Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Legacy -- Anthony 'Trance' Jones

Anthony Jones at the first Cellar Bards

What a tragedy it was to hear of the sudden death of one of the foremost promoters of spoken word literature events in west Wales.

The funeral of Anthony ‘Trance’ Jones was held yesterday (August 7th) and was followed by an afternoon of tributes from many friends and poets in the packed Queen’s Hotel in Carmarthen – venue of the monthly Poems & Pints event that Anthony founded in 2010.

People packed into the Crematorium and the pub heard many anecdotes and poems written in his memory. Poems were sent by friends who couldn’t be there – from as far afield as Siberia, Sweden, Portugal and Ireland, as well as from Wales – and these were read out by friends.  Anthony’s own poems were read during the events by friends and by his brothers, Richard and William. Ably hosted by Anthony’s close friend and colleague, Dominic Williams, the afternoon was a fitting spoken word tribute to a wonderful man and Anthony would have been pleased and proud.

Always a supporter of The Cellar Bards spoken word event in Cardigan, Anthony’s help and advice was sought when that was launched in June 2012 and he continued to offer his support and encouragement.  The Cellar Bards will always be indebted to him for his love and support of spoken word in general and of our event in particular.

This was my tribute to him, on behalf of the Bards, at the Queen’s yesterday afternoon:


i.m. Anthony ‘Trance’ Jones

words – off the page
your words     my words
our words

poets     poets
shoot words out there

vibrant voices
snipers shooting
vivacious words

poets speak out
shout out words
fired like bullets         

over the land
across the seas
out there, your words

your episodes and fragments
in Tranas and Tramor
in Aberteifi and Caerfyrddin

your words       my words
our words
all the poets’ words

over all this world
cutting through

daily blather and banter
always speaking out
off the page

our responses, challenges
propositions, positions
our sounds, our clamour

our words     your words
all out there.        Now
you are more than words

you are more than
all the words
over all the world


There is plenty more on Anthony's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/anthony.t.jones

Friday, 21 July 2017

Dominic and the Rockhoppers

What a privilege to be asked by a friend to help them launch their poetry collection. But what a nerve-racking thing it is to read someone else’s work in public, with the poet (and his family) listening attentively!

Regular readers of my blog will know that I always write with spoken word and performance of poetry in the forefront of my mind.  How poems sound out loud is crucial to how I create them. I’d go so far as to say all poetry should be out loud, that’s when it really comes alive.

So being asked to read someone else’s work out in public, while they are there listening is a huge privilege – but it does make for shaky knees!

The Rockhoppers poetry performance group participated in the launch of and why we were all going, the debut poetry collection from Dominic Williams last night (July 20th).

Myself and my three Rockhopper colleagues (left to right in the photo -- Maggie Harris, Mel Perry, Annie Butler and me) were honoured to be asked to take part and we each read a few of Dominic’s fabulous poems as well as some of our own.

It was a fantastic night for spoken word, brilliantly compered by Sion Tomos Owen, and held in the friendly surroundings of Octavo’s cafĂ©-bar and bookshop in Cardiff Bay.

and why we were all going is the first publication from Three-Throated Press, the new poetry imprint from publisher Iconau (Ferryside, Carmarthenshire).

It’s a beautifully produced casebound (hardback) pamphlet containing a collection of poetry that comes from the heart and affects the emotions, but also appeals to the intellect. I’ve put a selection of comments from other writers about this new work below.

And do look out for the next launch from this imprint coming soon: Rum Dark Nights by Mel Perry (yes, she’s one of my Rockhopper colleagues). 
Info on Iconau and Three Throated Press, plus how to order books:

More on the Rockhoppers:

Praise for and why we were all going:

"Dominic Williams is the madman on the train who asks the great questions, 'is the quill mightier than the thorn', 'why do the clouds drift in confusion?' He takes us from the bawdy Atlantic, from soft clouds in Ireland to the Viking vowels of Scandinavia, but always rooted in the depths of the Welsh soul… Such sensitive feelings expressed in poetry are to be welcomed and cherished. Such feelings can oftentimes only be given voice in poetry… In these pages there is much and plenty to ponder.” – Kevin Connelly.

“Evocative and playful, burrowing deep into the mysterious liaison that exists so profoundly between people and place.” -- Rachel Trezise.

“Not only is this the work of a Bard, it is a paean to life, to loss and to the burgeoning awareness of one’s own mortality. The book takes the reader on a rattling railway journey of a life, in all its hues, from a random encounter with a drunken madman to a man coming to realisation about his place in the Universe.” – Michelle Dooley Mahon.

“Williams understands that writing is not only an intellectual pursuit; it comes from and appeals to not just the head but also the guts and the muscles and the lungs and the gonads and the blood. In other words, he gets it.” -- Niall Griffiths.

Friday, 23 June 2017


                       hair knotted with brine
                                          sharpness of salt

                                                        soft touch of a breeze

                                                                           seaweed scents

                                        hot gritty sand on bare feet

                                                                cool water around ankles

                                                                         as tide pulls    


                                                                        draws you

                                         seagulls call and shout

                                                                  horizons are everywhere

                  a world tensed tight

                                                       with struggles



                                                                       becomes free

                                               and you know how it feels

                                to see forever

                                                                         as far as love