Cardiff-based authors Lloyd Markham and Crystal Jeans have opened a bookshop in Duke Street Arcade, Cardiff to sell their new novels with their Festival of Bad Ideas this week. The Carnival bookshop popped up on Sat 1 July stocking copies of Bad Ideas\Chemicals, the dark, weird debut novel by Lloyd Markham published by Parthian that has already garnered a cult buzz amongst other top writers:
‘A dark and witty take on small town life.’
– David Towsey
‘bleak, weird, grim, cool... it will probably become a cult classic.’ – Rhian Elizabeth
'Some writers try to do weird. Some writers do weird. Lloyd Markham is weird.' – Christopher Meredith
The shop also stocks Crystal Jeans' second novel Light Switches are my Kryptonite by Honno:
'In Sylvester, Crystal Jeans has created a character as evocative and alluring as her own name. Her book is an amazing piece of literary ventriloquism; convincing, moving, funny, flawlessly sustained, and utterly compelling.' – Niall Griffiths
as well as her first novel, The Vegetarian Tigers of Paradise (Honno) recently longlisted for the Polari First Book:
'Think Caitlin Moran in Gabalfa, Cardiff - dysfunctionality made humorous and page-turningly entertaining and moving.' – Tony Curtis
'The poems in Rebel Sun knit together all of the various elements of experimentation, politics and community I’ve been immersed in over recent years, with a strong focus on (re)connecting with the natural world. I am as much a part of the north Wales landscape as any oak or wave or starling and Rebel Sun is acknowledgement of that.'
'Explaining the exact nature of a poem feels too didactic, but this collection is absolutely about taking a stand politically. I see the after-effects of colonialism as a patriarchal dish still being force-fed to the land and her people in Wales. But after a long winter, maybe spring is coming.'
Several years ago. on my way home from a night out, I paused on the old bridge near the centre of town to look at the water below. I think it must have rained upstream or something because the river was surging. It looked strangely inviting to my drunken mind. I stood there watching the murky water for a long time and felt a perverse urge to jump in. Then, a passing police officer, as if sensing the bad ideas in my head, bellowed at me from the other side of the bridge, “Hey, mate, are you okay?” snapping me out of my trance.
Bad Ideas\Chemicals is a book about moments like this. Moments when you feel hypnotised by some irrational urge you cannot fathom.
It is also a book about self-destruction.
Welsh writers Natalie Ann Holborow, Siôn Tomos Owen and Sophie McKeand will be joined by Indian writers Aniesha Brahma, Srijato Bandyopadhyay and Arunava Sinha. The writers have been brought together by Welsh publisher Parthian Books, Kolkata-based Bee Books, Literature Wales and Wales Arts Review, for their new project The Valley, The City, The Village.
The project is supported by India Wales, a new funding scheme by the British Council and Wales Arts International. The scheme supports artistic collaboration and exchange between creative professionals and arts organisations in Wales and India to build sustainable, creative relationships and networks between the two countries.
The Valley, The City, The Village brings together the six writers in a series of residencies and live performances, which will result in a trilingual publication of new writing in Bengali, English and Welsh to be published by Parthian in 2018. The project incorporates prose, poetry, art and reportage from Bengal and Wales. A special 48-page full colour magazine celebrating The Valley, The City, The Village will also be launched on 26 May, featuring contributions from all writers.