Featuring a colourful graffiti cover, Land Of Change is an anthology containing poetry and prose, art and articles, life writing and opinion pieces, all by working-class writers based in or from Wales (although an individual piece might be focused nationally or internationally).
Intended as a “record of resistance”, Land Of Change offers up a plethora of voices and views, with some central themes and threads being those of injustice, power, and politics – “political activity and personal struggle”, as the introduction informs us.
Some of the writings are powerful, others poignant; the most striking for me were those that concerned everyday and experiential topics, as writers revealed their families, childhoods, upbringings and, in one case – Working-class Woman by Rhoda Thomas – covered the whole of one life in just a few short pages. I found this to be incredibly moving, in its honesty and humility.
The overall tone of the anthology, however, despite the documentation of injustices, is pretty celebratory: there is resistance and creativity in all of these works, and the book stands as proof positive of the difference, defiance and infectious vibrancy of the working-class voices of Wales. A great read, really inspiring, and a fantastic anthology to dip into, with something of interest on each and every page.
Land Of Change, Gemma June Howell [ed.] (Culture Matters)
Price: £15. Info: here
words MAB JONES
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