Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Poems and Pints and a Play at the Queens Pub, Carmarthen

Dominic Williams and Annie Butler read
The Nice View by Cynthia Veal Holm
Last night at the Queen's Pub in Carmarthen, two Welsh writers/actors, Dominic Williams and Annie Butler, performed an award-winning play by Lesley University's own Cynthia Veal Holm. In April, Cynthia won the Gary Garrison award for her ten minute play, The Nice View, which was one of four featured works performed at the Kennedy Center. Yeah, that's what I said: MY FRIEND Cynthia's play was performed at the frickin' Kennedy Center. Last night was hailed by Dominic as its "UK premiere."

As usual, the Welsh know how to do literature right: mixing an ancient literary tradition with a passion for the spoken word and lots of cider and ale. Poems and Pints is a group of writers who meet every month in Carmarthen to share their work while enjoying delicious beverages. I don't even know what kind of cider I was drinking--just whatever was on tap, which in Wales is always good.
Cynthia's award

We three Americans were the "guests of honor" at this event--sponsored by Write4Word--which means we got to read a little of our work along with the rest of these passionate, talented writers. What a pleasure to be in a land where literature is so treasured. The writing was first-rate, and the group was full of people who know how to listen.

Cynthia, a bit nervous but charming and collected, introduced her play, which is set on the Missouri River in the state of Missouri.
Cynthia pulls herself together
to introduce her award-winning play

My other friend at the event, Jill Johnson, did a stunning job reading from her memoir Waterskiing in Cashmir, which is about her childhood growing up in developing countries. I also read a bit from my memoir Quiet One, about growing up with a mother who has BPD. People who know me will be glad to hear that I read something sort of sweet and light about a high school dance (with some allusion to the tragic, I can't help myself).
Jill takes a picture as
the reading begins

The three of us feel privileged to have been invited into this group for the evening. We know how sacred a writers' group space can be, and to allow us to share in it was a true pleasure.


  1. Looks like you are very busy on an exciting trip, but I just found your lovely blog. It seems you have disappeared from my Facebook feed, so I just searched and found you here. Back to your trip- looks like fun! My nephew and his wife lived in Wales a while, now they are in Manchester, her hometown. Let's catch up when you get a minute,

    1. Angi! It's so nice to hear from you! My friends and I were in a writers' workshop in Lampeter, Wales last year as part of our MFA program. We loved it here and decided to come back this year just for fun. :-)

      I absented myself from FB because I was getting some harassment from family members. I have a secret page on there to stay connected to my writing peeps, but I don't friend anyone. I'm pretty wary of FB now. But I'm on twitter @amygrierwrites.

      Hope all is well with you and your family. :-)


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