves a layering of voices through history and landscape.

Angela Gardner is the author of two collections of poetry Views of the Hudson, published by Shearsman Press UK in 2009, and Parts of Speech, published by University of Queensland Press in 2007. Angela’s work has appeared in Meanjin, Poetry Wales, Brand Literary Magazine and Kenyon Review Online as well as print anthologies.She was awarded an Australia Council Literature residency 2008 and the 2006 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize. She also practices as a visual artist.                                                                                                                                                  link for her shearsman book is http://www.shearsman.com/pages/books/catalog/2009/gardner.html                    link for her UQP book is: http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1029/Parts%20Of%20Speech

Glenn Storhaug has run Five Seasons Press for the past thirty-five years. Because of his commitment to publishing the work of others, his own poetry has appeared in a random and absent-minded way. Intervals between his books are measured in decades. Of his most recent, For Silver See Blue, Jane Routh wrote in Stride, ‘It’s the book everyone would love to have written, freewheeling perfectly on to the page . . . slippery, doubling back on itself and changing tack . . .  exhilarating that someone’s made a book like this.’ And in English Matthew Jarvis said, ‘This is a sequence of great depth and breadth . . . I hope it receives the considerable readerly attention that it emphatically deserves.’ HYPERLINK “http://www.fiveseasonspress.com

Zoë Skoulding’s most recent collections of poems are Remains of a Future City (Seren, 2008), long-listed for Wales Book of the Year 2009, and The Mirror Trade (Seren, 2004). Her collaborative work includes Dark Wires with poet Ian Davidson (West House Books, 2007), From Here, with images by Simonetta Moro (Dusie, 2008) and You Will Live in Your Own Cathedral with sound by Alan Holmes (LAF-Seren, 2009). She is a member of the group Parking Non-Stop, whose album Species Corridor was released by Klangbad in 2008. She holds an AHRC Research Fellowship at Bangor University, where she also runs part-time courses in literature and creative writing. She has been Editor of the international quarterly Poetry Wales since 2008.

Tiffany Atkinson was born in Berlin in 1972 to an army family, and lived in Germany, Cyprus and Britain. After studying English at Birmingham University she took a PhD in Critical Theory at Cardiff, and has lived in Wales since. She lectures in English at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, where she also co-hosts a weekly poems and-pints event. Her poetry has appeared widely in magazines and she won the Cardiff International Poetry Competition in 2001. Her debut collection, for Seren, Kink and Particle was winner of the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Award, a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the Glen Dimplex New Writers Award.

Rhys Trimble is a bilingual poet, improvisational performer & editor from Bethesda & Pontneddfechan interested in heterglossic, psychogeographic, mythic & radical pastoral poetry. Published widely in Angel Exhaust, Poetry Wales, Skald, Tears in the Fence, Aesthetica, Seventh Quarry and elsewhere. John Tripp finalist 2009 [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hax6ISpKxuw] & winner of the Cinnamon press collection competition. Projects include ‘Rhys Trimble & the Badgerboys’ – cut-up-on-the-spot poetry over harp (Ben Stammers) and postrock guitar (Hywel Edwards) see photograph & [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iStijzSZWL8] also a recent performance at the Scala, Prestatyn of his poem ‘La La Scala.’ [http://vimeo.com/21801701] along with Hywel and Zack De Santos.

A member of prosiect Datgeiniaith along with Twm Morris, Gwylym Morys, Gareth Siôn and instructor Peter Greenhill – attempting a recreation of medieval syllabic poetry accompanied by ‘pastwn’ or staff as rhythmic accompaniment.

Currently variously engaged as self-employed performance-poet, workshopper for adults & children & occasional corporate light entertainer [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iE_2KzBVrE4]. Hoping to learn how to hand-make books & become a PhD student soon. Editor of the online experimental ezine ctrl+alt+del [http://cad.theabsurd.co.uk]. More information email rhys.trimble@gmail also here [www.sonicport.net].

David Annwn: Isn’t it about time we de con struct ed the short bio note                                                                       politesse NOTICE: Place time                                                                                                                                                                       vocation art hits pubs crits & what & who anon wants you defied/defined BY:                                                                     there you have it or not/ Glory of cerise or organza,PRESS ENTER the gift of                                                                           hindsight Big Daddy Natter vs. Giant Hey Hay-stax                                                                                                                             as eavesdropper this reverb as turbulent flow set in Rage Italic it all                                                                                               depends on dependency                                                                                                                                                                             WARPED CAPITALISATION a river dammed by its banks, a field of screened-off                                                                       folk by its rabid thankless Bankers isn’t it not now not here about me but                                                                                   the hundreds of thousands to be laid off con signed to sidings & dumps                                                                                 designate in                                                                                                                                                                                                       Macaroon-and-Clickneck-Classwar & these presences press as breath into every                                                                     word and spaces feel SPRAY IT ON EVERY SPARE all those otherwise                                                                             interested                                                                                                                                                                                     :www.davidannwn.co.uk/ need apply no further                                                                                                                                   & for the rest it can’t be said too much

Helen Lopez is a painter and poet who lives in Anglesey. She will be reading from her first collection of poetry called Shift Perception. She has a long track record as a painter with one -person shows in England and Wales and representation across Europe and USA.

John Freeman has published nine collections, the latest being A Suite for Summer (Worple Press, Tonbridge, 2007). Stride published The Light Is Of Love, I Think: New and Selected Poems in 1997, and a collection of essays, The Less Received: Neglected Modern Poets, in 2000. He teaches at Cardiff University.

Richard Gwyn grew up in Breconshire. He studied anthropology at the LSE for a while, and then spent many years in reckless travel. He returned to Wales to take a PhD in sociolinguistics at Cardiff University, where he currently directs the Creative Writing programme. He is the author of six collections of poetry and prose poetry and two novels, The Colour of a Dog Running Away and Deep Hanging Out. He is also the author of a non-fiction novel, The Vagabond’s Breakfast (2011). He has written many articles and essays and reviews new fiction for The Independent. As a translator, he specializes in poetry and short fiction form Latin America, and his own poetry and fiction have appeared in many languages. His latest collection of prose poems is Sad Giraffe Café (2010). His website can be found at www.richardgwyn.com

Carrie Etter: Originally from Normal, Illinois, Carrie Etter lived for thirteen years in southern California, where she founded and edited Out Loud: A Monthly of Los Angeles Area Poetry Events (1988-1993), as well as running several reading series. She received a BA in English summa cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MFA in creative writing and PhD in English from the University of California, Irvine. In 2001, she moved to England and is senior lecturer in creative writing at Bath Spa University. Her first collection, The Tethers (Seren, 2009), won the inaugural London New Poetry Award, and her second, Divining for Starters, was published by Shearsman Books in 2011. She has also edited the anthology, Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets (Shearsman, 2010). Her poems have appeared widely in such periodicals as The Iowa Review, The New Republic, Oasis, PN Review, and The Times Literary Supplement, and her reviews of contemporary poetry in The Guardian and The Independent.

Steven Hitchins is from Abercynon, studied in Abersytwyth and currently lives in Pontypridd. He teaches Creative Writing in the Valleys and the Vale of Glamorgan and lectures at Coleg Morgannwg. His poetry has appeared in Poetry Wales, Fire and Chimera. He occasionally edits The Literary Pocket Book [http://literarypocketblog.wordpress.com].

Chicken of the Woods are a London and Talgarth based band who play simple music on wooden instruments. Their sound bears traces of bluegrass, punk, discordant English folk music, the 1920’s sermons of Rev. F.W. McGee, the rural blues, and the Baptist hymnal, William Blake’s songs of Innocence (Bathtime in the country) and Experience (In the belly of the pig).



Academi is the Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency and Society for Authors.

Academi runs events, courses, competitions, including the Cardiff International Poetry Competition, with the support of Cardiff Council and offering a First Prize of £5000, conferences, tours by authors, lectures, international exchanges, events for schools, readings, literary performances and festivals. Academi is also responsible for the National Poet of Wales project and the Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales.

Contact Academi:


029 2047 2266

Swansea University College of Arts and Humanities/CREW

Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales

CREW was established to co-ordinate postgraduate research in an area of study that has grown in importance in the light of the creation of a separate Welsh Assembly.  The cultural distinctiveness of Wales was, for 1,500 years, intrinsically bound up with the Welsh language and its outstanding literary tradition centring on Barddas, a rich body of strict metre writing unique to Wales. But the twentieth-century saw the emergence not only of English as a “majority” Welsh language but also a literature in English that was the product of an anglophone yet distinctively Welsh culture.

The Centre is also home to the David Parry Archive of materials relating to the Survey of Anglo-Welsh Dialects, an unique resource for dialectologists and socio-linguists that attracts scholarly researchers from Continental Europe. The Centre is supported by major specialist library holdings that equal any outside of the National Library of Wales. Its MA programme was singled out for special commendation in a recent Teaching Quality Assessment exercise, and external assessors have praised the innovation and high quality of the postgraduate work it has produced.

CREW is also leading on the Bibliography of Welsh Literature in English Translation, a major Art and Humanities Research Board project. The online version was completed in 2003 and the printed version in 2005.  Other projects include hosting The Encyclopaedia of Wales (a two-year Lottery-Funded project) and a website that focuses on Welsh writers in English. The Centre has produced over 30 publications in recent years and members of the Centre have also participated at several conferences.

Founded in 1965, Poetry Wales is a quarterly magazine with an international reputation for excellent poems, features and reviews from Wales and beyond. Emerging from a rich bilingual culture, Poetry Wales explores the diverse perspectives of Welsh poetry in English and its international relationships.

Its interest in translation, and in local and national identities in a global context, are at the forefront of some of the most exciting developments in poetry today. The magazine is open to tradition and experiment, publishing poetry from a wide range of approaches. Against this background of dynamic contrast, it offers a lively and informed critical context for the best contemporary writers.

Poetry Wales

Founded in 1965, Poetry Wales is a quarterly magazine with an international reputation for excellent poems, features and reviews from Wales and beyond. Emerging from a rich bilingual culture, Poetry Wales explores the diverse perspectives of Welsh poetry in English and its international relationships.

Its interest in translation, and in local and national identities in a global context, are at the forefront of some of the most exciting developments in poetry today. The magazine is open to tradition and experiment, publishing poetry from a wide range of approaches. Against this background of dynamic contrast, it offers a lively and informed critical context for the best contemporary poetry.


Elysium Gallery

Elysium Gallery is an artist/volunteer run space that is committed to exhibiting and promoting the work of emerging Wales based and Wales educated artists (of all medias) whilst continuing to make links with the national arts scene.

As a gallery it strives to provide support for new artists and art organisations as well as encouraging pride and participation in local visual and performing arts in an environment that promotes experimentation, freedom and appreciation in all creative practices.

This helps to regenerate and create interest in the large gap between emerging and established artists, whilst continuing to strengthen and promote the Swansea arts scene.

31 Cradock Street,
SA1 3EP.

Tel: 07980 – 925 449              email: info@elysiumgallery.com



Lyndon Davies was born and brought up in Cardiff, but currently lives in Powys. His first collection of poems Hyphasis, was published by Parthian in 2006. His second book, Shield, (Parthian) came out in May 2010. He co-runs the Glasfryn Seminars, a series of discussion groups on contemporary literature.

John Goodby‘s most recent books of poetry are uncaged sea (Waterloo, 2008),  Wine Night White (Hafan, 2010), and Illennium (Shearsman, 2010). His second full-length collection, A True Prize, is forthcoming from Cinnamon in 2011. He won Cardiff International (2006) and the New Welsh Review (2009) poetry competitions, and used the prize money to found and run the experimental poetry performance troupe Boiled String. He has also published translations of Heine’s Germany: A Winter’s Tale (Smokestack, 2005, the Algerian poet Adel Guemar’s State of Emergency (Arc, 2007) (with Tom Cheesman), and No Soy Tu Musa / I’m Not Your Muse (Torremozas, 2009) (with Carlota Caulfield), an anthology of Irish women’s poetry translated into Spanish. His day job is as a lecturer in the English Department at Swansea University, and in this capacity his research interests include Dylan Thomas, the poetry of the 1940s, and Irish poetry since Yeats.


Huge thanks are due to the following:

Geoff Evans at Oriel Contemporary Arts for providing the venue and supporting the venture from the start.

Graham Hartill (see Friends page)

Christopher Twigg, poet, painter, musician, for his wonderful hospitality in providing space in house and garden for readers, guests and yurts.

Steve Groves, journalist, ex-BBC radio news and arts-programme producer. Now Jamboree sound man and sound-archivist.

Jonathan Powell at Elysium Gallery.

Chris Bradshaw of Black Mountains Bindery, Hay on Wye (see Friends page)

Penny Hallas, logistics,  ferrying, and a thousand other things.

Anne Watkins, for kindly allowing us to use the Salem Chapel.

Scott Thurston, for his advice and support.

Tim Rossiter, for his generous assistance and muscles.

Thanks too to Capital Valley Plastics for their kindness in providing blackout material for the chapel screenings.

Some pics of the event:

Robert Sheppard and Scott Thurston

Robert Sheppard and Anthony Mellors

Ralph Hawkins

Carol Watts

Maggie O'Sullivan

Sean Bonney

Kelvin Corcoran

Angela Gardner

Jamboree Banners


The Legendary Chicken of the Woods

Jam Jam Jam Jam Jam … Report on the IIIrd Hay Poetry Jamboree, Oriel Gallery, Bell Bank, Hay-on-Wye, 2-4th June 2011 by John Goodby.

Thursday evening, 2nd June, 2011. Glorious early summer weather. Jammers slowly assembling from Salford, Essex, Hereford, Bangor, London, all over; slowly milling around inside and outside the Oriel Gallery, waiting for, Ralph Hawkins and Allen Fisher, the opening event. Thanks from organisers Lyndon Davies and John Goodby to the sponsors, including the newly re-named Literature Wales, and Marjorie Perloff, who has also agreed to be our first patron. A brief tribute by Lyn to Geoff Evans, proprietor of Oriel, who first made the Jam possible, and who died in May. And so, on with the motley; Ralph reading first, from his coruscating Gone to Marzipan, Allen from a range of things, including newish pieces from Birds, ten of which resurface in the splendidly lavish publication Proposals 1-35, taking early pride of place on the bookstall. Retire for food back at Lyn and his partner Penny’s place in Llangattock, with wine and chat in their garden for some until way too late, under the stars.

Friday kicked off early, but only slightly bleary-eyed, with Colin Still’s enlightening and often hilarious introduction to a showing of his C4 film ‘In search of Frank O’Hara’ in New York, which set things up nicely for the afternoon readings by John Freeman, Angela Gardner, Paul Green and the bardic staff-wielding, fernfrond-sporting, Rhys Trimble. Apologies had arrived from Helen Lopez, absent because about to become a grandmother—another reminder that birth and death wait for no poet, and aren’t distinct from poetry. Brief break, and then Robert Sheppard’s lecture on ‘The Innovative Sonnet Sequence’: ingeniously constructed, in fourteen parts, saying much about the strange reanimation of the once-moribund form, and taking in a good number of practitioners, from Ted Berrigan to Geraldine Monk. And so to the big evening reading, Carol Watts and Sean Bonney. Great stuff, this, with Sean giving his all, as ever, Carol reading from her latest, the Reality Street published Occasionals, with its miraculous sense-twisting and sense-extending weavings (‘Hindsight, if only we had. / Known, that. Or, yes. Enjoy this culpability and then. / There is no imagining otherwise, even when spring is / indulgent’).

Finally to the third day, gorgeous weather still, and back into Hay, through the sweet especial Marches scene, all cow-parsley hedges and twisty B-roads, to hear Frances Presley and Glenn Storhaug, he of Five Seasons Press, but no mean lyricist in his own right on this showing. During the later, afternoon session it briefly tipped down outside, the only rain of the Jam. Gavin Selerie had kickstarted this session, and was succeeded by David Annwn, who treated us to some of the shorter pieces from Bela Fawr’s Cabaret, including a performance of/on ‘Mein Steinway’ and, with suitable mitteleuropean inflections, things with titles that were poems in themselves (I think I remember ‘Depravity, Horror & Ecstasy, / The Seven Addictions and Five Professions / of the Daughter of Vice, Dammen und Herren / Ich stele stolz mich dar: Anita Berber’). On via Tiffany Atkinson’s brilliantly wry wit, and Zoe Skoulding of Poetry Wales—one of very very few journals continuing to confound the ‘mainstream’ / ‘alternative’ binary—who presented guests Richard Gwyn, Carrie Etter, and the precociously impressive Steven Hitchins (seek out his Fisheresque The Basin, from Literary Pocket Books).

From noon onwards, in the chapel next door, Elysium Gallery had been showing a sequence of short films under the title “Bus Stop Cinema”: Jammers and passing families dipped in and out, fascinated by pieces ranging from the antics of an ice-cream van in traffic to a mini-murder epic.

Finally, a grand finale worthy of the name: Kelvin Corcoran in majestic form, reading from a new sequence on his stroke, in the last of the sun, and then the wild gathering intensity of Maggie O’Sullivan.

To finish, a session from Chicken of the Woods—bluegrass with teeth, catch them on YouTube.

Thanks to all who attended and made the Jam such a memorable one—to Steve, Tim, Chris, and Penny, as ever; and to the organisations who sponsored us: Llenyddiaeth Cymru / Literature Wales, Poetry Wales, Elysium Gallery, CREW (Centre for Research into the English Language and Literature of Wales, College of Arts and Humanities, Swansea University).




Glasfryn Project

+44(0)1873 810456 | LYN@GLASFRYNPROJECT.ORG.UK