Hygge Feature #4

I’m really enjoying these hygge-inspired poems on poet Angela Topping’s website. I believe the project is currently open to submissions, too, so do take a look. Some wonderful poems up here so far.

Angela Topping

Today it’s all about food, and it won’t be the only one with that angle! Home-made food is all about being cosy, sharing, and being in the present moment.

Making Bread

Pungent baking smells fill the house.
Three loaves cool on wire racks.
A sharp knife separates a half inch slice,
speckled with oval sunflower sections.
A happy sigh ; the family is home.

First, a warm kitchen,
Tough brown bags of organic, wholemeal,
Stone-ground grains ; wheat, barley, rye.
Warm water, salt crystals, pearls of yeast
(Using the simplest and best, only the best.)
My hands that fold the warm trembling flesh,
Pat flour off my apron’s belly, into my hair.
The oven clicks, starts its rise with the bread.

Blue poppy seeds, sesame and buckwheat shards
Stretch apart on the swelling surface.
A good rise comes from the heart,
warmth inside and out ; the family is…

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Voices on the Bridge


In the land of the bards! Voices on the Bridge Pontypridd Museum 7 until 10pm 27th January 2017 – Poetry, Song, Music. Gerhard Kress Rhian Elizabeth Des MannayMab JonesRob CullenSuzanne MarieMike JenkinsJulia Lewis Rhys Milsom Ellen DaviesJosh EvansCara Cullen plus open mic. What a lineup!

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Poetry Film Advent Calendar

I’ve been very busy recently, touting my book about, and teaching at Cardiff Uni, but the travel and the tutoring are all finished for the holidays, now. So, I thought I’d write my first blog post in a while, and let you know about poet Claire Trévien‘s excellent poem film project, in which she creates an original poetry film for each advent calendar countdown day of the month.

So far, the project has included wonderful poets such as Wendy PrattZoë Brigley Thompson, and Catherine Ayres, as well as myself. Today’s poem film, with poetry by Kallie Rose, and film by Claire, made my heart feel as if it was about to pop! All of them are really unique and interesting, of course, with all sorts of thoughts and emotions arising as a result…

Take a look at Claire’s YouTube page to watch some of the wonderful things. And, make sure to follow if you want to keep up with the advent calendar in its countdown towards Chrimbo. There are many more lovely ones to come, before then, of course. It’s better than chocolate! Promise… 😉

FREE WRITE@CHAPTER CWTCH 10.00-13.00 November 25 2016

willdeanford's Blog

Nearly the last Friday of the Month, which means nearly time for


Probably the last FREE WRITE of 2016, so come along, muse on what the writing year has brought you, and what you hope to be doing with the days of 2017!

Meeting once a month, with no fixed agenda, FREE WRITE brings together poets, storytellers,spoken word performers, novelists, comedians, creators of words in whatever form, meet up to connect, chat, share experiences, successes, cautionary tales relating in any way to writing, the process, the results, the joys, the pain, the paths and the pitfalls of  the word based life

NOVEMBER 25th MEETING: 10am to 1pm in The Cwtch, Chapter Arts Centre

No two Free Write sessions are the same, you may use the session to focus on getting some words down by yourself, or join the discussion, maybe a prompt will arise during the event and those who…

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Poem On October

In the final week of October, I was Resident Writer at the Dylan Thomas Boathouse. This project, ‘Poem in October‘, saw a number of different writers running events and engaging with visitors in the beautiful museum and tea rooms. I was the last of these, and my week, which I called ‘Poem ON October’, saw me collating, collecting, and encouraging poems from people visiting the Boathouse who had travelled, in some cases, not just from other towns and cities but from other countries, as well.

I collected over 200 poems on October, autumn, the Boathouse, and the stunning estuary views, and put these together into a grand group poem, which you can read below. I used at least one line or phrase from each poem received – no mean feat!! I managed to include something from every poem, apart from two. This one:

I found a pumpkin

It had a lump in

its mouth. I found it

in a forest,

I named it Boris.

Um… Hard to fit this one in! And another, rhyming poem, which told, in brief, the story of the life of Dylan Thomas. It was too hard to include that, when I had asked everyone else to write about autumn / October / the views! So, sorry if these are your poems. I don’t think Dylan would have minded! The poem below is thematically more sound with these exclusions. And, well, Boris is indeed a pumpkin, but politics are not for this project, really, either…

Many thanks to all who took time to write with me at the Dylan Thomas Boathouse, in any case. It was fun! And I think the end result is very interesting. I hope you enjoy it.


Poem On October

by Visitors to the Boathouse, 25th – 30th October 2016

compiled by Mab Jones



October is the time of change.

Autumn has begun.

Autumn it is dawning.

The hillside ripples with Autumn greens.

Leaves as red as fire.

Trees of gold and green.

Low lying light.

The flurry of the Autumn wind.

Apples falling,

falling down,

dancing off the trees,

dancing in the air,

tumble and skitter

in our pathway,

under feet, where

a blanket of leaves

lie. They love tumbling

down, orange

red and brown.

Brown, yellow, green.

Crunching, rustling,

a kaleidoscope of burnished memories

in this breezy, hidden forest where

roots raucously roam.



There is nothing about the autumn

that I wouldn’t like to repeat next year.


A pot of Earl Grey and

Welsh rarebit.

The woodburner’s glow.

Smells from bonfires.

Eating biscuits.

Thick jumpers

and fluffy socks,

the donning of scarves.

Hot chocolate, fireworks,

murmured conversation and

roaming dogs.

Paw prints along the path.

Big castles.

The wind blows in your face.

Cosy in bed.

To walk on the hill’s shoulder.

Still autumn views.

Ride your bike as leaves fall.

We can run in the leaves.

Autumn is the best,

especially in the West.

The month of my birth,

and yours.


Bonkers, conkers, muddy shoes

leaving crisp, gentle footprints.

Put some big socks on.


Apple and cinnamon,

pumpkin and sage,

the tastes and smells of October,

when the grass is jewelled.

hedgehogs, squirrels

munching on acorns,

conkers, horse chestnuts,

stunning sun rises,

the misty mornings,

smoke curling up the chimney,

swirling sweetness,

October of our lives.



October winds growing stronger,

October waves growing bolder,

The wind is howling,

an explosion of crows.

Autumn leaves are falling.

October grey sun.

Seeds holding the promise of fruit.

My heart, made of leaves.


Birds squealing with delight

at dusk, and at dawn.

Plain at noon.

Sun dazzled beaks.

The seagulls swoop,

the curlews cry.

Lapping water.

Boats splashing on the sea.

Thigh-wadered fisherman.

The glistening river as it flows.

An atmosphere of calm.

Streaks of silvery light.

Lonely boat on sandy bank.

The choppy sea is flowing.


Ebb…. and flow.

The clouds roll in.

The sea rolls out.



Summer’s grave, autumn’s gate.

Halfway back from nowhere.

Wide brooding, dull and greying, skies.

Animals start going into hibernation.

No more heat, no more sun.

A little auk drifting in on the tide,

sloe-black eyes staring blindly.

A scary orange pumpkin

that has no mouth or nose,

a hollow stare,

cackles creepily.

Pumpkins lighting up like torches.

A bird as black as coal, fast as the wind.

The fall of giants.

The skeletons of the trees,

the spider-like branches.

Fingers of mist.

Chilly fingers scaling your face.

Spooky ghosts.

Hijacked / ambushed.

The days go cold.

The trees sway.

Decaying leaves.

Muted shades.

Beaches deserted,

sun retreating.

Winter is knocking

round the corner.

Winter comes soon.

Then it’s snowing.

The day ends quickly,

rattling across the years.



Memories made,

Never to be forgotten.

An October birthday.

The view is beautiful.

Under silk moods.

Whiskey to the heart.

Full of peace, being playful.

We will be fellow adventurers together,

each year will be a new year we’ve grown.

In fondo mi sento fortunato.

Today I take home a

poet’s song.


Book Launch – You Are Invited!

I’m launching my second collection of poems, ‘take your experience and peel it’, this coming Thursday at 6.45pm. The launch takes place amongst the standing stones/rocking stone up on Pontypridd Common. Here’s a LINK TO A MAP and a photo of Google maps showing how to get there:

Pontypridd Map.png

Please take this route, and don’t go through the park or the Common, unless you are familiar to the area. It’s easy to get lost. The standing stones are a few seconds’ walk away from Common Road, at the point marked on the map. They look like this, and are easy to spot:


The outer stones are relatively recent, the rocking stone in the centre is thousands of years old… But the spot was home to many poetry readings in the 18th and 19th centuries. Now it’s the venue for us!

There will be three special guests at the event, as well as myself. They are:


STEVE ANDREWS a.k.a. The Bard of Ely

Cardiff-born Steve Andrews aka the Bard of Ely aka Green Bard is a singer-so
ngwriter, poet, author and naturalist. He has performed at Glastonbury and the Green Man festivals. As well as his songs and writings he is famous for his green beard!

Find out about Steve’s excellent book, Herbs of the Sun, Moon, and Planets, HERE.



Rufus Mufasa is a pioneering hip hop educator, specialising in participatory practice and site specific theatre. Lyricist, rapper, performance art poet and a fellow of the Barbican, Rufus is supported by Literature Wales and Slambassadors’ Joelle Taylor. Her work and research has taken her to NYC and a European tour with Crowd OMNIBUS. From babies to prisons, from championing poetry slams to street cyphers, Rufus’ passion for language and literature is contagious.




Ben Marriott is a Cardiff-based musician who plays melancholic songs involving minor chords. Unfamiliar chord progressions are dreamt and played upon waking. Dream songs. Lyrics from semi-consciousness. Acoustic grungegaze.

Ben will be performing a song which came to him fully formed in a dream (as the title poem of my book did) and, as well as other works, this piece, which is one of the poems from my new book which he has set to music:


As for the book itself… Well, it won a thing and was shortlisted for a thing. It’s four years’ worth of poems, and my soul in a very slim volume! You can read some of the poems, and read a couple of testimonials HERE.

The Facebook event with more about the event is HERE.

I hope you’ll come along! x

FREE WRITE@CHAPTER CWTCH 10.00-13.00 Aug 26 2016

willdeanford's Blog

Nearly the last Friday of the Month, which means nearly time for


Meeting once a month, with no fixed agenda, poets, storytellers,spoken word performers, novellists, comedians, creators of words in whatever form, meet up to connect, chat, share experiences, successes, cautionary tales relating in any way to writing, the process, the results, the joys, the pain, the paths and the pitfalls of word the word based life

AUGUST 26 MEETING: 10am to 1pm, in The Cwtch, Chapter Arts Centre

Friday Aug 26 2016

Which is just one day before MEGAVERSE at HUB Festival Cardiff 2016

No two Free Write sessions are the same, you may use the session to focus on getting some words down by yourself, or join the discussion, maybe a prompt will arise during the event and those who wish may try and create something on the spot. Work may be read out to willing listeners, you…

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Dylan’s Great Poem and Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award Need More Welsh Entries

Thanks Welsh Writers Trust for this!

Welsh Writers’ Trust

Doing poetry as a job means you meet many similar sorts along the way. Not other poets, exactly, but rather those people who actively promote and propagate the artform which we love, whether through journalism, organising events, marketing and promotion, teaching, or whatever else. They might be poets as well, of course, but also they are supporters who help enable other poets and often work giving them a platform.

In February I received a call from one of these poetry promoters, who I’d worked with previously on a project called Poetry Quest. He was now working to promote the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, which is run by the Poetry Society, and was wondering if I, as someone based in Wales, “could input on any media that you can recommend who might explore the topic of why we have so few Welsh top fifteen winners, as a…

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