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31 Stories in May at Hay!: Day 8 ‘Too Perfect’ by Jo Mazelis

Every day throughout May, you will be able to visit the Library of Wales website to download your free story, drawn from Story, vols I and II - a collection boasting the finest Welsh short fiction ever written and featuring some of the most talented literary names from both past and present, including the legendary Dylan Thomas and the award-winning Rachel Trezise, as well as read all about the chosen author.

 

Day 8: 'Too Perfect' by Jo Mazelis

(Taken from Diving Girls, 2002)

 

Jo Mazelis (also writes as Jo Hughes) is a short story, non-fiction and poetry writer, novelist, photographer, designer and illustrator. Born in 1956 in Swansea, she has a BA from Swansea Institute and a MA from the University of Wales Swansea. After working in London for many years, she returned to her home town in 1991. She has been a prize-winner in the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition three times, and her collection of stories Diving Girls (Parthian, 2002) was shortlisted for Commonwealth ‘Best First Book’ and ‘Welsh Book of the Year’ prizes. Her second book Circle Games, published by Parthian in 2005, was on the ‘Wales Book of the Year’ 2006 Long List. Her short stories have been widely published and broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and have appeared in various anthologies and magazines, such as New Welsh Review, Cambrensis, Corridor, Spare Rib, Everywoman, The Cardiff Poet and The Ottawa Citizen. Her first novel, Significance, is due to be published in 2014. Her poetry has appeared in New Welsh Review and Poetry Wales and in anthologies. A selection of stories from both her books was translated into Danish as Forbuden Frugt (Arvids, 2007).

During the 1980s she worked as a graphic designer, photographer and illustrator for the magazines City Limits, Women’s Review, Spare Rib, Undercurrents, Everywoman and New Dance.

 

You can download the story in PDF format here. (If download does not start, then right click the link and select 'Save link as'.)

 

Selected bibliography

Circle Games (Parthian, 2005)

Diving Girls (Parthian, 2002)

 

Contributed to

Story II (anthology) (Library of Wales, 2014)

The Raconteur: America (Parthian, 2011)

Urban Welsh: New Welsh Fiction (Parthian, 2005)

Tilting at Windmills (Parthian, 1998)

Mama’s Baby (Parthian, 1999)

 

31 Stories in May at Hay!: Day 7 ‘Miss Grey of Market Street’ by Robert Nisbet

Every day throughout May, you will be able to visit the Library of Wales website to download your free story, drawn from Story, vols I and II - a collection boasting the finest Welsh short fiction ever written and featuring some of the most talented literary names from both past and present, including the legendary Dylan Thomas and the award-winning Rachel Trezise, as well as read all about the chosen author.

 

Day 7: 'Miss Grey of Market Street' by Robert Nisbet

(Taken from Downtrain, 2004)

 

 

Robert Nisbet is a short-story writer, poet and creative writing tutor. He was born in 1941 in Haverfordwest, and was educated at Milford Haven Grammar School, University College of Swansea and the University of Essex. Robert taught English for 30 years in grammar and comprehensive schools and then taught creative writing at Trinity College, Carmarthen for over a decade. He is now an associate tutor in English literature with Swansea University. Writer in residence, Llangatwg School, Neath, in 1999. He now has 100 short stories published in a wide range of magazines in Europe and the United State. His work has appeared regularly in Planet, Anglo-Welsh Review, New Welsh Review, Cambrensisand Blue Tattoo, in American literary quarterlies like Webster Review and New England Review, on BBC Radio 4, and in translation in Germany and Romania. As well as enjoying a successful career in education, he has been a regular contributor to BBC radio and has edited a number of short-story anthologies. His book Sounds of the Town (Alun Books, 1982) was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Award in 1983. His selected short-story collection, Downtrain, was published in 2004. In 2007 he turned to poetry and has had work accepted by Poetry Wales, Planet, Borderlines, Roundyhouse, Cambria, The Seventh Quarry, Red Poets, Prole, The Interpreter’s House, Obsessed with Pipework, Orbis, Other Poetry, Poetry Cornwall, Purple Patch, Smiths Knoll, Weyfarers, 14, Cake Magazine, The Coffee House, The Red Wheelbarrow and on the websites ‘Open Mouse’, ‘Ink Sweat and Tears’, ‘London Grip’ and ‘The Camel Saloon’ (USA). A lifelong supporter of Haverfordwest Football Club, Robert is now their media officer.

 

You can download the story in PDF format here. (If download does not start, then right click the link and select 'Save link as'.)

 

Selected bibliography

Downtrain (Parthian, 2004)

Contributed to

Story II (anthology) (Library of Wales, 2014)

31 Stories in May at Hay!: Day 6 - 'And a Spoonful of Grief to Taste' by Gwyn Thomas

Every day throughout May, you will be able to visit the Library of Wales website to download your free story, drawn from Story, vols I and II - a collection boasting the finest Welsh short fiction ever written and featuring some of the most talented literary names from both past and present, including the legendary Dylan Thomas and the award-winning Rachel Trezise, as well as read all about the chosen author.

 

Day 5: 'And a Spoonful of Grief to Taste' by Gwyn Thomas

(Taken from Where Did I Put My Pity? Folk Tales from the Modern Welsh, 1946)

 

Gwyn Thomas was born in 1913 in the Rhondda Valley. He studied Spanish at Oxford and spent time in Spain during the early 1930s. He obtained part-time lecturing jobs across England before deciding to become a schoolteacher in Wales. He retired from that profession in 1962 to work full-time as a writer and broadcaster. He wrote extensively across several genres including essays, short stories, novels and plays, and was widely translated. His fictional works include The Dark Philosophers (1946) and All Things Betray Thee (1949), the drama The Keep (1962) and an autobiography, A Few Selected Exits (1968). Gwyn Thomas was given the Honour for Lifetime Achievement by Arts Council Wales in 1976. He died in 1981.

 
 

You can download the story in PDF format here. (If download does not start, then right click the link and select 'Save link as'.)

 

Selected bibliography

The Dark Philosophers (Library of Wales, 2005)
The Alone to the Alone (Library of Wales, 2008)
All Things Betray Thee (Library of Wales, 2011)

 

Contributed to
Story I (anthology) (Library of Wales, 2014)
Story II (anthology) (Library of Wales, 2014)
 

31 Stories in May at Hay!: Day 5 - 'Acting Captain' by Alun Lewis

Every day throughout May, you will be able to visit the Library of Wales website to download your free story, drawn from Story, vols I and II - a collection boasting the finest Welsh short fiction ever written and featuring some of the most talented literary names from both past and present, including the legendary Dylan Thomas and the award-winning Rachel Trezise, as well as read all about the chosen author.

 

Day 5: 'Acting Captain' by Alun Lewis

(Taken from The Last Inspection and Other Stories, 1942)

 

Alun Lewis was born on 1 July 1915 at Cwmaman, a mining village near Aberdare; both his parents were schoolteachers and his father later became the town’s Director of Education. The family took summer holidays at Penbryn in Cardiganshire, one of the poet’s favourite places. He was educated at Cowbridge Grammar School, the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, where he read History, and at Manchester University. In 1938 he joined the staff of the Lewis Boys’ School, Pengam, enjoying a reputation as a gifted teacher, but in 1940, despite his pacifist convictions, resigned from the post and
joined the Army as a commissioned officer. He found the life of the officers’ mess uncongenial, preferring the company of his men, most of whom were from the valleys
of South Wales, but had time to resume the writing of poems and stories which he had begun while at school. In July 1941 he married Gweno Ellis, a teacher of German at
Mountain Ash Grammar School. In the autumn of the following year his battalion of the South Wales Borderers was sent to India, where another period of intense literary
activity began. The poverty and nihilism of India affected him deeply and he began to suffer bouts of the depression that had dogged him for several years. In January 1944 he went with his regiment to Chittagong in Burma. There, although an Intelligence Officer, he was given permission to move into a forward position facing the Japanese. On 5 March 1944 he was found shot in the head near the officers’ latrines; he died of his wounds six hours later. An Army court of inquiry concluded that his death was an accident, though the belief has persisted that he had taken his own life. Despite his comparatively small output – he published only ninety-four poems and twenty-five stories – Alun Lewis was recognized as an accomplished writer during his own short lifetime. Serious, idealistic, devoted to those he loved, particularly his wife, and intent on serving humanity as a writer, he was primarily concerned with what he called ‘the twin themes of life and death’, exploring them in verse and prose of a high order. His stories appeared in The Last Inspection (1943) and the posthumous volume In the Green Tree; his Collected Stories (ed. Cary Archard) were published in 1994. His two collections of poems are Raiders’ Dawn (1942) and Ha! Ha! Among the Trumpets 1945); his Collected Poems (ed. Cary Archard) appeared in 1994 and a selection in the Corgi series in 2003. In everything he wrote there is compassion for the underdog, whether British soldier or Indian peasant, and a fine delight in the natural world, even in the parched landscapes of the sub-continent. His was a tragic vision, forced to early maturity by his military experience, and his death at the age of 28 was undoubtedly the single greatest loss sustained by Welsh letters duringthe Second World War.
 
 

 

You can download the story in PDF format here. (If download does not start, then right click the link and select 'Save link as'.)

 

Selected bibliography

In the Green Tree (Library of Wales, 2006)

 

Contributed to
Story I (anthology) (Library of Wales, 2014)
 

31 Stories in May at Hay!: Day 4 - 'Dat's Love' by Leonora Brito

Every day throughout May, you will be able to visit the Library of Wales website to download your free story, drawn from Story, vols I and II - a collection boasting the finest Welsh short fiction ever written and featuring some of the most talented literary names from both past and present, including the legendary Dylan Thomas and the award-winning Rachel Trezise, as well as read all about the chosen author.

 

Day 4: 'Dat's Love' by Leonora Brito

(Taken from Dat's Love, 1995)

 

Leonora Brito was born in Cardiff. She studied law and history at Cardiff University. Her story ‘Dat’s Love’ won her the 1991 Rhys Davies Short Story Competition. She also wrote for radio and television, providing a unique insight into Afro-Caribbean Welsh society, largely unrepresented in Welsh writing until her work appeared. She published one collection of stories, Dat’s Love, in 1995. She died in 2007.

 

You can download the story in PDF format here. (If download does not start, then right click the link and select 'Save link as'.)

 

Selected bibliography

Contributed to
Urban Welsh: New Welsh Fiction (Parthian, 2005)
Story II (anthology) (Library of Wales, 2014)
 

31 Stories in May at Hay!: Day 3 - 'Boy with a Trumpet' by Rhys Davies

Every day throughout May, you will be able to visit the Library of Wales website to download your free story, drawn from Story, vols I and II - a collection boasting the finest Welsh short fiction ever written and featuring some of the most talented literary names from both past and present, including the legendary Dylan Thomas and the award-winning Rachel Trezise, as well as read all about the chosen author.

 

Day 3: 'Boy with a Trumpet' by Rhys Davies

(Taken from Boy with a Trumpet, 1949)

 

(Excerpt from Rhys Davies: A Writer's Life by Meic Stephens - Parthian, 2013)
 
[Born in 1901 in Blaenclydach in the Rhondda Valley,] Rhys Davies was among the most dedicated, prolific, and accomplished of Welsh prose-writers in English. With unswerving devotion and scant regard for commercial success, he practised the writer’s craft for some fifty years, in both the short story and the novel form, publishing in his lifetime a substantial body of work on which his literary reputation now firmly rests. He wrote, in all, more than a hundred stories, twenty novels, three novellas, two topographical books about Wales, two plays, and an autobiography in which he set down, obliquely and in code, the little he wanted the world to know about him.
 
So prodigious an output was made possible largely because he shared his life with no other person, giving it up entirely to his writing. By temperament a loner, and suspicious of the gregarious instinct in writers – a stance he assiduously cultivated in defiance of prevailing fashions and ideologies – he chose to keep himself apart, especially from other expatriate Welsh writers living in England between the two world wars. Except for a few years as a draper’s assistant on first going to London and a short stint of compulsory war-work, he managed to live almost wholly by his pen, his meagre income unsupplemented by any teaching, journalism, broadcasting, or hack-work of any kind. He sat on no committees, signed no manifestos, believed no political nostrums or religious dogma, never read his work in public, attended no foreign conferences, never edited a magazine, engaged in no literary squabbles, spurned all cliques, shunned the company of academics, had no taste or talent for self-promotion, joined no literary societies, never competed for a prize, never sat in judgement on his fellow writers as an adjudicator of literary competitions, and only very rarely as a reviewer of their books. He believed the proper business of a writer was to be writing.

 

You can download the story in PDF format here. (If download does not start, then right click the link and select 'Save link as'.)

 

Selected bibliography

A Human Condition (Parthian, 2001)
The Withered Root (Robert Holden, 1927; reprinted by the Library of Wales in 2007)

 
Contributed to
Story I (anthology) (Library of Wales, 2014)
 
 
About
Rhys Davies: A Writer's Life (by Meic Stephens; Parthian, 2013)

31 Stories in May at Hay!: Day 2 - 'Chickens' by Rachel Trezise

Every day throughout May, you will be able to visit the Library of Wales website to download your free story, drawn from Story, vols I and II - a collection boasting the finest Welsh short fiction ever written and featuring some of the most talented literary names from both past and present, including the legendary Dylan Thomas and the award-winning Rachel Trezise, as well as read all about the chosen author.

 

Day 1: 'Chickens' by Rachel Trezise

(Taken from Fresh Apples, 2005)

 

Born in 1978 in Cwmparc in the Rhondda valley, South Wales, where she still lives, Rachel Trezise is, in the recent words of Richard Lewis Davies, Parthian Books' "big success". While attending the University of Glamorgan in Wales and University of Limerick in Ireland, she conceived, wrote and published her first novel, the semi-autobiographical In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl, in 2000. It recieved critical acclaim, and led to a place on the Orange Futures List in 2001 and Harpers & Queen proclaiming her the 'new face of literature' in 2003.
 
Her second book, a short story collection called Fresh Apples followed in 2005 and won the inaugural Dylan Thomas Prize, one of the world's richest literary awards, in 2006. Shortly after, Trezise took up writer's residence at the University of Texas, before returning home to research, write and publish her third book, Dial M for Merthyr, which charts her experiences on tour with the Welsh band Midasuno. Following two other releases with different publishers - Loose Connections (Accent Press, 2010) and Sixteen Shades of Crazy (Blue Door, 2010) - Trezise returned to Parthian in 2013 with her second collection: Cosmic Latte. Her work has been translated into several languages and has been published in Australia and New Zealand, Denmark and Italy.
 
She has also written for the stage and radio, with her first venture into theatre, 2007's I Sing of a Maiden, which featured interspersed performances by Charlotte Greig, playing to sell-out audiences across Wales. She also achieved success with her 2013 play Tonypandymonium, which won the People’s Prize for Best Production (English language) at the Theatre Critics of Wales Awards. Her first radio play, Lemon Meringue Pie, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Afternoon Play slot in September 2008.

 

You can download the story in PDF format here. (If download does not start, then right click the link and select 'Save link as'.)

 

Selected bibliography

In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl (2000, Parthian, UK)
Fresh Apples (2005, Parthian, UK)
Dial M for Merthyr (2007, Parthian, UK)
Cosmic Latte (2013, Parthian, UK)

 
Plays and theatre
I Sing Of A Maiden (2007)
Lemon Meringue Pie (2008)
Tonypandymonium (2013)
 
 
Contributed to
Urban Welsh: New Welsh Fiction (Parthian, 2005)
Sideways Glances (Parthian, 2005)
Bit on the Side (Parthian, 2007)
Story II (Library of Wales, 2014)
 

31 Stories in May at Hay!: Day 1 - 'The Fare' by Lewis Davies

Every day throughout May, you will be able to visit the Library of Wales website to download your free story, drawn from Story, vols I and II - a collection boasting the finest Welsh short fiction ever written and featuring some of the most talented literary names from both past and present, including the legendary Dylan Thomas and the award-winning Rachel Trezise, as well as read all about the chosen author.

 

Day 1: 'The Fare' by Lewis Davies

(Taken from Love and Other Possibilities, 2008)

 

Born in 1967 in Penrhiwtyn, Lewis Davies is one of the founding partners of Parthian, as well as a successful author, poet, editor, playwright and essayist. The company was established in 1993 to publish his first novel Work, Sex and Rugby, and has now published over two hundred titles of which over 190 are still in print. Davies has been involved in the literary scene in Wales since 1990 and is the current commercial director of Parthian and the Library of Wales series.
 
Aside from Work, Sex and Rugby, which was a national winner in World Book Day's 'We Are What We Read' poll, his novels include Tree of Crows (1996) and My Piece of Happiness (1999), and he has also published a selection of literary essays - As I Was a Boy Fishing (2003) - and a critically acclaimed selection of stories Love and Other Possibilities (2008). His work has received numerous awards, including the Rhys Davies short story competition (for his 1999 short story 'Mr Roopratna's Chocolate') and the John Morgan writing award (for his 1997 travel book Freeways: a Journey West on Route 66). He has worked extensively in Welsh theatre and has had a number of plays professionally produced, including Sex and Power at the Beau Rivage (2003), a play about  about the meeting of Rhys Davies and D. H. Lawrence in the French Mediterranean of Bandol, and Football (2004). His work for younger readers includes Tai and the Tremorfa Troll, a series of children’s picture books available in both English and Welsh and developed with the illustrator Hayley Acreman.

 

You can download the story in PDF format here. (If download does not start, then right click the link and select 'Save link as'.)

 

Selected bibliography

Work, Sex and Rugby (Parthian, 1993)
Tree of Crows (Parthian, 1996)
Freeways: a Journey West on Route 66 (Parthian, 1997)
My Piece of Happiness (Parthian, 1999)
As I Was a Boy Fishing: Selected Essays (Parthian, 2003)
Football (Parthian, 2004)
Love and Other Possibilities (Parthian, 2008)

 
For children
Tai and the Tremorfa Troll / Tai a'r Throl Tremofra (Parthian, 2007)
Tai, Troll and the Black and White Cow / Tai, Trol a'r Fuwch Ddu a Gwyn (Parthian, 2009)
Tai and Troll Take a Day-trip to Tenby / Tai a'r Trol yn Mynd am y Dydd i Ddinbych-y-Pysgod (Parthian, 2010)
 
 
Plays
'Sickert, Supertramp and Jack the Ripper' (Equinox Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2010)
 
Contributed to
Mama’s Baby (Papa’s Maybe): New Welsh Short Fiction (New Welsh Short Fiction) (editor with Arthur Smith) (Parthian, 1999)
Human Conditions: Parthian New Writing (editor) (Parthian, 2001)
Urban Welsh: New Welsh Short Fiction (editor) (Parthian, 2005)
Sport (Libray of Wales, 2007)
Story II (anthology) (Library of Wales, 2014)
 

31 Stories in May at Hay!

May looks set to be a significant month for literature: not only is the 26th Hay Festival almost upon us, but so too is the 21st birthday of Parthian Books, which was established in 1993 by director Richard Lewis Davies, Gillian Griffiths and Ravi Pawar. To celebrate, Parthian and the Library of Wales, in association with Hay, are offering a complimentary story, taken from the recent Story anthology volumes, every day for the whole month. That’s right. Totally free!

Every day throughout May, you will be able to visit this website to download your free story, drawn from a collection boasting the finest Welsh short fiction ever written and featuring some of the most talented literary names from both past and present, including the legendary Dylan Thomas and the award-winning Rachel Trezise, as well as read all about the chosen author.
 
Parthian will be at the Hay Festival in Powys on Monday 26th May celebrating our 21st birthday from 8.30pm at The Cube. Hosted by editor Susie Wild and director Lewis Davies, the gala reading party will feature a plethora of our talented and award-winning writers, including Rachel Trezise, Dan Tyte, Carly Holmes, Holly Müller, Sion Tomos Owen, Jemma L. King and Tyler Keevil. Tickets for this event cost £5 and can be bought here. Come on down and celebrate with us!

2014 M. Wynn Thomas Prize Winners awarded full Library of Wales range!

This year’s winners of the M. Wynn Thomas prize, a celebration of excellence in the field of Welsh writing in English, were awarded last Friday during the annual conference by AWWE ‘In/Dependent Wales’, held in Gregynog Hall.
 
Dr Matthew Jarvis (Aberystwyth University/University of Wales Trinity St David) and Lisa Sheppard (Cardiff University) won respectively in the ‘Open’ and ‘New Scholars’ categories, and both received a £150 prize along with a full set of the Library of Wales books series, courtesy of Parthian.
 
The panel, which included Professor Diana Wallace (University of South Wales), Dr Tomos Owen (Bangor University) and Dr Alyce von Rothkirch (Swansea University), is reported to be “very pleased with the quality of the submissions”, as well as “impressed with the increasing international reach of this prize. Submissions came from Wales, England, Ireland and the USA”.
 
The Association of Welsh Writing in English, originated in 1984 on initiative of five major Welsh universities, is aimed at preserving and promoting Welsh studies as evidence of important cultural diversity in the academic world.