From Interview

An Interview with Gary Raymond / John Lavin

Gary Raymond is a novelist, critic, editor and broadcaster. He is one of the founding editors of Wales Arts Review, and has been editor since 2014. His second novel The Golden Orphans was recently published by Parthian and chosen as Pick of the Week in The Bookseller. He is a widely published critic and cultural commentator, and is the…

‘A Broken Mirror Reflects Light Differently’ / An Interview with Robert Minhinnick

Every piece of writing feeds into something else. The two poems here [in Issue 9] were written on the same day, which is most unusual for me. But nothing comes from nowhere. All writers are walking around with a headful of tunes. Sometimes you find the energy to write them down. I’ve been thinking about my ‘boots’ and that overgrown back lane for years. I owned a pair of Dakota boots in Saskatchewan and have written about those.

Because I think it an extraordinary place, the three miles between the mouths of the Cynffig and Ogwr are often where I locate my writing. And when you’ve been to Saddam Hussein’s Babylon or the old totalitarian squares of Tirana, you don’t need to invent new worlds because it’s already impossible to do those factual places justice…

An Interview with Martina Evans / John Lavin

Martina Evans grew up in County Cork and trained in Dublin as a radiographer before moving to London in 1988. She is the author of eleven books of poetry and prose. Bernard O’Donaghue has described her new book, Now We Can Talk Openly About Men, as ‘a remarkable document, a major work’. Here, our Editor, John Lavin, talks to…

An Interview with Nuala O’Connor  

John Lavin Nuala O’Connor is one of the most talented and prolific Irish writers of the new millennium, having published five short story collections, three novels and three poetry collections in little more than ten years. Joyride to Jupiter, her fifth short story collection, was published this year to considerable acclaim in Ireland and it…

An Interview with Tom Vowler

Dan Coxon Ask five writers what it is that makes a great short story, and you’ll probably receive five different answers. Some will focus on form, others on characters, or plot. Some will be all about the language. If there’s one point that they’ll all agree on, it’s that a short story should be concise.…

An Interview with John Lavin: Part Two

JL: Well, yes, I agree. For one thing there’s no place for pot shots. Criticism, for me should be analytical and well reasoned. Absolutely – don’t like a book, but if you want to say that in a public forum, then show the author the courtesy of explaining why with due diligence and rigour.

And yes, it’s been said before but I think it’s very difficult to be a good writer without first being a good reader. Maybe some authors, blessed with immeasurable talent might be able to get away with it to an extent but essentially if you are a writer then books are your medium, so it seems fairly insensible to not know how they work.

An Interview with John Lavin: Part One

SMM: Is there anything about the times in which we live that contributes to your interest in publishing a journal of fiction and poetry rather than going into other media?

JL: Of course, it’s true that literature is not the primary medium anymore in terms of popularity and nor has it been for a long time. But it is still the most intellectually stimulating medium, in my opinion. It is still the closest you can come to understanding another person’s innermost thoughts about themselves and the world around them. It is easily the most intimate medium. As I said in reply to your earlier question, I think that more than most things I can think of, literature helps us to understand what it is like to see through someone else’s eyes.

BALANCING ACTS: Gerald Dawe in conversation with Eleanor Doorley

ED: To begin with, I would like to expand on some themes that popped up in your 1992 essay ‘Rights of Passage’ (The World as Province: Selected Prose, 2009) regarding the act of balancing teaching with writing. Can you expand on the relationship between them? GD: Teaching is all about planning as much as anything…