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Frequently Asked Questions
Do you undertake commissions? Yes, a great deal of my work is commissioned for festivals, musical compositions, special occasions and the like, and I have worked extensively with musicians and visual artists. Please email to let me know what you have in mind.
How much do you charge for a reading or for teaching creative writing? I am a member of the Society of Authors, so I charge their rates, which can be accessed here. However, I also sometimes work pro-bono work for charities and other causes.
We need a judge for a literary competition - are you available? I've judged many literary competitions, from major ones that take a year to read all the books, to small ones with half a dozen poems. Again, let me know what you have in mind.
I want to be a writer - will you help? I do have to be careful how much I take on, of course. But I will try to help if I can.
You write in Welsh and English - which comes first? I have always been bilingual. My parents were Welsh-speakers, and my home, community and schooling was a mixture of Welsh and English influences. Which language comes first sometimes depends simply on the occasion, commission or audience. Sometimes it depends in which language the first lines occur to me. Sometimes I write a poem in two languages in the same sitting; they're intertwined.
Where can I buy your books? Not all my books are in print, but those which are available can be obtained directly from the publishers, Seren, Gomer and Barddas, or from the Welsh Books Council's website, Gwales, or, of course, from Amazon.
You have written a lot about Jewish subjects - are you Jewish? I'm afraid not. I have no Jewish family background. I became interested in Jewish subjects in the early 1990s when studying for my doctorate. One of the writers I was studying, the French philosopher Simone Weil, was Jewish, and in seeking to better understand her views, I started researching Judaism. That led, in 2002, to me publishing a book, The Chosen People, about the Welsh relationship with the Jewish people, and to three visits to Israel and Palestine, and to a host of contacts and friendships and interests in the Jewish world.
How did you get interested in Islam? This grew out of the Jewish studies. The trips to Israel and Palestine brought me into contact with Muslim people, and this made me aware of references to Islam in Welsh literature. These researches led to another book about the Welsh relationship with Islam, The Dragon and the Crescent, published in 2011, and, again, to a host of contacts and relationships.
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