Bookends #5 April 22

This week’s bookends brings you a novel from the borders of Wales, a taste of new books due for publication in May and some advice for on how to enjoy poetry.

The Book
CreedHonno, an independent press based in Aberystwth, Wales, has been championing Welsh Women’s writing since the company was formed in 1986. Their latest title is a novel published in 1936 by Margiad Evans, a poet, novelist and illustrator who, though of English origin herself, closely identified with the Welsh border country. Creed was her fourth and final novel, all of which are set in the countryside of the Welsh Marches.

Honno describes Creed as a novel set in the fictional industrial Border town of Chepsford. It’s a place characterised by drunkenness and brawls. The theme of the novel is about suffering whith Evans showing domestic life unsettled by strong opinions on love and sin.

I’ve never read anything by Evans but I see that Honno has also published The Wooden Doctor which is about a troubled adolescent girl and her obsession with a doctor. I think I might give myself a treat and buy both…

The Post

I find it almost impossible to keep up to date with the output of publishers in the UK. Fortunatly I can rely on Susan at A Life in Books who does a monthly selection of new titles combined with her knowledge of the author’s previous work. I warn you however that reading these posts could do serious damage to your bank balance.

The May hardback selection is covered in two posts: part one and part two 
Expect to see the paperback selection post any time now.

The Article 

I know I am not alone in my struggles with poetry. I can appreciate the skill involved in compressing imagery into a few words but seldom, if ever, consider it an enjoyable eperience. I’m gratified to learn from an interview in The Guardian newspaper, that Thomas Foster, professor of literature at University of Michigan-Flint, had a similar struggle when he was in his younger days. He’s just written a guide called How to Read Poetry Like a Professor to help people like me overcome their difficulties.

In the interview he shares his tips for understanding and enjoying poetry including the advice not to start with the difficult poets… I wish those who set the school curricula would pay heed…..


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

9 thoughts on “Bookends #5 April 22

  • Pingback: Winding Up the Week #16 – Book Jotter

  • I have a copy of a Country Dance by Margaret (Margiad) Evans – I think it was after reading one of your posts. I haven’t read it yet! If/when you do get a copy of Creed I’ll be interested in what you think of it.

  • I enjoyed Thomas Foster’s How To Read Novels Like A Professor. I used many of his tips when I was learning to write book reviews. I too struggle with reading poetry. I have to read it aloud to myself or my mind wanders.

    • i never thought about reading the poem aloud. What a good idea

  • Thanks, Karen. The first batch of paperbacks will be up and running tomorrow but I know that as a woman of steely willpower you’ll be keeping to your book-buying ban!

    • Oh if only that were so Susan. My current restraint is born out of guilt that I went so crazy a few years ago

    • You’re one person who has no need of any advice – you already read way more poetry than I do 🙂


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