Ashes of a Valleys Childhood
"The new Cardiff-based Mulfran Press has brought out Lynda Nash's Ashes of a Valleys Childhood — poems and photographs that recall the 1960s
Rhymney Valley with a welcome lack of cloying sentiment."
Peter Finch, The Insider column, Western Mail
magazine 20 Feb 2010
[also in his blog posting titled The End of Bookselling]
"Snapshots of a valley's past, but not the wistful, sepia-tinted kind. Celandines jostle cockroaches, blackberry-picking is blighted by an unloving parent, the iconic tin bath doubles as a toilet on winter nights. The childhood portrayed in these little vignettes is neither idyllic nor idealised, but it is alive and convincing."
"A mixture of innocent questioning and the maturity of acceptance are conveyed. Yet the acceptance never means that a peculiar situation, an adult’s unexpected and unexplained reaction, is not thought about and does not continue to be examined."
About Lynda Nash and contact information
This is Lynda Nash’s first full collection of poems. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in various magazines, and her poem "Einstein's Theory" won The Aber Valley Arts and Literature Festival poetry competition 2007. She was born and raised in the Rhymney Valley, and now lives in Trethomas and teaches Creative English and Basic Skills in the community. Lynda's web site is: http://lyndanash.webs.com/.
Mulfran Press home page
Ashes of a Valleys Childhood by Lynda Nash
This collection of poems is selected from a broader body of work to focus on narratives that individually and collectively illuminate what it was like to grow up in the South Wales valleys in the 1960s and '70s. The stories are grounded in the lived experience of the poet and other children growing up in this particular time and place, while family photographs suggest a range of memory that can be sunny, tender, funny or stark by turns.
Ashes of a Valleys Childhood, Lynda Nash
56 pages, £7.99, ISBN 978-1-907327-01-8
6pm to Midnight Man
Father was a Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday man
with Brylcreem and blue suit at six o’clock.
Ready to grace the flea-pits of the valleys
that doubled as dance halls.
Off to meet the boys
smelling of shaving soap and cigarettes
Lacking cohesive words,
awestruck by his towering frame,
I wondered, instinctively, if he’d return.
Mother washed dishes
and sang along with Cilla Black
Anyone who had a heart...
Cut the sleeves off his shirts, said one neighbour.
Leave him! said another.
But Mam could only flounder.
And night after night,
shielded by banister rails,
we kids sat side by side, listening,
looking at each other,