The Italians have fallen for Welsh literature, if the trend of publication (18 books in 9 years with more to follow) has anything to go by. However, it’s not exactly a sudden connoisseurship that this country, an inveterate contributor of Arts and literature, is bent on to prove. It has more to do with the bond that developed through the migration of a chunk of Italians to Wales in the 20th Century, besides having somewhat similar appetite for ‘Romantic’ art and culture.
The latest from the Welsh stable are, The Canals of Mars (poetry collection) by Patrick McGuinness, Minhinnick (anthology of contemporary Welsh poetry), The Prince of Wales (a novel on modern Cardiff) by John Williams and Y Pla (‘The Plague’, a novel) by William Owen Roberts. Thus, translations are doing fine with experts in zone like Andrea Bianchi and Silvana Siviero, who are translating their 11th book from Wales. Bianchi’s own poetic prowess joined with Ms Siviero’s 13 years of ‘on the soil’ experience.
High on success, they have branded their works as Parole dal Galles (Geiriau O Gymru). Close on the heels are six other publishers. The literary magazine from the University of Venice through its ‘Welsh Literature Section’, also provides encouragement. With three volumes of poetry by Robert in the pipe line, along with publishing prospect of the books by poets Gillian Clarke and John Barnie or the novelist Caradog Prichard, both the market and its producers are upbeat about the future.
The poet, Gwyneth Lewis or Sioned Puw Rowlands, the director of Welsh Literature Abroad – all attribute this enthusiasm to the orchestrated effort produced by the parties from both the sides, save the Italian readers’ interest, which they have already proved by their rousing reception to the novelist Trezza Azzopardi.