Category Archives: Publication

A City Burning – Cyfrol newydd o Straeon Byrion gan Angela Graham

Mewn argyfwng y mae dinas yn llosgi – am fod yr hen drefn wedi methu ac mae’n rhaid i newid ddod. Mae pob gwerth, perthynas a chred yn cael ei siglo ac mae’r dyfodol yn anelwig.

 Yn y chwe stori ar hugain yn A City Burning, mae plant ac oedolion yn llygadu eiliadau o drawsnewid posib yn fflamau trasiedi bersonol. Ar drothwy eu dyfodol, rhaid i bob un ddewis: sut i fyw yn y ‘nawr’ newydd hwn.

Wedi’u lleoli yng Nghymru, Gogledd Iwerddon a’r Eidal, mae’r straeon cwmpasu cyfnod yr Ail Ryfel Byd ac oes Covid-19.

Archebwch here

Wrth aros am garcharorion digalon ddod adre o’r Rhyfel, mae Eidalwr yn gweld ffordd ysgytwol i ailadeiladu ei fyd; ar arfordir Antrim, mae Gwyddel yn cael ei wthio i’r dibyn gan gythreuliaid ei deulu niwrotig; yng Nghymoedd de Cymru, helpu’r henoed yn eu cartrefi yn ystod y pandemig yw ffrwnt newydd brwydr y gweithwyr, ym mhrofiad un o’u gofalwyr. Merch yn ei harddegau yn digalonni wrth wynebu dyfodol ym myd Covid; terfysgwr mewn cariad; gweinidog dialgar; actores yn ceisio goleuni yn ei rôl i oresgyn rhwystrau ei bywyd go iawn: dyma bobol gyffredin mewn argyfwng – pob un wedi’i bortreadu â dealltwriaeth ffyrnig o anghyfiawnder a chreulondeb eu bywydau.

Ond mae’r sgwennu’n delynegol hefyd, llawn hiwmor ar brydiau ac yn craffu ar iaith ac ieithoedd – Eidaleg, Ulster Scots, Cymraeg. Yn ogystal â chymeriadau yn eu gwledydd eu hunain, rydyn ni’n cwrdd â Gwyddelod yn yr Eidal, Eidalwyr yng Nghymru, Cymry yng Ngogledd Iwerddon.

Angela Graham ar arfordir Antrim

Mae gweledigaeth sinematig o ffocws a lleoliad yn sail i bopeth sy’n digwydd: siop lyfrau diflas wedi troi’n gyrchfan rhamantus gan ysbrydion y meirw; dau offeiriad ifanc mewn cegin yn y Fatican yn gwrthdaro’n serchus; nemesis yn taro – o’r awyr – mewn coridor ysbyty.

Mae gan Angela Graham greddf am fanylion arwyddocaol a chlust am ddistawrwydd llwythog; fe fydd ei straeon yn gafael yn eu darllenwyr ac yn aros yn y cof ymhell ar ôl iddynt ddod i ddiweddglo.

Gwyddeles Gymraeg sy’n wreiddiol o Belffast yw Angela Graham. Cyn ysgrifennu A City Burning roedd hi’n gynhyrchydd a chyfarwyddwr teledu ac yn awdur sgriptïau ffilm yng Nghymru. Mae hi wedi cynhyrchu mwy na 100 o raglenni dogfen a ffeithiol i S4C, BBC, ITV a Channel 4. Bu’n Gynhyrchydd Datblygu ar ‘The Story of Wales’, gyfres hanes Cymru nodedig y BBC a ennillodd gwobrwyon BAFTA Cymru. Cynhyrchodd a chyd-ysgrifennodd y ffilm sinema Gymraeg / Wyddelig ‘Branwen’ (ymgeisydd i’r Oscars yn y categori Iaith Dramor ac enillydd gwobrau rhyngwladol) ac mae hi wedi ysgrifennu sgriptiau ffilm wedi’u lleoli yn yr Eidal a Rwmania.

Mae straeon Angela Graham wedi cael eu cyhoeddi’n eang mewn sawl gwlad a’u canmol yn frwd am eu meistrolaeth o dôn a llais. Mae hi’n rhugl ei Chymraegac yn fardd arobryn.

Labelau: Canolfan Ysgrifennu Genedlaethol Cymru, Ty Newydd

Beirniadaeth ar A City Burning:

‘Angela Graham is a brilliant new voice. This is literature that will last.’ Kate Hamer

“In this powerful collection, Angela Graham shows herself master of the angle of vision: her tales capture the mercurial moment when a person’s world is changed forever, in a road or room, against a landscape, seascape or starscape, at the graveside or (as in the towering story, ‘Life-Task’) at a forsaken railway station in the aftermath of war.” – Stevie Davies

“These stories show us what the genre does best: the ‘snapshot’ of a moment which reveals a life or a culture in a moment of transition or realisation, what James Joyce called an ‘epiphany’. … This vivid, humane and beautifully-controlled collection suggests Angela Graham is another name to watch.”  – Prof Diana Wallace

“Good writing is compelling. Each of these twenty-six stories takes you out of your own skin and into the lived experience of another… The writing is sparse. Every word is telling… But there’s also lyricism, a feel for the rhythm of speech and an ability to capture natural beauty… These stories are not comfortable… but they are honest, searing, insightful and very, very good.” – Inez Lynn 

‘The stories entice and intrigue…highly recommended’ – Graham Reid

‘Short, sharp and sometimes shocking, these wonderful stories truly pack a punch.’ Sue Leonard

‘an impressive kaleidoscope of landscape and language’ – Angeline King

‘A debut collection of tales remarkable for its verve, depth and range. Elegantly arranged, pellucidly told and persistently perceptive: twenty-six stories, one singular voice.’ – Jon Gower

 

 

2 Poems in Bangor Literary Journal Issue 7

The two poems chosen are from my set prompted by the concept SAINT which also inspired my short story in issue 10 of The Lonely Crowd, ‘Above It All’. An article on the writing of it

Writing ‘Above It All’ / Angela Graham

The Saint Sets Out

Was it at night he launched the boat?
The surf was sound,
Thudding, thrashing, arriving, arriving
And he mad to be gone.
Was he a stern commander of his men:
Jerking a slack rope taut,
Skewing a too-straight line;
Or was he the silent type:
Hunched at the prow,
Stinting his energy from tasks
That could as well be done by any,
Knowing himself to be
The only crucial compass for them all?
Whichever, the sea was wide
And the boat small.
The lamp at the masthead swaggered crazily,
A spangle, hoist to light a vaulted dome.
The sea, un-seeable, was chaos, roaring,
Nothing stable but a few stars:
Blasé observers
Of all this casting-off and letting go.
In bone-tight cold and swingeing spray
Those on the wind-skinned strand
Watched a departure into black −
No wake, no skyline −
But when the voices shredded
As the sea swung in behind them
Then (since in darkness any light is Light)
The eyes who sought made out an ensign:
The boat itself become a buoyant star.

When the Saint Wavered

At the last moment
He took a small stone with him to the boat,
Roughly round, a solid talisman.
Dry beach, it said among the waves,
Powder; desert; firm, un-tilting mass; stanchion; plumb-drop …
An un-staunched litany:
Praise of the parched or steady
At every touch.
When, after many days, he knew (they knew, all knew)
That they were at a loss,
He weighed in his palm
His last-of-land.
He felt their anxious, trusting eyes
And let his pumice Jonah go
Over the side.
That night in drifting sleep he heard
A hunter among leaves:
In the pursuit of love, beloved,
You have to risk the throw.
Loser takes all.
With nothing left to hold, be held.
He woke among veils of drizzle, grey as dust,
And the sound of birds:
Their first landfall.

AN ULSTER PSYCHE

AN ULSTER PSYCHE

I was shocked by her photographs. How could she dare? As well as projected slides she had a dozen cibachromes on display whose marvellously luminous surface makes the paper itself a fresh lens. It becomes a pool of water in which everything is gently enhanced by the limpid medium. And yet, this pool is pinned to a wall.

I had to leave the room. Such things should not be shown without a warning. Continue reading AN ULSTER PSYCHE