Saturday 3 July 2010

Angel Exhaust 21: The Welsh Underground



Despite the denials of official organs, Wales participated in the great blossoming of poetic culture of those decades between the end of the primary Cold War and the dawn of the New Right, and this unofficial English literary magazine is offering a large-scale celebration of the achievements of Welsh poets whose optimism captured them. The fall of monoliths spills daylight onto the missing half of the picture. The most interesting anglophone Welsh literature of the past century has been in the innovative vein.
A mixture of poetry, essays, memoirs, and interviews recreates a literary era in depth. Poets featured are: John James, David Barnett, Paul Evans, Iain Sinclair, Zoë Skoulding, Ralph Hawkins, Peter Finch, David Greenslade, John Goodby, Nic Laight, Nick Macias, Niall Quinn, Philip Jenkins, Graham Hartill, Lynette Roberts, Chris Ozzard, Rhys Trimble, John Powell Ward. We touch on the history of innovative writing in Welsh and even turn up two avant garde texts in Welsh. An analytical essay (drawing on work only available in Welsh) uncovers the use of Welsh patterns of consonantal echoing in the English experimental tradition. An ample poetry anthology includes mainly unpublished poetry but also recovers texts from as far back as the seventies, defying forgetfulness.
Living witnesses told us strange tales. Recovery of original texts from archives and deposits has brought a disintegration of the intellectual legacy. Salvaged from among the debris of Christian, nationalist, and communalist ideologies, we shake clear a brilliant line of liberated and imaginative writing. Set up in order to fill a gap, the project has uncovered a whole gulf, a submerged realm of sophisticated intellectual exploration. Awed, we recover the traces of the classic Welsh magazine 2nd Aeon between 1966 and 1975. That is truly why each aeon is free after the first one.
£7. 170 pages. publication date 4 June 2010. available from: 165 Coppice Road, Nottingham, NG3 5GX. cheques payable to 'Andrew Duncan' please.
edited by Goodby and Duncan.
This is a follow-up to the celebrated 'Colonies of Belief', the special issue on the Irish avant-garde, edited by Scully and Goodby.
so much of this movement
is really human
the gentlemen of the
orchestra beckon us on
a blood stain
appears on my left eye
we follow a sinewy pavan
slowly and
lacking arms we will allow ourselves
to fall over the edge
of the known world
(Philip Jenkins, 'La Patinoire')