An exhibition of illustrations by Alan Perry, with poems in Merthyr dialect by Mike Jenkins.
Mike Jenkins is a retired comprehensive teacher from Merthyr who still does creative writing workshops for children and adults and organises the monthly Open Mic at the Imperial Hotel. He is a poet, fiction-writer & regular blogger on www.mikejenkins.net; Former editor of ‘Poetry Wales ‘ magazine and co-editor ‘Red Poets ‘ magazine for 25 years. Winner of Eric Gregory award, Wales Book of the Year & John Tripp Prize for Spoken Poetry.
His latest book ‘From Aberfan t Grenfell ‘(Culture Matters ), 5th book written wholly in Merthyr dialect. ’Barkin’ (Carreg Gwalch) which comprised stories and poems, was shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year 2014. This one consists of two key poems linking the Aberfan disaster of 1966 with the Grenfell fire in London. There’s both sadness and humour including poems like ‘Arri’s gettin married’, oblique commentary on last year’s royal wedding. Two of the inspirations for poems about homelessness and cruelty of the benefits system came from people he knows well. Charity – all profits from the sale of prints will go to the Grenfell Foundation which is the charity set up to give support to the generations affected by the fire. The emphasis is on community, well-being & education.
Alan Perry is a poet, painter and short-story writer living and working in Swansea. His first two collections of poetry won him an Eric Gregory Award at a time when the judges included Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes and his current collection of poetry, ‘Waters’ has been widely acclaimed. His artwork has appeared as covers for numerous books and literary magazines, including Red Poets, Cheval, Poetry Wales and Planet. In 1997 he illustrated a collection of poems for children by Vernon Watkins (LMNTRE Poems; Swansea City Council) and in the following year compiled and edited ‘Music You Don’t Normally Hear’ (Alun Books, 1998) a series of interviews with over 60 homeless people in Swansea. He adapted the book as a play, which was later directed by Karl Francis in Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff. He taught art in prison for 3 years, an experience which led to his memoir ‘Night Class’ which he is, at present, illustrating. He is married to painter and portraitist Jean Perry and they have two sons, David and Gareth, who are also artists.BACK TO EVENTS