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Haiti’s largest  literary fair  kicks off

Haiti’s largest 
literary fair 
kicks off
by Ileana Ferrer Fonte
June 13th, 7:52am (Prensa Latina) 
The 28th Livres en Foile fair of Haiti begins in this
 capital on Monday, with more than 1,000 titles
 available for readers and a day in person 
after two years of pandemic.
Livres en Foile is one of Haiti’s main cultural events,
 is among the major of its kind in the region, and 
this year’s edition features writers Louis 
Philippe Dalembert and Pierre 
Raymond Dumas, as guests 
of honour.
Dalembert has an extensive work in prose, poetry and
 essays, in addition to winning distinguished awards
 such as RFO (1999), Casa de las Americas (2008) 
and Prix Thyde Monnier of the Society of People 
of Letters (2013), among others.
His books have been translated
 into several languages.
For his part, Pierre Raymond Dumas is also a writer
and journalist for Le Nouvelliste newspaper, a 
professor of literature and social sciences, &
 celebrated for his significant publications 
such as Haiti Liberee, Conjonction 
magazine, Clarte Magazine, Le 
Matin newspaper, as well as 
Le Rouleau, L’Information
plus, the Le Courrier du 
Nord-Ouest magazines.
Livres en Foile was created in 1995 on the initiative 
of Le Nouvelliste, Haiti’s leading newspaper, and is 
considered one of the country’s major cultural 
events, after allowing that dozens of writers 
can share their texts.


On the Western Front
by Alfred Noyes
I found a dreadful acre of the dead,
Marked with the only sign on earth that saves.
The wings of death were hurrying overhead,
The loose earth shook on those unquiet graves;
For the deep gun-pits, with quick stabs of flame,
Made their own thunders of the sunlit air;
Yet, as I read the crosses, name by name,
Rank after rank, it seemed that peace was there;
Sunlight and peace, a peace too deep for thought,
The peace of tides that underlie our strife,
The peace with which the moving heavens are fraught,
The peace that is our everlasting life.
The loose earth shook. The very hills were stirred.
The silence of the dead was all I heard.
We, who lie here, have nothing more to pray.
To all your praises we are deaf and blind.
We may not ever know if you betray
Our hope, to make earth better for mankind.
Only our silence, in the night, shall grow
More silent, as the stars grow in the sky;
And, while you deck our graves, you shall not know
How many scornful legions pass you by.
For we have heard you say (when we were living)
That some small dream of good would “cost too much.”
But when the foe struck, we have watched you giving,
And seen you move the mountains with one touch.
What can be done, we know. But, have no fear!
If you fail now, we shall not see or hear.

Juergen Habermas

German Philosopher Turns Down 
Zayed Book Award over Ties to
 UAE Political System
May 3rd 12:58pm (FNA) 

Germany’s prominent philosopher Juergen Habermas
 rejected the high-priced Sheikh Zayed Book Award 
from the United Arab Emirates over ties to the 
Persian Gulf state's political system.
91-year-old Habermas, who is considered Germany's
most eminent contemporary philosopher, announced 
on Sunday that he reversed his earlier decision to 
accept the literary award after he found out that 
the institution which presents the prize is 
connected to the political system in 
the UAE.
“I declared my willingness to accept this year's Sheikh 
Zayed Book Award. That was a wrong decision, which
 I correct hereby,” he said in a statement which his 
publisher Suhrkamp Verlag passed on to the 
German news site Spiegel Online.
Habermas added, “I didn't sufficiently make clear to myself 
the very close connection of the institution, which awards 
these prizes in Abu Dhabi, with the existing political 
system there.”
The Zayed Book Award had named Habermas "Cultural 
Personality of the Year 2021 in recognition of a long 
career that extends for more than half a century".
The “Cultural Personality of the Year” winner receives
 a prize of one million UAE dirhams ($272,249).
The UAE has been frequently slammed 
over its poor human rights situation.
In January, a US think tank said that the United 
Arab Emirates has contributed to humanitarian 
crises and instability in the Middle East region.
The UAE is a key member of the Saudi-led 
aggression and siege against Yemen.
Riyadh and a number of its regional allies 
launched the devastating war on Yemen 
in March 2015 in order to bring former 
President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi 
back to power and crush the 
popular Ansarullah movement.
The Saudi-led military aggression has left 
hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, 
and displaced millions of people.
It has also destroyed Yemen's infrastructure 
and spread famine and infectious diseases 
across the country.

israel's shrinking palestine

by Jonathan Azaziah*
August 1st, 2018

The poem is most certainly mightier than the occupation.
36-year old Palestinian poet, Dareen Tatour, has been
sentenced to 5 more months in prison, by the
usurping Zionist cancer, for a poem she
 wrote in the Autumn of 2015, called:

 “Qawem Ya Sha3bi, Qawemhoum
(Resist, My People, Resist Them)”.

She already spent 3 months in a Jewish dungeon after
she was initially arrested in October of 2015 and has
been on house arrest, with invasive and despicable
IOF monitoring, for nearly 3 years since. Her prison
sentence, which starts next Wednesday, isn’t the
end of her nightmare either. As of this moment,
she’s still banned from using the Internet and
 cell phones, as well as publishing any of
her poetry.

Yes, this is exactly like a Zionized version of one of those
dystopian, totalitarian sci-fi flicks Jewish Hollywood is
always producing – only the dystopian totalitarianism
of Jewish supremacy is very real. An indigenous
woman is going to prison - again - for writing a
poem that calls on her fellow indigenous
brethren --- not to make “peace” with the
bloodthirsty, supremacist terrorists who
have been stealing their land, hurting
their culture and destabilizing their
region, in one capacity or another,
for nearly a century and a half.

In May, Dareen, who’s from the 1948 Muslim-Christian town
of Reineh near Nasira in Al-Jalil, was convicted of online
incitement of “terrorism”. These were the lines that the
Zionist kangaroo court used for its “case” against the
Mouqawamist poet, whose words cut deep into the
blackened being of the Zio-Tumour and its fifth
columnists within Palestine, who want to sign
 a surrender treaty and betray their cause:

 “I will not succumb to the ‘peaceful solution’.
I will never lower my flags. Until I evict
from my land.”

Beautiful. Resistant perfection. The illegitimate Jewish entity
isn’t just terrified of these words --- but the thought process it
will inspire among Palestinians of all ages, especially shabab.

Because Tatour the Tigress is one who doesn’t believe in the
false idea of sharing what is rightfully hers; what is rightfully
her people’s; what is rightfully Palestine’s. She believes in
the expulsion of the land thieves. The Hizbullah-Algeria
option. ‘Israel’ wants a Palestinian population that is
so pacified, liberalized and Judaized, that it won’t
even see the next mass-expulsion coming.

Dareen the Dauntless wants her brethren
awakened. Resisting. With Intifada
Consciousness (‘Israel’ also
charged her for supporting
Islamic Jihad’s call for a
new Intifada -- and for
defending Al-Aqsa).

An understanding of the Culture of Martyrdom (‘Israel’
charged her in relation to this too, for posting a photo
on Ziobook, with the tag “I am the next martyr”). A
strength that will see Palestine liberated from the
River to the Sea. A Palestinian woman, whose
principles are uncompromising, and whose
pen is more explosive than any butterfly
bullet her oppressors could shoot at her.

Indeed, this is what keeps the policymakers of
 ‘Israel’ who so desperately want to preserve
their Halakhic-Talmudic project, awake
at night.

After her conviction, Dareen said,

“The whole world will hear my story. The whole world
will hear --- what the ‘democracy’ of ‘Israel’ is. A
democracy for Jews only. Arabs, and Arabs
alone, go to jail. The court said I am
convicted of terrorism. Fine. If
that’s my terrorism, I give the
world a terrorism of love.”

It is her love of Palestine, its cause and the Mouqawamah
of her people, that is keeping her going and presumably,
writing, even though the baby-killing Zionist devils are
preventing the world from reading her gemstone-like
prose. And after her sentencing, she said:

“I was arrested and put on trial because of the Arabic
language, and I call on the entire Arab public to
continue writing and expressing itself in
our language.”

One would imagine that this call-to-poetic-arms extends
to all those who support Palestine, regardless of their
language, as well, because World Zionism is cracking
down on anyone exercising their right to freedom of
speech and freedom of thought, in both the Global
North and the Global South.

We know that Shlomo has a penchant for killing creative
personalities. Ghassan Kanafani. Writer. Kamal Nasser.
Poet. Wael Zuaiter. Writer. Naji al-Ali. Cartoonist. Hujjat
al-Islam Sayyed Moussa Ali al-Kazimi of Iraq. Poet.
Juliano Mer-Khamis. Filmmaker. Muhammad Abou
Amr. Artist. My uncle Ishaq-Hussein Azaziah.
Writer. Apart from the Mighty Moujahideen
of Hizbullah and Iran’s IRGC, ‘Israel’ fears
nothing more, than Arabs and Muslims
with artistic talents gifted to them by
ALLAH (SWT), who are using such
talents, to spark a cultural
revolution: in which, Anti-
Zionism, Anti-Parasitism,
 Anti-Imperialism and
Liberationist Zeal,
are the pillars.

And as more and more artists follow in the footsteps of
these legends, the Zio-Tumour realizes that it cannot
kill everyone. It cannot silence everyone. It cannot
bully everyone into accepting its rabbinical edicts
on what can and can’t be said, in relation to the
shaytanic, fake existence of its shaytanic, fake
entity. Imprisonment isn’t a deterrent anymore
because the inspiration while exiled, on house
arrest or locked behind bars, only grows

So heed the call of Dareen Tatour! And write. Rhyme. Sing.
Spit. Draw. Paint. Film. Script. Photograph. Document.
Report. Whether in the Mother Tongue of Arabic,
English, Urdu, Farsi, Hindi, Spanish, Swedish or
Neptune-ese, if that’s what you have at your
disposal. Just let the artistry flow, until the
Nazarene Poet-Warrioress, and all of
Palestine’s political prisoners, still
rotting in Zion’s dungeons, are free.

Resist, my people, resist them… Those sons of Jahannam
masquerading as “the chosen”… Until not a one remains
and Falasteen is whole again.



*Views expressed by Guest Authors are their own,
Rhondda Records and Fort Russ News (original
source) publish these, for research and
educational purposes.

Literature Wales Newsletter - August 2018

In this issue:

2019 Bursaries and Mentoring Scheme

Funding for Writers:
The Literature Wales Writers' Bursaries and Mentoring Schemes are now open

We are delighted to announce that the next round of Bursaries and Mentoring is now open for submission. The schemes are open to emerging and experienced writers alike.

The Literature Wales Writers’ Bursaries enable writers to develop new work without any firm commitment to its publication. This gives writers the opportunity to venture into new territory and develop their artistic process, providing them with the time and resources to research, write, review and reflect. 

The Mentoring Scheme offers support and practical advice to writers at the start of their careers by offering them a place on a bespoke mentoring course as well as a series of one-to-one sessions with an experienced writer in order to develop a specific work in progress to a publishable standard.


The guidelines and application forms for the Writers’ Bursaries and Mentoring schemes are available to download from the Literature Wales website.


The closing date for applications for 2019 Bursaries and Mentoring is
5.00 pm on Tuesday 11 September 2018.

For further information contact Literature Wales on:

post@literaturewales.org / 029 2047 2266

Tŷ Newydd Courses

Crime Fiction: A Twist in the Tale
Dates: 13 - 18 August
Tutors: Belinda Bauer & Jasper Fforde
Fee: £495 - £625
Life Writing
Dates: 27 August - 1 September
Tutors: Katharine Norbury & Malacy Tallack
Fee: £495 - £625
Dates: 3 - 7 September 2018
Tutors: Hamish Pirie &
Tim Price
Fee: £395 - £495


Tŷ Newydd Newsletter

For regular updates about our courses and events at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre, sign up to receive our monthly newsletter: 
Sign up


Literature Wales at the Eisteddfod

Literature Wales is looking forward to welcoming the National Eisteddfod of Wales to Cardiff, as the festival takes place on the doorstep of our Cardiff Bay office between 4 - 11 of August.

We have organised a varied programme of events this year with themes such as the linguistic and cultural diversity of Cardiff; literature and well-being; Welsh history; developing the writers of Wales and more flowing through the offerings.

We’ll be opening our office doors to welcome festival-goers, so come and visit us – we’re situated at the side of the Wales Millennium Centre building, and both our coffee and our welcome is warm.

To see our programme in full, please visit: www.literaturewales.org

Questionnaire for Authors

As part of our ongoing aim to develop the services we offer to the writers of Wales, Literature Wales is eager to receive your feedback. We would appreciate your assistance by completing a short questionnaire.

To complete the questionnaire, please visit: www.literaturewales.org

Golden Egg Academy Branch to Launch in Wales

Budding children’s writers in Wales and the South West of England are to be offered the chance to join a new wing of the highly successful Golden Egg Academy. 

The Academy is thrilled to announce that Penny Thomas, Publisher at Firefly Press, will be heading up the new Wales and South West Golden Egg Academy satellite, set to launch in January 2019.


For further information, please visit: www.literaturewales.org


The following is a selection of literature opportunities available in Wales and beyond. For monthly opportunities, click here to visit the Literature Wales website.

Autumn Poetry Masterclass
with Two Eminent
Welsh Poets


Closing date: 31 August 2018

Are you a budding poet? Would you benefit from a week-long masterclass with Gillian Clarke and Robert Minhinnick? Why not apply to attend the Autumn Poetry Masterclass at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre from 25 October - 3 November 2018? Places are limited to 16 poets. Best of luck! 

For further information, please visit: www.literaturewales.org


The following list is only a selection of the literature events happening throughout Wales.
For full events listings,
click here to visit the Literature Wales website.

Launch of Hiraeth Erzolirzoli: Wales - Cameroon Anthology


Tuesday 7 August, 5.00 - 6.00 pm
Literature Wales office, Wales Millennium Centre


You are warmly invited to join us for a reception to celebrate the launch of Hiraeth Erzolirzoli: a Wales-Cameroon Anthology, a new title by Wales PEN Cymru and Literature Wales Board member and celebrated author Eric Ngalle Charles. He will be joined by the National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn; the president of Wales PEN Cymru, Menna Elfyn; and Literature Wales’ Deputy Chair Jacob Elis Dafydd; with readings from Grahame Davies and clare e potter.

Please RSVP to post@literaturewales.org to secure your place in the launch.

Hen Wlad fy Nhadau?


Tuesday 7 August, 7.30 pm
Sunflower & I, Cardiff Bay
Tickets: £5.00
from info@sunflowerandi.co.uk

An evening celebrating the languages and cultures of Wales' capital city as part of a project between Welsh poets and writers who are seeking asylum or are refugees in Cardiff. This event will feature readings by a host of writers including Ifor ap Glyn, Tania Mohamad Shawri, clare e potter, Eric Ngalle Charles and Meltem Arikan.

Arranged by Literature Wales in partnership with Wales Refugee Council and Wales PEN Cymru.

Tickets can be purchased by contacting: info@sunflowerandi.co.uk

The Llangwm Literary Festival


Friday 10 - Sunday 12 August
Llangwm Hall, SA62 4HT
Tickets: Free

The third Llangwm Literary Festival offers a diverse selection of local and internationally-known writers. Combining the theme of Women’s Suffrage with travel, the festival is showcasing WanderWomen featuring: Joanna Penberthy, the first female Bishop of the Church in Wales and Bishop of St Davids; Phoebe Smith, editor of Wanderlust; and Dervla Murphy will be crossing the Irish sea to focus on her latest books on Israel and Palestine.

For further information, click here.

Response: Creative Writing Time with Kate Pawsey


Saturday 11 August
Oriel Myrddin Gallery,
Carmarthen, SA31 1LH
Tickets: Free

Join Kate Pawsey to use writing as an exploratory tool in response to the current exhibition at Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Haptic/Tacit: In Search of the Vernacular. You will use creative, reflective and expressive words to slow down, to think, feel and sense the ways that the exhibition is prompting and stimulating to its viewers.

For further information, click here.

Between The Trees Festival


Friday 31 August - 2 September
Candleston Castle, Bridgend, CF32 0LS

Tickets: from £10.00

Between the Trees is a unique festival in South Wales with a brilliant mix of live music, art, science and nature in the middle of the woods. The highlights of the literary line-up include Wales Book of the Year winner, Rhian Edwards, and Costa Prize winning poet, Jonathan Edwards.

For further information, click here.


If you would like to contact Literature Wales
please email post@literaturewales.org

Literature Wales
Chief Executive: Lleucu Siencyn
Glyn Jones Centre, Wales Millennium Centre
Bute Place, Cardiff, CF10 5AL
029 2047 2266 / post@literaturewales.org
Copyright © 2018 Llenyddiaeth Cymru / Literature Wales, All rights reserved.
Literature Wales is supported by the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Government.

A poem song: 

'your happiness, is my happiness.'

Kazuo Ishiguro wins 2017 nobel prize for literature

 Kazuo Ishiguro wins 2017
 Nobel Prize in Literature
October 5th.

Xinhua - The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017 is awarded
to Kazuo Ishiguro "who, in novels of great emotional force,
has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of
connection with the world", the Swedish Academy
announced in Stockholm on Thursday.

Kazuo Ishiguro has been a full-time author ever since his first book,
A Pale View of Hills (1982). The themes Ishiguro is most associated
with are already present here: memory, time, and self-delusion,
the Swedish Academy, in his biographical notes.

Ishiguro's writings are marked by a carefully restrained mode of
expression, independent of whatever events are taking place.
At the same time, his more recent fiction contains fantastic
features, the notes added.

"His novel, as in several others, we also find musical influences,"
the notes said, adding that apart from his eight books, Ishiguro
has also written scripts for film and television.

Kazuo Ishiguro was born on Nov. 8, 1954 in Nagasaki, Japan.

 The family moved to the United Kingdom when he was five
years old. In the late 1970s, Ishiguro graduated in English
and Philosophy at the University of Kent, and then went
on to study Creative Writing, at the University of
East Anglia.

This year's prize is 9 million SEK (1.1 million U.S. dollars).



‘The Candidate: Jeremy Corbyn’s Improbable Path to Power’
 by Alex Nunns, wins the Bread & Roses Award for Radical
 Publishing, 2017

The Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) is delighted to
 announce the winner of this year’s Bread and Roses
Award for Radical Publishing as ‘The Candidate:
Jeremy Corbyn’s Improbable Path to Power’ by
 Alex Nunns and published by OR Books.

The judges greatly appreciated this exploration of the deep
roots of the Corbyn phenomenon. In The Candidate, Nunns
shows that Corbyn’s victories weren’t the accidental
consequence of other candidates’ failures, but were
 built on the work of an energised, thoughtful and
committed movement of citizen-campaigners.

Cogent, optimistic, well-written and thoroughly researched,
 this hugely topical book records with great intimacy and
insight an historical moment whose lessons mustn’t be
forgotten, while also exposing the persistent forces
 which continue to work against social change.

Alex Nunn’s was awarded the prize and a cheque for £500
 by guest judge Joan Anim-Addo at this year’s London
Radical Bookfair, hosted as ever by the ARB.

2017’s prize money was generously granted
 by the General Federation of Trade Unions.

Guest judge Joan Anim-Addo presented
 Alex Nunn’s with the award.

Book summary

In September 2015 an earthquake shook the foundations
 of British politics. Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong and
uncompromising socialist, was elected to head
the Labour Party. Corbyn didn’t just win the
leadership contest, he trounced opponents.
The establishment was aghast. The official
opposition now had as its leader a man
 with a plan, according to the Daily
Telegraph, “to turn Britain into

How this remarkable twist of events occurre is the
subject of Alex Nunns’ highly readable and richly
researched account. Drawing on 1st-hand inter-
views with those involved in the campaign,
 including its most senior figures, Nunns
traces the origins of Corbyn’s victory in
 the dissatisfaction with Blairism stirred
 by the Iraq War and the 2008 financial
 crash, the move to the left of the trade
unions, and changes in the electoral
rules of the Labour Party that turned
 out to be surreally at odds with the
 intentions of those who introduced
them. The system of one-member-
one-vote, that delivered Corbyn’s
 success, was opposed by those
 on the left and was heralded by
 Tony Blair who described it as
“a long overdue reform that…
I should have done myself.”

Giving full justice to the dramatic swings & nail-biting
 tensions of an extraordinary summer in UK politics,
Nunns’ telling of a story that has received wide-
spread attention but little understanding is as
 illuminating as it is entertaining. He teases
out a plotline of such improbability that it
would be unusable in a work of fiction,
giving the first convincing explanation
 of a remarkable phenomenon with
enormous consequences for the
 left in Britain and beyond.

For more info please visit the OR Book website:


Tabloid Fury Is
Very Satisfying’

June 7th

Subversive artist DARREN CULLEN talks about
the Tories, and making bad people angry,
with Ben Cowles.

On the Tories’ general election campaign paraphernalia
 you won’t find any mention of the deaths of almost
10,000 sick and disabled people between 2011 and
2014 as a result of their politically driven
 austerity measures.

Luckily, one satirical artist has done that for them using
 subvertising — an art form which subverts and satirises
 corporate and political messages with their own logos,
 slogans and adverts.

What might appear at first glance as the Tories’ tree logo
 on a bus stop poster is in fact a mushroom cloud
 over London.

This is but one example of the work of Darren Cullen, a
 30-something, Yorkshire born, London-based artist
whose works usually appear under the moniker
Spelling Mistakes Cost Lives.

Not only is he attempting to reverse Tory propaganda
but the subvertising virtuoso has been undermining
the entire military-industrial-media complex for years.

I caught up with the renegade creator this week, to
 find out more about the motivations behind his work.

What was it that drew you into subvertising?

I originally thought I wanted to go into advertising and
 was studying it for a few years, but the more I learnt,
the more I started to see advertising as little more
a gigantic machine for creating human misery.

It’s a sustained psychological assault on the population
 and I think it’s hard to overstate the brutal and
permanent damage it does to us as individuals,
to society, and to the planet itself.

I’m attracted to subvertising because it’s a way of
taking the language and context of advertising
 and turning it back on itself to get across
better, more progressive messages.

But it also has the added bonus of destroying or hiding
an existing corporate advert in the process, which can
only be a good thing.

Your latest work has been directed at the Tory Party.
 Can you tell us a bit about your motivations for
 this project?

There are a million reasons to hate this government;
 their cruel and irrational austerity policies are killing
 thousands and damning hundreds of thousands
 more, to misery and poverty.

Then there’s the charade of the piecemeal destruction of
 the NHS, not least because these market fundamentalists
 are ideologically opposed to its existence.

I was also prompted by Theresa May’s willingness to
unquestioningly follow the petulant US President
Donald Trump, whose tantrums may well lead
 us all into large-scale conventional or nuclear
 war before the next four years are up.

How do you see Britain’s future if the Tories win?
Do you have any artistic plans for that depressing
 reality if/when that happens?

I don’t see a future if they win.
I’ve been working on an anti-Thatcher museum
 for the last two years, which will only be more
necessary, if the Tories win another term.

But no matter who gets in, the problems of militarism,
global warming, rampant consumerism and the arms
trade, among many many others, will still be there.

The struggle continues, no matter who is in Number 10.

It’s not about winning; it’s about taking the bastards apart.

You work often draws attention to consumerist society’s
 indoctrination of children. How do you feel about
 children being marketed to?

I think child-focused advertising is one of the most
 disturbing and unethical practices of our age.

Kids are being groomed by corporations because
 they know that if they capture the imagination of
 a child, they can rely on that child to become
an adult customer for their entire life.

I cannot understand how anyone can justify the
 psychological manipulation of children for profit.

The people who do this for a living should be in jail.

You say on your website that your work is pro-soldier
but anti-military. Can you explain what you mean by this?

I see soldiers as being among the many (often working-
class) victims of the military-industrial complex.

Often they are economically conscripted, signed
from poor areas while they are 16, after being
bombarded by slick million-pound recruitment
advertising that more resembles a music video
 than a serious explanation -- about the life and
death situations they are going to be placed in.

Servicemen and women can also be powerful allies
the fight against militarism, as we’ve seen with
Veterans for Peace UK.

If we’re going to win the argument about dismantling
modern British imperialism and the war machine, we
need former soldiers on our side, Their condemnation
 of militarism carries a lot of weight.

Your work must generate plenty of abuse for you.
 Is it your aim to make conservative types angry
or is there something else you want to elicit
 within people?

I enjoy making bad people angry and good people laugh.
 It’s debatable whether that’s an effective strategy for
 changing anything.

But I also often attempt to reframe old, tired issues, in a
 way that allows people to see them as if it's the first time.

The Birth of Palestine is a comic I’ve been working on
set in the future, when the UN decides to give the
Palestinian people their own homeland in
 what was formerly known as Spain.

 So the Palestinians become the Israelis and the
Europeans are the Arab nations. And the rest
the book is basically seeing how far I can

stretch that metaphor... before it breaks.

You get quite a lot of flak from the right-wing press,
your works on the military. What do you think
their reporting?

Tabloid fury is very satisfying when it’s directed at you, for
 something you did in order to make them furious. There’s
a symbiotic relationship there.

I know for a fact a lot of these journalists for right-wing rags
 don’t believe a word they type. I had one Sun journalist tell
me she actually loved my anti-Trident posters while the
 story she wrote was full of fury and outrage.

I don’t care as long as they’re printing my images
 and getting them into their readers’ brains.

Is subversive art an effective form of highlighting
hypocrisies & injustices of our consumerist,
neoliberal, militaristic times?

I think it can be effective at highlighting things, whether it
changes anyone’s mind is another question. I think there
 also comes a stage, and I see it more and more, whereby
 capitalism and militarism are doing a pretty good job of
satirising themselves.

I’ve made a few satirical dystopian toys -- like
Action Man:
Battlefield Casualties and Baby’s
First Baby -- but if you
go to a real toy shop,
you’ll find boxes of Playmobil
Riot Police
and the British military’s own toy range,

HM Armed Forces, with a Reaper drone
(ages 5+).

 I don’t know how you can top that with actual satire.

You can find more of Darren Cullen’s work at
 spellingmistakescostlives.com or find him
Twitter: @darren_cullen.

 Ben Cowles is the deputy features editor
 of the Morning Star.

Reminder Of
Poetry’s Possibilities
And Responsibilities

21st century poetry, with Andy Croft

The  Algerian war of independence, from 1954 to 1962,
was one of the bloodiest post-1945 liberation struggles.

Characterised by civilian massacres and the widespread
 use of torture, it led to the death and displacement of
 two million people.

It was also the first major conflict since the Spanish civil war
to mobilise a generation of writers and artists to protest
 against the conduct of the war, most notably in Frantz
 Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth and Gillo Pontecorvo’s
The Battle of Algiers.

In 1960, many of France’s leading writers and intellectuals —
 including Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Andre
Breton, Pierre Boulez, Francois Truffaut and Marguerite
 Duras — signed Le Manifeste des 121, calling on the
 French government to renounce the use of torture
in Algeria.

As a result, many writers found themselves on the frontline.

The Algerian writer Mouloud Feraoun was assassinated by
the fascist paramilitary organisation OAS in 1962. It also tried,
unsuccessfully, to kill Madeleine Riffaud, who reported on the
 war for the communist newspaper L’Humanite.

There were two attempts on Sartre’s life.

Edited by Francis Combes and translated by Alan Dent,
 Poets and the Algerian War (Smokestack, £7.99) features
 some of the French poets who opposed the war, including
Louis Aragon, Jacques Gaucheron, Riffaud, Henri Deluy
and Guillevic, as well as Algerian poets like Jean Senac,
Kateb Yacine, Bachir Hadj Ali, Noureddine Aba and
Mohamed Saleh Baouiya.

The Algerian poet Messaour Boulanouar,
imprisoned during the conflict, wrote:

“I write so that life can be respected by all...
I give my light to those suffocated by shadow
Those who will triumph over shame and vermin
I write for the man in pain the blind man
The man closed in by sadness
The man hidden from the day’s splendour...
So we might respect
The tree which rises
The corn which grows
The grass in the desert
The hope of men.”

Many of these, such as Riffaud, tried to draw attention
 to the widespread use of torture by France's authorities:

“They kill them with fire, water, electricity
Those who lived far from springs
Dreaming of water all their life
Those who shivered, without coal
In Mouloud’s frozen sun.
Those who lay awake in the dark
Buried in a gloomy slum.”

And this is Gabriel Cousin:

“In a police station near the autumnal
park, electrodes are placed on a
man whose body fills with cries and dizziness.
He is Algerian.
To muffle his cries the policemen
turn on the radio which brings the voice
of Monsieur André Malraux:
‘I assert that torture has stopped in Algeria.’”

The book also includes a remarkable series of poems
 first published in the magazine Action Poetique in
 memory of Maurice Audin, a young university
 lecturer and member of the Algerian Communist
 Party who was tortured and murdered by the
 French authorities. Jo Guglielmi wrote:

“Someone is dead
We know in which town which street in which house
A cell remains empty
We know very well who did the killing.”

And this is part of a long poem by Jean Perret:

 “Maurice Audin, I write your name
I carry your name in my anger
On my heart and my reason
My wife carries your name
My children carry your name
Lenin bears your name.”

Poets and the Algerian War is an important historical
document. But it is also a reminder of the possibilities
and of the responsibilities of poetry, in our own times.

(Original article appeared in Morning Star)

 Ode to the NeoCons —
The Charge of the White Hat Brigade
by Rob Slane? (who can drum up a good tune?)
Originally appeared at The Blog Mire

The White Hats and the Black Hats stood on each side,
Eyeball to eyeball across the divide.
Neither advanced nor retreated one inch,
The world held its breath to see who would flinch.

But the fears were misplaced for as it transpired,
The Black Hats retreated – no shot being fired.
The cost of the standoff just too much to pay,
They packed up their stuff and went on their way.

Well the White Hats rejoiced and in triumph did shout,
“Our victory marks history’s end, there’s no doubt.
We’re children of destiny, reigning supreme,
There’s no time to lose, let’s get on with our dream.”

“We’re the White Hats, the White Hats, the White Hat Brigade,
And now we’ll go round this world we have made.
Bringing White Hats to the people ourselves,
And generally saving them all from themselves.”

So they began their incredible mission,
To bring the whole world into White Hat submission.
They dropped lots of bombs, good ones of course,
Generous bombs for a generous cause.

When some complained that this just wasn’t right,
They pointed towards their hats which were white.
“White Hats can never do wrong,” they affirmed,
“Therefore we always are right,” they confirmed.

“We’re the White Hats, the White Hats, the White Hats are we,
Ours is a lonely and high destiny.
Bringing White Hats to folks everywhere,
Whether they like it or not we don’t care.”

They invented untruths of gargantuan size,
Not bad ones of course, but White Hatted lies,
Deceptions, psyops, huge fabrications,
To sell their benevolent wars to the nations.

“He’s the New Hitler,” they cried in alarm,
“He’s armed to the teeth and intent on our harm.
He must be removed, we mustn’t appease,
Let’s kill him and show our commitment to peace.”

“We’re the White Hats, the White Hats, the White Hats R Us,
When we bomb, maim and kill, please don’t make a fuss.
We’re just doing good and they’ll love us you’ll see,
When we bring them our White Hats and de-moc-racy.

So the bombs kept on falling, but rather than order,
Came havoc and mayhem from border to border.
What lessons were learned, what warnings were heeded?
“Cleverer tactics and more bombs are needed.”

And so they aligned with death-cult Wahhabists,
White Hatted armies of proxy jihadists.
To carve up a nation, its leader as well,
“We came and we saw and he died!” Ain’t that swell!

“We’re the White Hats, the White Hats, we’re nobody’s fools,
We’re history’s actors, and we make the rules,
Creating a world that you can’t comprehend,
The means always being justified by the end.”

No respite could come because every place,
Had to submit to the White Hats or face,
Chaos, regime change, demonization,
Plus mainstream Pravda insulting their nation.

Missiles 4 Peace dropped from White Hatted drones,
Globalist White-Hatted tapping of phones.
“Moderate” head-chopping terrorists too,
Cookies 4 Peace for a White Hatted coup.

“We’re the White Hats, the White Hats, from the day of our birth,
We’ve been destined to rule and inherit the earth,
The world needs a policeman, and whom may we ask,
Is better equipped than us for this task?”

Yet slowly but surely there were more and more folks,
That started to ask, “Are their white hats a hoax?
They say they’re about bringing peace, law and order,
Yet it sure looks to us more like war and disorder.”

But whenever their actions were held to the light,
And questions were asked if they really were right.
The White Hats lashed out with uncontained fury,
“We are the judge, prosecution and jury.”

“We’re the White Hats, the White Hats, and don’t you forget,
We run the world and you’re all in our debt.
We keep you safe from all Black Hatted strife,
We are the Way and the Truth and the Life.”

So any critique of their actions and vision,
Was greeted with furious howls of derision:
“It’s Fake News and Hate Views from Black Hatted trolls,
Vile propagandists; Deplorable goals.

All our plans, which are good, are at risk from this stuff,
Our motives are pure but we’ve now had enough.
Freedom of speech is too precious to lose,
And so we must shut down alternative views.”

“We’re the White Hats, the White Hats, Exceptionally so,
And we’re indispensably running this show,
We can’t have our narrative subject to flack,
By haters and bigots whose hats are quite black.”

But the day is approaching, and come yes it must,
When the dreams of the White Hats will crumble to dust,
And all their ambitions will teeter and fall,
As a handwritten message declares on a wall:

“The days of your kingdom, to an end have been brought,
And so has the world domination you’ve sought.
Weighed in the scales, the verdict is in,
The end of the White Hats is in history’s bin.”

The White Hats, the White Hats, well what do you know,
It turns out they weren’t really running the show,
Let their end be a lesson, and shout it out loud,
“God raises the humble, but brings down the proud.”


Song/poem sung for the
brave people of Donbass


How many songs are unwritten yet?
Tell me, cuckoo, sing it to me
Where should I live, in the city or outside
Lie like a stone or shine like a star
Like a star

 My sun, come on, look at me
 My palm turned into a fist
And if there's gunpowder, give me fire
 That's how it is

 Who's going to follow my lonely track
The strong and brave laid down their lives
On the battlefield, in fight
Few of them remained in our memory
 Sober-minded, with the steady hand, in arms
 In arms

My sun, come on, look at me
 My palm turned into a fist
And if there's gunpowder, give me fire
That's how it is

 Where are you now, my liberal freedom
Who are you meeting sweet sunrise with
Give me an answer
It's good to live with you and hard without you
The head and patient shoulders
To put under whip lashes,
whip lashes

You my sun, come on, look at me
 My palm turned into a fist
And if there's gunpowder, give me fire
 It's like this (x2)

The minute they realise

you might succeed in changing

more than the occasional

light bulb in the new

old community centre,

where the anti-apartheid

meetings used to happen; 


the late Lord Lambton 

climbs out from between 

two prostitutes and into

the next available issue

of the Daily Express 

to urge votes for anyone

but you; Earl Haig 


gets up from his grave

to bang the table and tell us

you’ve not successfully 

organised enough death

to properly understand 

Britain’s defence needs

in the twenty first century. 


The Telegraph mutters

into its whiskers about your lack

of experience – how you never once

so much as successfully destroyed a bank; 

as former comedians gather 

in darkest Norwich and Lincolnshire

to speak of your beige zip-up jackets. 


LBC Radio exclusively reveals your plan 

to give each failed asylum-seeker,

and anyone who’s ever

taken an axe to a child,

their own seat in 

the House of Lords;

the same day, The Spectator 

gives retired General

Franco space to expose your 

long term associations 

with known vegetarians

and Mexican importers 

of fair trade coffee. 


While on Radio Four’s Women’s Hour 

the former editor of the News of The World

and Dame Myra Hindley agree:

the last thing this country needs

right now is you.  



     Winners Are People like you welsh

Thank you Thank you Thank you!

(You did us proud in this European Cup!)

Together. Stronger.

Look into your heart,
not the scar on your wrist

That blow opened it

Opened you

It isn't what has happened
But how you react to it


Family, friends, even enemies
Celebrate purity

We all fly between
pleasure and pain

Together. Stronger.

Take a bow


Winners Are People Like You
by Nancy Sims

Winners take chances.

Like everyone else, they fear failing,

But they refuse to let fear control them.

Winners don’t give up.

When life gets rough, they hang in

Until the going gets better.

Winners are flexible.

They realize there is more than one way

And are willing to try others.

Winners know they are not perfect.

They respect their weaknesses

While making the most of their strengths.

Winners fall, but they don’t stay down.

They stubbornly refuse to let a fall

Keep them from climbing.

Winners don’t blame

Fate for their failures

Nor luck for their successes.

Winners accept responsibility

For their lives.

Winners are positive thinkers

Who see good in all things.

From the ordinary

They make the extraordinary.

Winners believe in the path

They have chosen

Even when it’s hard,

Even when others can’t see

Where they are going.

Winners are patient.

They know a goal is only as worthy

As the effort that’s required to achieve it.

Winners are people like you.

They make this world

a better place to be

New blog launched!

New blog launched!

A new book blog www.CreatedtoRead.com has been launched. The blog will not only publish reviews of books and poetry, but will also feature literary festivals and events as well as interviews with writers.

The very first interview has been published – an interview with the poet Roy Marshall, in which he talks about what inspired him to become a writer, how his writing has developed and his next book, due to be published in 2017.

Over the coming months the blog will also include a series of posts on:

  • National Poetry Writing Month
  • Cardiff Children's Literature Festival
  • Stewarding at the Hay Festival
  • The Ledbury Poetry Festival and more…

I will also collate useful links, challenge and inspire readers, and intersperse all this with honest, thorough and engaging book reviews.

Users will be able to subscribe to the blog, and will be encouraged to join the discussion by leaving comments.

Visit the blog now - www.createdtoread.com

Please get in touch if you have a book you'd like me to review or an event you'd like me to attend, or if you're interested in collaborating with me in any way...

Email: rachel@createdtoread.com
Twitter: @createdtoread
Facebook: www.facebook.com/createdtoread

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Our mailing address is:
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United Kingdom

Add us to your address book

red jewel


In his last interview before death, noted German

 author Gunter Grass warned about  ”sleepwalking
 towards another world war.” He told the Spanish
 newspaper El Pais:

“We have on the one side Ukraine, whose situation
 is not improving; in Israel and Palestine things are
 getting worse; the disaster the Americans left in
Iraq, the atrocities of Islamic state, and the
of Syria.”

“There is war everywhere. We run the risk of
committing the same mistakes as before. So
without realizing it, we can get into a world
war as if we were sleepwalking.”

“All of this together makes me realize that
 things are finite --- that we don’t have an
 indefinite amount of time,” Grass explained.


Before you know kindness
as the deepest thing inside

You must know sorrow as
the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you can see the size of the cloth.

Naomi Shihab Nye.



Youngsters ask, "what is fascism?"
I struggle to answer, because the
 answer must be right, or we won't
stop it this time.

Hungary, the first fascist government
in Europe, before World War 2, now has
a statue in its main square to a fascist.

Their most voted for party, is fascist.

Croatia has been fascist ever since

NATO destroyed Yugoslavia.


In memoriam Kurt Waldheim*
 by Thomas Ország-Land
Small world, what, Excellency? We shall not shake hands.
I do not care how you manage to live with the murder of children
among the conquered women and spoilt vineyards and olivegroves
back in the Balkans, back in your youth: that is your affair.
But what you have done, to me and my world, that’s mine.
At last, our final meeting. You were an obedient officer
ordered to make a corpse of me,  perforce a small one.
I have survived the mayhem to make a poem of you.
I am more generous than you and far more consistent.
Old soldiers like you in public life can still be of use.
Admit the past for the sake of the future, and go in peace
at the mercy of your smouldering, sordid, meandering memories.
Or dare to persist in denying the truth and the value of life,
pretend that nothing occurred to stir your attention,
and I promise you will never escape the stench of corpses:
for I will record your name as well as the crimes
from which you say you averted your indifferent eyes,
in tales of horror to be recounted throughout the ages
till the end of the march of innocent future generations
to weigh up anew, again and again, and recoil from your life.

*Kurt Waldheim, (1918-2007), former president
 of Austria, secretary-general of the UN and
 intelligence officer of Hitler’s Wehrmacht...
 died peacefully days after publicly repenting
his silence over the atrocities he oversaw.


Fascism causes atrocities, because it's a way of
fooling working people to hate,
so that they don't
rearrange their societies
and remove the banking
elite's power.

"Immigrants", "gays", "communists", "Jews", "scroungers",
all receive
the passionate hatred of those who are turned
 from being loving socialists... in
to murderous racists.

Nigel Farage says he admires Putin over Ukraine.

Hitler and Mussolini both spoke reflecting popular
ideas, including a belief in socialism and progress,

then got people to hate others, helpless minorities,
externalising anger, deflecting it away from banks.

They were funded by US banks and local oligarchs.

So, my definition of fascism?

- the corporate state merged with a nationalism, fueled
by hatred and with no dissent allowed - is inadequate,

a failure by socialists to build a better way, and the
collapse of
hope, also fuels the road there.

the precious blood jewel of freedom

 The poetry of struggle - Fit To Work: Poets Against Atos

(section taken from the Morning Star article)

Mark Burnhope is editor of the website Fit to Work: Poets Against Atos.

"We want to change the meaning of 'fit to work' from a condemnatory
life sentence to a recognition that everyone is fit to - and wants to -
 work, in dignity and security at the work of their choice," he says.

"We believe that these circumstances are often off-limits -
we are fit to work, but by and large our corporate culture
is not fit for anyone to work in.

"That's amplified by the experience of physical
or mental illness and disability."

Burnhope sees Atos and the work capability assessment programme
"the corporatisation of the Department for Work and Pensions.

To say the programme isn't working is a gross understatement,"

"WH Auden's line 'poetry makes nothing happen' has been taken
out of context and made into a challenge - one we're accepting."

"Amid the misery of the coalition government there have been
flashes of excitement as a coalition is being created on the
streets, in squats, in occupations and in community groups.

"We've seen disabled and disability activists at the forefront of
student fees protests, and the benefits cuts are leading to an
alliance around disability rights between disability activists and
other campaigners. We're making contacts as we go - building
bridges between poetry and disability arts communities, finding
contributors from all around, and they're finding us, which is nice.

"I'm just a 'proactivist' or a 'reactivist' - I've watched the
government swing a wrecking ball through the sick and
disabled community and I've had to say no. Publicly.

"Like race, gender and sexuality, disability has often been invisible
on the left or regarded as an add-on - but now people are seeing
that it's not a supplementary, minority issue but central and
far-reaching. Disabled people have always faced a dominant
culture which sees their complaints and demands as quaint.

"But we're now seeing the effects of a government and media-
manufactured culture that sees benefit claimants - any benefit
claimants, the average Joe doesn't differentiate - as 'scroungers.'

"The overwhelming mood among the disabled and sick people I
know and have met through social networks is that this protest
has become synonymous with disabled rights as a whole. These
times could be the most significant for disabled rights in recent
history. We're taking back the movement from a government that
makes every effort to undo its achievements."

 What inspired the project? 

"The combined effects of simultaneous vicious attacks on the
99 per cent and how they affect people with disabilities -
universal credit, the personal independence payment and
employment support allowance, the bedroom tax, the
continued outsourcing of the work capability assessment
programme - with the free market, profit-led values it promotes.

"This is intensified by the tabloid media's language of 'scrounging'
  & 'skiving,' all of which undermine any gains made in dismantling
the disabling public perceptions of people with disabilities.

"It's the horrible paradox where [Minister for Disabled People]
Esther McVey claims she is helping (helpless) people with
disabilities out of the oppression of benefits - double-speak
for depriving us of what we need to participate in an 'ablist'
society on our own terms."

  "Both the poetry community in this country and the disability
arts and activism community have shown their support by
submitting work, reading the site and sharing it.

"We've got a WriteToThem link on the site so that readers can
share it with their MPs, and we're waiting to see what - if any -
responses we get, which we'll post on the site.

"So far all but a - legendary - handful of MPs have been very quiet
about the total eradication of a fair benefits system, and we're
hoping against hope that the poems and statements on the site
wake them up to the real effects on their constituents.

"We're also running a GoFundMe campaign to support the site,
which we're running independently and for free. But we know
that many of our contributors and readers are all struggling in
the same economic situation. We'd like to raise enough money
to enlarge the project, maybe with a print book, and even live
reading events & workshops, thus increasing visibility further."

Any public events planned? 

"Does anyone have an accessible - and public
transport accessible - venue with sign-language
and hearing aid provision?" 

"If so, we'd love to hear from you, so we can bring
our poets and our audience together. Get in touch!"

For more information visit
Fit To Work: Poets Against Atos

or their Facebook page.



by Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif

They are criminals, increasing their crimes.
They are criminals, claiming to be peace-loving.
They are criminals, torturing the hunger strikers.
They are artists of torture,
They are artists of pain and fatigue,
They are artists of insults and humiliation.
They are faithless—traitors and cowards—
They have surpassed devils with their criminal acts.
They do not respect the law,
They do not respect men,
They do not spare the elderly,
They do not spare the baby-toothed child.
They leave us in prison for years, uncharged,
Because we are Muslims.
Where is the world to save us from torture?
Where is the world to save us from the fire and sadness?
Where is the world to save the hunger strikers?
But we are content, on the side of justice and right,
Worshipping the Almighty.
And our motto on this island is, salaam.


Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, a 27-year-old Yemeni
from a family of modest means, was the victim
 of a 1994 accident that resulted in serious head
 injuries, Latif spent much of the rest of the decade
 seeking affordable medical treatment in Jordan,
 Afghanistan, and Pakistan. After the 9/11 attacks
 on the United States, he was taken into custody
 by Pakistani forces and turned over to the US for
 a $5,000 bounty. He was eventually flown to
 Guantánamo and kept for a time in an open-air
 kennel exposed to the elements, causing further
 deterioration of his health. He died after joining
 the latest hunger strike, which is ongoing...



Prominent Chilean bards, several Mapuches among
them, participated in celebrating World Poetry Day
in 2013, along with Chilean blues groups.

The celebration took place in Providencia, a town
of the capital city, sponsored by the municipality,
and produced by ChilePoesia (PoetryChile).

Every year this international meeting's venue
is Chile, homeland of Gabriela Mistral, Vicente
Huidobro, Pablo de Rokha and Pablo Neruda.

Prominent poets read their works from the
balconies and columns of the Palacio
Consistorial (Council Palace).

Poets participating in the celebration included
Leonel Lienlaf, Teresa Calderon, Jaime Huenun,
Loreley Saavedra, Magdalena Pulgar, Karen Hermosilla,
Jose Maria Memet, Elicura Chihuailaf, A'scar Saavedra,
Faumelisa Manquepillan and Mauricio Redoles.

Chilean blues groups Ivan Torres & Zapatillas
Social Blues, Tito Escarate and Los Galanes
Suplentes and La Bandadel Capitán Corneta
also performed.

The recital was broadcast by a 'streaming' system
which connected the celebration in Chile with other
countries of the world, allowing poets from all over
the world, to participate.

Leading up to the celebration, in the morning, roving
recitals took place in the Santiago de Chile subway.

From the 25th to 28th March, documentaries were
screened about the great Chilean and world poets.

World Poetry Day is celebrated every March 21st,
the date established by UNESCO during its 30th
meeting, held in Paris, in 1999.


The Bards Of Wales

 Edward the king, the English king,
Bestrides his tawny steed,
'For I will see if Wales,' said he,
'Accepts my rule indeed.

'Are stream and mountain fair to see?
Are meadow grasses good?
Do corn-lands bear a crop more rare
Since wash'd with rebel's blood?

'And are the wretched people there,
Whose insolence I broke
As happy as the oxen are
Beneath the driver's yoke?

'In truth this Wales, Sire, is a gem,
The fairest in your crown:
The stream and field rich harvest yield,
And fair are dale and down.

'And all the wretched people there
Are calm as man could crave;
Their hovels stand throughout the land
As silent as the grave.'

Edward the king, the English King
Bestrides his tawny steed;
A silence deep his subjects keep
And Wales is mute indeed.

The castle named Montgomery
Ends that day's journeying;
The castle's lord, Montgomery,
Must entertain the king.

Then game and fish and ev'ry dish
That lures the taste and sight
A hundred hurrying servants bear
To please the appetite.

With all of worth the isle brings forth
In dainty drink and food,
And all the wines of foreign vines
Beyond the distant flood.

'You lords, you lords, will none consent
His glass with mine to ring?
What? Each one fails, you dogs of Wales,
To toast the English king?

'Though game and fish and ev'ry dish
That lures the taste and sight
Your hand supplies, your mood defies
My person with a slight.

'You rascal lords, you dogs of Wales,
Will none for Edward cheer?
To serve my needs and chant my deeds
Then let a bard appear!'

The nobles gaze in fierce amaze,
Their cheeks grow deadly pale;
Not fear but rage their looks engage,
They blanch but do not quail.

All voices cease in soundless peace,
All breathe in silent pain;
Then at the door a harpist hoar
Comes in with grave disdain:

'Lo, here I stand, at your command,
To chant your deeds, O king!'
And weapons clash and hauberks crash
Responsive to his string.

'Harsh weapons clash and hauberks crash,
And sunset sees us bleed,
The crow and wolf our dead engulf -
This, Edward, is your deed!

'A thousand lie beneath the sky,
They rot beneath the sun,
And we who live shall not forgive
This deed your hand hath done!'

'Now let him perish! I must have'
(The monarch's voice is hard)
'Your softest songs, and not your wrongs!'
In steps a boyish bard:

'The breeze is soft at eve, that oft
From Milford Havens moans;
It whispers maidens' stifled cries,
It breathes of widows' groans.

'You maidens, bear no captive babes!
You mothers, rear them not!'
The fierce king nods. The lad is seiz'd
And hurried from the spot.

Unbidden then, among the men,
There comes a dauntless third
With speech of fire he tunes his lyre,
And bitter is his word:

'Our bravest died to slake your pride -
Proud Edward, hear my lays!
No Welsh bards live who e'er will give
Your name a song of praise.

'Our harps with dead men's memories weep.
Welsh bards to you will sing
One changeless verse - our blackest curse
To blast your soul, O king!'

'No more! Enough!' - cries out the king.
In rage his orders break:
'Seek through these vales all bards of Wales
And burn them at the stake!'

His men ride forth to south and north,
They ride to west and east.
Thus ends in grim Montgomery
The celebrated feast.

Edward the king, the English king
Spurs on his tawny steed;
Across the skies red flames arise
As if Wales burned indeed.

In martyrship, with song on lip,
Five hundred Welsh bards died;
Not one was mov'd to say he lov'd
The tyrant in his pride.

''Ods blood! What songs this night resound
Upon our London streets?
The mayor shall feel my irate heel
If aught that sound repeats!

Each voice is hush'd; through silent lanes
To silent homes they creep.
'Now dies the hound that makes a sound;
The sick king cannot sleep.'

'Ha! Bring me fife and drum and horn,
And let the trumpet blare!
In ceaseless hum their curses come -
I see their dead eyes glare…'

But high above all drum and fife
and trumpets' shrill debate,
Five hundred martyr'd voices chant
Their hymn of deathless hate

Janos Arany

Tomas Borge

Tomas Borge died recently. We remember him.
He was the last of Nicaragua's Sandinista leaders
who faced Somoza's National Guard and the army of
Contra cut-throats sent by "cuddly" President Reagan
to terrorise people into betraying their revolution.
Now Nicaragua has a Sandinista government which
is raising its people from poverty, yet sits in
a sea of US-controlled narco-terror states.

Tomas Borge was tortured unspeakably by Contra
elements backed by the US. The torture included
being forced to watch his wife being gang-raped
and then murdered. He went on to write this poem
with Luis Enrique Mejía Godoy about forgiveness:

My Personal Revenge

My personal revenge will be the right
of your children to school and to flowers;
My personal revenge will be to offer you
this florid song without fears;
My personal revenge will be to show you
the good there is in the eyes of my people,
always unyielding in combat
and most steadfast and generous in victory.
My personal revenge will be to say to you
good morning, without beggars in the streets,
when instead of jailing you I intend
you shake the sorrow from your eyes;
when you, practitioner of torture,
can no longer so much as lift your gaze,
my personal revenge will be to offer you
these hands you once maltreated
without being able to make them forsake tenderness.
And it was the people who hated you most
when the song was a language of violence;
But the people today beneath its skin
of red and black* has its heart uplifted.

The colours of the Nicaraguan flag.

Pure poetry for an impure people:

"Occupy USA: Democracy Is Coming"

by Leonard Cohen

(Tell EVERYONE of the 99% to watch it
on Youtube - IT's BRILLIANT !)

war, wrong way


"We would rather be ruined than changed;

We would rather die in our dread

Than climb across the moment

And let our illusions die."

- W.H. Auden

progress of self

They hang the man and flog the woman
That steal the goose from off the common,
But let the greater villain loose,
That steals the common from the goose.


The Jeju Jewel called
‘Take your cruel weight of concrete stars from our feet.’
And where it slides into the sea, through this surf of truth
Red green yellow orange shiny from the silver lips of fishes,
The dance of weed,
‘This land this earth and all its souls is just
One perfect clasp
Between two foolish cruel walls.’
‘Time – long overtime
To Stop.
Take your sour ships of hate, suspicion and waste
from our clear skies of ocean.’

The rock holds hands
as we do,
yes, as we do - in the south, so the north, the east, the west.

Jill Gough

wales flag


Words are energy;
let's gather, store and offer them
with utmost care.


"If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win, but think you can't
It's almost a cinch you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you've lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will:
It's all in his state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are:
You've got to think high to rise,
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You'll ever win that prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can."

Attributed to Author Napoleon Hill circa 1973

Escher hands

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi

we are all one

I'm Working On The World

I'm working on the world,
revised, improved edition,
featuring fun for fools,
blues for brooders,
combs for bald pates,
tricks for old dogs.

Here's one chapter: The Speech
of Animals and Plants.
Each species comes, of course,
with its own dictionary.
Even a simple "Hi there,"
when traded with a fish,
make both the fish and you
feel quite extraordinary.

The long-suspected meanings
of rustlings, chirps, and growls!
Soliloquies of forests!
The epic hoot of owls!
Those crafty hedgehogs drafting
aphorisms after dark,
while we blindly believe
they are sleeping in the park!

Time (Chapter Two) retains
its sacred right to meddle
in each earthly affair.
Still, time's unbounded power
that makes a mountain crumble,
moves seas, rotates a star,
won't be enough to tear
lovers apart: they are
too naked, too embraced,
too much like timid sparrows.

Old age is, in my book,
the price that felons pay,
so don't whine that it's steep:
you'll stay young if you're good.
Suffering (Chapter Three)
doesn't insult the body.
Death? It comes in your sleep,
exactly as it should.

When it comes, you'll be dreaming
that you don't need to breathe;
that breathless silence is
the music of the dark
and it's part of the rhythm
to vanish like a spark.
Only a death like that. A rose
could prick you harder, I suppose;
you'd feel more terror at the sound
of petals falling to the ground.

Only a world like that. To die
just that much. And to live just so.
And all the rest is Bach's fugue, played
for the time being
on a saw.

~ Wislawa Szymborska


We all understand that Capitalism relies upon
"individualism" to divide and rule us.
We might not want Mao's "Little Red Book",
and conformity, to free us from the disaster
of selfishness and greed... OR the old God
with a beard and lightning bolts...

yet there IS a unity which artists always fight
and struggle to express, which will save us all.

The Rhondda - at its finest - recognised Unity
and expressed it through international action...

Out Of Hiding

Someone said my name in the garden,
while I grew smaller
in the spreading shadow of the peonies,
grew larger by my absence to another,
grew older among the ants, ancient
under the opening heads of the flowers,
new to myself, and stranger.

When I heard my name again, it sounded far,
like the name of the child next door,
or a favorite cousin visiting for the summer,

while the quiet seemed my true name,
a near and inaudible singing
born of hidden ground.

Quiet to quiet, I called back.

And the birds declared my whereabouts all morning.

~ Li-Young Lee

See yourself

This is the lyric to a George Harrison Song
and is his least played song on Youtube...
.. rather proving the point!!!


"It's easier to tell a lie than it is to tell the truth
It's easier to kill a fly than it is to turn it loose
It's easier to criticize somebody else
Than to see yourself

It's easier to give a sigh and be like all the rest
Who stand around and crucify you while you do your best
It's easier to see the books upon the shelf
Than to see yourself

It's easier to hurt someone and make them cry
Than it is to dry their eyes
I got tired of fooling around with other people's lies
I'd rather find someone that's true

It's easier to say you won't than it is to feel you can
It's easier to drag your feet than it is to be a man
It's easier to look at someone else's wealth
Than to see yourself."

National Poet of Wales

Gillian Clarke

National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke.

National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke was born in
Cardiff in 1937 and now lives in rural Ceredigion
with her architect husband. She has 3 children.

In 1999 she received the Glyndwr Award for an
Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Wales.

Gillian Clarke’s poetry is widely known and loved
by younger readers. In part this is because a
selection of her poems has been set for GCSE
English for some years now. Gillian has pioneered
the teaching of creative writing and co-founded
Ty Newydd, the writers’ centre in North Wales,
which has gone from strength to strength for
over 20 years.

According to the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy,
Gillian Clarke is "A superb performer of her own
work in her memorable and musical voice; a
tireless visitor to schools; a poet who for
decades has worked closely with teachers and
aspiring writers, Gillian Clarke is part of
the literary landscape of this country. As
such, it is easy to take for granted the impact
and influence of her work. Take an early poem,
perhaps, like ‘Letter from a Far Country’...

First heard on radio and published in the early
1980s, this poem subtly and lyrically describes
the everyday household responsibilities of a
woman with a full, ordered, demanding life at
home and a longed-for, free, dream-like life
elsewhere. We could read it as a poem about a
trapped housewife but it is so much more than
that. It is a moving and beautiful statement
about freedom and constraint. Freedom and
constraint - whether writing about women,
ecology, politics or the natural world - these
are the hallmarks of Gillian Clarke’s art."

Gillian Clarke:

"Poetry is the gift of our culture,
and poems come unbidden as spells,
prayers, dreams. I accept this medal
for Wales, and for all our poets."

True Gold

A CHANGE, by Poet.







A helping Hand


‘Cordell Country’

The Cordell Country tourism marketing campaign
aims to change perceptions of the Valleys,
encourage more people to visit, and increase
the tourism spend in the area.

Alexander Cordell was inspired by the lives
and loves of the people of The Valleys...

and inspiration for all ages may be found
on the new-look Cordell Country website:


In 2010 the Cordell Festival was held at
Rhondda Heritage Park as one of a number of
events held to commemorate the centenary
of the Tonypandy Riots.

Poetry around the world on the web


The Poetry Translation Centre’s Poem Podcast is
an ideal way to hear a diverse range of poetry
from some of the world’s best loved poets, read
both in their original language and in English.

You can subscribe to the weekly Poem Podcast on
iTunes where there are already more than a dozen
poems to enjoy, in languages ranging from Arabic
to Zapotec. A new poem is added every Monday.

Go here to visit The Poetry Translation Centre:


A Week in Estonia is Philip Gross’ new blog
on the University of Glamorgan’s website:


Philip, who is the son of an Estonian wartime
refugee, was born in 1952 in Delabole, Cornwall.
In 2010 he won both the T.S Eliot Poetry Prize,
for his collection The Water Table (Bloodaxe,
2009), and Wales Book of the Year for I Spy
Pinhole Eye (Cinnamon, 2009) which features
photographs by Simon Denison. Philip is the
Professor in Creative Writing at the University
of Glamorgan, & has been, since 2004.

A Jacquard Shawl

A Jacquard Shawl

A pattern of curly acanthus leaves,
and woven into one corner
in blue block letters half an inch tall:
As it is with jacquards,
the design reverses to gray on blue
when you turn it over,
and the words run backward
into the past. The rest of the story
lies somewhere between one side
and the other, woven into
the plane where the colours reverse:
the circling dogs, the terrified sheep,
the meadow stippled with blood,
and the weaver by lamplight
feeding what wool she was able to save
into the faintly bleating, barking loom.

~ Ted Kooser

Bhaerava cakra


I have read volumes,
Written volumes,
Taught from volumes.
Now my words are fewer,
More long breaths between them.
I look up after committing
A single phrase to paper,
Linger a while,
Note the long shadows
On blackjack oak
In the late afternoon sun.
At times, I give up
Words altogether, listen
To the wind, watch
The winter wheat grow, savor
The taste of silence,
And give myself over
To the speech of the stars.

~ Howard Stein


"I can't run no more with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in."

- Anthem, L. Cohen

In Aleppo, I saw carnage left by war.
and the shepherds who fled.
like others down winding dusty roads.
carved from centuries of wind and stone.
Here, among the freezes of the Hittites.
where myrtle mingles with the dead,
an ancient Syria rises up from its Citadel,
drenched in spume and blood.
Today, the newspapers and television.
tell of thousands slaughtered.
Night has spilled its black ink over Syria.
but the sun will burn again.
The rug vendors, coffee drinkers, and chess players.
will come out into the streets of Damascus,
with their fists raised.
The dry air will celebrate its bleached bones.

Luis Lázaro Tijerina, Burlington, Vermont, United States.

Scholars on Ukraine Appeal to Poroshenko Not to
 Sign "Disturbing" Anti-Communist Witch Hunt Law

More than 40 scholars sign an open letter warning
 Poroshenko not to sign a law (banning critiques of
 OUN-UPA which collaborated with Nazi occupation
 and slaughtered tens of thousands of Poles) as
 as institute a wholesale condemnation of
the entire
 Soviet period
This article originally appeared at The New Cold War

To the President of Ukraine, Petro O. Poroshenko
 and to the Chair of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada,
 Volodymyr B. Hroysman:

We, the undersigned, appeal to you not to sign into
 law the draft laws (no. 2538-1 and 2558) [1] adopted
 by the Verkhovna Rada on April 9, 2015. As scholars
 and experts long committed to Ukraine’s
 regeneration and freedom, we regard these laws
 with the deepest foreboding.  Their content and spirit
 contradicts one of the most fundamental political
rights: the right to freedom of speech. Their
adoption would raise serious questions about
Ukraine’s commitment to the principles of the
 Council of Europe and the OSCE, along with a
number of treaties and solemn declarations
adopted since Ukraine regained independence
 in 1991. Their impact on Ukraine’s image and
 reputation in Europe and North America would
 be profound. Not least of all, the laws would
provide comfort and support to those who
 seek to enfeeble and divide Ukraine.

We also are troubled by the fact that the
laws passed without serious debate, with
no dissenting votes and with large numbers
of deputies declining to take part.

In particular, we are concerned about
the following:

Concerning the inclusion of groups such as the
 Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and
 Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) as “fighters for
Ukrainian independence”:

Article 6 of this law makes it a criminal offense
 to deny the legitimacy of “the struggle for the
 independence of Ukraine in the 20th century”
and public denial of the same is to be regarded
as an insult to the memory of the fighters.
Thus questioning this claim, and implicitly
questioning anything such groups did, is
 being made a criminal offense.

Law 2558, the ban on propaganda of “Communist
and National Socialist Regimes” makes it a criminal
 offense to deny, “including in the media, the criminal
 character of the communist totalitarian regime of
 1917-1991 in Ukraine.”

The potential consequences of both these laws are
 disturbing. Not only would it be a crime to question
 the legitimacy of an organization (UPA) that
 slaughtered tens of thousands of Poles in one of the
 most heinous acts of ethnic cleansing in the history
of Ukraine, but also it would exempt from criticism
 the OUN, one of the most extreme political groups in
 Western Ukraine between the wars, and one which
collaborated with Nazi Germany at the outset of the
 Soviet invasion in 1941. It also took part in anti-
Jewish pogroms in Ukraine and, in the case of the
 Melnyk faction, remained allied with the occupation
 regime throughout the war.

However noble the intent, the wholesale
 condemnation of the entire Soviet period as
 one of occupation of Ukraine will have unjust
and incongruous consequences. Anyone calling
 attention to the development of Ukrainian culture
 and language in the 1920s could find himself or
herself condemned. The same applies to those who
 regard the Gorbachev period as a progressive period
 of change to the benefit of Ukrainian civil society,
 informal groups, and political parties, including
 the Movement for Perestroika (Rukh).

Over the past 15 years, Vladimir Putin’s Russia has
 invested enormous resources in the politicization of
 history. It would be ruinous if Ukraine went down the
 same road, however partially or tentatively.  Any
 legal or ‘administrative’ distortion of history is an
assault on the most basic purpose of scholarly
inquiry: pursuit of truth. Any official attack on
 historical memory is unjust.  Difficult and
contentious issues must remain matters of debate.

The 1.5 million Ukrainians who died fighting the Nazis
 in the Red Army are entitled to respect, as are those
 who fought the Red Army and NKVD. Those who
 regard victory over Nazi Germany as a pivotal
historical event should neither feel intimidated
nor excluded from the nation.

Since 1991, Ukraine has been a tolerant, inclusive
 state, a state (in the words of the Constitution) for
 ‘citizens of Ukraine of all nationalities’. If signed,
the laws of April 9 will be a gift to those who wish
 to turn Ukraine against itself. They will alienate
 many Ukrainians who now find themselves under
 de facto occupation. They will divide & dishearten
Ukraine’s friends.  In short, they will damage
 Ukraine’s national security, and for this reason
above all, we urge you to reject them.


Tarik Cyril Amar, Assistant Professor of History,
Columbia University, USA

Mark R. Baker, Assistant Professor,
 Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey

J. Arch Getty, Distinguished Professor of History
 University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), USA

Dominique Arel, Chair of Ukrainian Studies,
 University of Ottawa, Canada

Uilleam Blacker, Lecturer in Comparative East
European Culture, University College, London, UK

Jeffrey Burds, Associate Professor of Russian and
Soviet History, Northeastern University, USA

Marco Carynnyk, Independence Scholar,
Toronto, Canada

Markian Dobczansky, Ph.D. candidate, Department
 of History, Stanford University, USA

Rory Finnin, University Senior Lecturer in Ukrainian
 Studies, University of Cambridge, UK

Christopher Gilley, Research Fellow, University
of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Guido Hausmann, Ludwig-Maximilian University,
 Munich, Germany

John-Paul Himka, Professor Emeritus, Department
 of History & Classics, University of Alberta, Canada

Tom Junes, PhD (historian) – Imre Kertész Kolleg,
 Jena, Germany

Ivan Katchanovski, Adjunct Professor, School of
 Political Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada

Olesya Khromeychuk, Teaching Fellow,
University College, London, UK

Oleh Kotsyuba, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Slavic
 Languages and Literatures, Harvard University, USA

Matthew Kott, Researcher at Centre for Russian
 and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University, Sweden

Olga Kucherenko, Independent Scholar,
Cambridge, UK

Victor Hugo Lane, York College,
 City University of New York, USA

David R. Marples, Distinguished University Professor,
Department of History & Classics, University of
Alberta, Canada

Jared McBride, Visiting Assistant Professor of
 History, Columbia University, USA

Tanja Penter, Professor of Eastern European History,
Heidelberg University, Germany

Olena Petrenko, Ph.D. Student, Department of East
 European History, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany

William Risch, Associate Professor of History,
Georgia College, USA

Per Anders Rudling, Associate Professor of History,
 Lund University, Sweden

Martin Schulze Wessel, Chair of Eastern European
 History, Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität München,

Steven Seegel, Associate Professor of History,
University of Northern Colorado, USA

Anton Shekhovtsov, Visiting Senior Fellow,
Legatum Institute, London, UK

James Sherr, Associate Fellow, Chatham House,
 London, UK

Volodymyr Sklokin, researcher, Center for Urban
History of East-Central Europe (Lviv)

Iryna Sklokina, researcher, Center for Urban History
of East-Central Europe (Lviv)

Yegor Stadny, Ph.D. student, Department of History,
 Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine

Andreas Umland, Senior Research Fellow, Institute
for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Kyiv, Ukraine

Richard Vulpius, Research Fellow, Department for the
 History of East- and Southeastern Europe,  Ludwig-
Maximilian University, Munich, Germany

Lucan Way, Associate Professor of Political Science,
University of Toronto, Canada

Zenon Wasyliw, Professor of History,
 Ithaca College, USA

Anna Veronika Wendland, Research Coordinator,
The Herder Institute for Historical Research on
East Central Europe; Member of the German-
Ukrainian Historical Commission, Germany

Frank Wolff, Assistant Professor of History and
 Migration Studies, Osnabrück University, Germany

Christine Worobec, Professor Emeritas,
Northern Illinois University, USA

Serhy Yekelchyk, Professor of Slavic Studies and
 History, University of Victoria, Canada

Tanya Zaharchenko, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for
 Historical Research, Higher School of Economics
 Saint Petersburg

Sergei Zhuk, Associate Professor of History,
 Ball State University, Indiana, USA

Krytyka editor’s note:

Draft law no. 2538-1 “On the Legal Status and
 Commemoration of Fighters for Ukraine’s
Independence in the 20th Century” is avaiable
 in Ukrainian here:


 (Draft law no. 2558)

“On the Condemnation of the Communist and
the National-Socialist (Nazi) Totalitarian Regimes
 in Ukraine and Ban on the Propaganda of Their
Symbols” is available in Ukrainian here:



WB Auden’s words:
In the nightmare of the dark
All the dogs of Europe bark,
And the living nations wait,
Each sequestered in its hate;
Intellectual disgrace
Stares from every human face,
And the seas of pity lie
Locked and frozen in each eye.
Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice;
With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress;
In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.

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