Dec 9, 2012

Seren News - December 2012

Seren News - December 2012

FREE copy of Christmas in Wales with every order from the Seren Website

  Celebrate Christmas the Welsh way in the company of some of the country’s leading writers, past and present. Christmas mass, the nativity play, turkey and plum pudding, the Mari Lwyd, presents, the weather, the shopping and post-festive blues are among the many subjects drawn from stories, poems, diaries and letters. Wartime Christmases in Swansea and the Rhondda – and home thoughts from India and Italy, pantomime characters, Christmas cards and New Year Resolutions are among the subjects. With R.S. Thomas, Dylan Thomas, Dannie Abse, Gillian Clarke, Catherine Fisher, Bruce Chatwin, Sian James, Kate Roberts and Leslie Norris, Christmas in Wales has all the ingredients for the complete experience of the season of celebration.
Get your FREE copy when you order any Seren book(s) online at from the 6th December 2012 to the 20th December 2012. Please click here for Terms and Conditions

Three Poetry Collections by Deryn Rees-Jones – all for £12.50 plus p&p

Deryn Rees-Jones’s moving new poetry collection, Burying the Wren, has been nominated for this year’s T.S. Eliot Prize and is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Deryn is a poet who wins rave reviews from critics and readers alike for her precise, keenly sensitive use of language, and for the honesty with which she engages with some of life’s central events: birth, death, love.
“contains poems that leave me speechless, at the same time so simple and so complicated that my words fail and only hers will do.” – TLS
If you liked this book, you may be interested in some of her previous titles, at a special Christmas offer price of 3 for £12.50 (+p&p) - click HERE to order.
The Memory Tray Deryn Rees-Jones’ lively debut collection explores issues of gender and identity, memory and desire. Shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection.

Signs Round a Dead Body – Love, in all its permutations, suffuses this book, and sensuous details abound: from poems like ‘Making Out’ and ‘From His Coy Mistress’ , about the fears and vacillations of love, to the disillusionment of the Nerudian ‘Songs of Despair.’
Quiver (hardback) – A book-length poem, a murder-mystery in verse. Fay Thomas, a poet, becomes a murder suspect after she stumbles over the body of her husband’s former lover. With the help of her friend Erica, trailed by a bewildered policeman and haunted by a ghostly figure, she tracks the killer through the docklands of Liverpool, before the final dramatic showdown in Chinatown.

Patrick McGuinness wins the 2012 Writers Guild Award for Best Fiction Book

Patrick McGuinness has won the Writers Guild Award for Best Fiction Book for his debut novel The Last Hundred Days. Patrick beat two other writers, Harriet Lane and Julie Myerson and was presented the award by the author Lionel Shriver. The Last Hundred Days also won Wales Book of the Year 2012 and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2011.
The Last Hundred Days was recently named in the Newstatesman Books of the Year by James Wood.
“It’s a brilliant first novel set in 1989, in the writhing demise of communist Bucharest – dark, immaculately written, bitterly lucid and very gripping.” – Newstatesman
“engaging” – The New York Times Book Review
“stunning” – The Times
“an assured performance” – The Literary Review

Mabinogion Series: Eight Signed Titles for £56* (p&p)

With the release of the two latest novellas in the popular Mabinogion Series, we are offering you a set of all eight signed first editions for just £56* (p&p)
A woman made of flowers, secrets, murder and revenge, spaceships, giants, war games, romance, surfing, horse-riding down the M4 and a mouse tattoo – all in one Christmas present…
This critically acclaimed series, called “the greatest service to the Welsh national epic since Lady Charlotte Guest” by The Guardian, includes award-winning authors and their take on the Mabinogion myths, bringing a 21st century twist into these age old tales. Authors include Owen Sheers, Russell Celyn Jones, Gwyneth Lewis, Niall Griffiths, Fflur Dafydd, Horatio Clare, Lloyd Jones and Cynan Jones.
*This Mabinogion Set is £56 (p&p) if you are a member of our free, no obligation online book club – click here if you would like to join. If you do not wish to join, the eight-signed copies are available for £70 (p&p).

Seren Opening Hours at Christmas

We are closed from midday Friday 21st December 2012 to the 2nd January 2013
Our online store will remain open and orders received during the Christmas break, will be shipped according to the Royal Mail schedule. If you are buying a Seren book as a gift, please note the Royal Mail recommended Christmas posting service:
Second Class – Tuesday 18th December
First Class – Thursday 20th December


New Titles


The Chapels of Wales
by D Huw Owen 
The Chapels of Wales is a gazetteer of approximately 120 chapels, which played such a central role in the faith, culture and history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Wales, and whose influence continues into the present century. Huw Owen’s comprehensive survey records some of the buildings now being lost, through demolition or conversion to new and non-religious uses, and explores the life to be found within those which remain. 
The book is generously illustrated in colour throughout with photographs of the huge variety of styles – exterior and interior – which mark these important buildings. The author provides an informative general Introduction, and each individual entry includes a discussion of the architectural importance of the chapel, its historical and cultural significance, its current spiritual health.
ISBN: 9781854115546 Paperback: £14.99

  Beyond the Pampas by Imogen Herrad
Beyond the Pampas is an exploration of the lives of the descendents of nineteenth century Welsh settlers in Argentina. Herrad discovers a fascinating melding of Welsh and Spanish language cultures through which she explores the nature of heritage and identity. Her expectations are further challenged by the plight of Patagonia’s indigenous peoples – the Tehuelche and Mapuche – and the whole is underpinned by Herrad’s personal journey of self-discovery.
ISBN: 9781854115911 Paperback: £9.99

  Real Swansea Two by Nigel Jenkins
Nigel Jenkins has given his hometown the ‘Real’ treatment once already, but there was so much to say about Wales’ second city (though for many its first) that he’s back with Real Swansea Two. This time, his subjects in the “ugly, lovely city” include death, sex and drugs, theatre, ancient trackways, the changing shopping centre, and much, much more. With characteristic insight, humour and an eye for the odd and unusual, Jenkins celebrates all Swansea life in stylish prose and pin-sharp poetry
ISBN: 9781854116482 Paperback: £9.99


Forthcoming Titles

Newspaper Taxis - Poetry After the Beatles edited by Phil Bowen, Damian Furniss and David Woolley
You know they caused a revolution – 50 years ago the Beatles transformed the face of music, youth, and popular culture. In January 1963 their first single – ‘Love Me Do’ – was re-released and shot to number one, heralding the start of both Beatlemania and the swinging sixties. Their impact on musicians, writers, film-makers and ordinary people has been, simply, enormous. With contributions by a myriad of poets, young and old, including Simon Armitage, Carol Ann Duffy, Elaine Feinstein, Peter Finch, Adrian Henri, Philip Larkin, Roddy Lumsden, Lachlan MacKinnon, Roger McGough, Sheenagh Pugh, Jeremy Reed and Carol Rumens, this book is a response to the Beatles’ creativity and capacity to influence successive generations.
ISBN: 9781781720158      Publication Date: 14th January 2013


Poem of the Month

Radnor Songs
The Buzzard
On the ridge above Radnor
Four barrows prick the skyline
Half moons for the bones of kings
Who became pointers to the stars.
Now their hunting fields are mine
For I can out-span their arms
Swoop faster than their rabble,
With a cry soar and open
Their horizon to the falling sun.
Flat Out
Flat out, stretched with no more to say
After we had made the earth our altar,
Sown, reaped and threshed under the full sun,
We lay, gazed at the buzzard circling
High enough to mistake us for prey.
In this strange field we had been a sacrifice,
Content leeching into the shorn grass
Four millennia after the lost knife
Had caught the glint of a midsummer morning
In the national stadium, cathedral close
Bounded by posts the width of forty year oaks.
You sang, and round the valley
Delighted larks understudied the ghosts.
From the new collection More for the Helen of Troy by Simon Mundy.

We take this opportunity to thank you all for your support in 2012. We have had another fantastic year seeing the publications of some great titles.
2012 Recap:

Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman by John Morris sparked worldwide media coverage. Has John finally uncovered the truth about the identity of the Ripper? Could ‘he’ really have been a Welsh woman?
Liam Carson's Call Mother a Lonely Field is a touching memoir about growing up in an Irish-speaking family in Belfast at the height of the troubles. “...will draw a tear from the most hardened of readers.” – We Love This Book
Clueless Dogs by Rhian Edwards, a debut poetry collection that was shortlisted for the 2012 Forward Prize Best First Collection. Rhian also won the 2011-12 John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry.
Deryn Rees-Jones's beautiful collection Burying the Wren, which is shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize 2012. Burying the Wren was an Autumn Poetry Book Society Recommendation (2012).
Autumn saw the release of two more excellent additions to the Mabinogion Series. Both award-winning authors Lloyd Jones and Cynan Jones give their account on the age old myths.

The Book of Idiots
by award-winning author Christopher Meredith is a superbly written novel.  “...a darkly comic triumph full of uncomfortable truths”ShortList Magazine

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year

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