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Byline: Gwen Davies

I spoke last week of the relative merits and kudos of print and online editions in a session on literary magazines at the Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea.

This is also the subject of a item by Funderland author Nigel Jarrett.

The summer issue of New Welsh Review, which is out now, is our last edition to appear only in print format, since this autumn we launch app-subscriptions and e-pub versions alongside the traditional format.

So where better than an newspaper column to celebrate print alone? John Harrison, whose new book on Antarctica (Forgotten Footprints) is reviewed in the same edition, launches the first in his new series, Islands on the Edge, with a piece on St Kilda: "St Kildans didn't like the sea. They couldn't swim and never made a boat... they thought fish poor fare: not oily enough... "They were the only known culture to exist primarily on birds. The fulmars arrived in December, and the islanders climbed down the cliffs on ropes to kill them.

"As well as eggs and meat, the birds yielded oil, up to half a pint a bird if you drew back the wings when taking them, to stop them vomiting it over you."

In the fifth of our series pairing contemporary writers with classic texts, Grahame Davies pays an imaginary visit to Cairo's St David's Building, a former department store run by the Davies Bryan family, decorated with Iolo Morganwg's druidic 'secret sign' and 'once the largest modern edifice in Africa'.

His essay is a response to an Egyptian-set 1913 novel, The Lost Mameluke, by David M Beddoe.

Translation features in this issue include a Chinese poem translated by Pascale Petit; Tony Bianchi's story, Eric 'n' Ernie, in which a teenager gives his overbearing father his comeuppance, and Richard Gwyn's review of epic novel Traveller of the Century by Argentine literary superstar Andrs Neuman.

Issue 96 also feature Sarah Howe on young US women poets and Alice Entwistle's review of Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch's 'magnetising' new poetry collection, Banjo.

This is launched at Hay on June 5 and an interview with her went live yesterday at

On June 8, I will be in conversation at the festival with Fflur Dafydd and Horatio Clare. Ellie Rees, Horatio's teacher at Atlantic College, interviews him online as our second showcased author, and the trio is completed by myself in conversation with Gee Williams, author of A Girl's Arm.

* Gwen Davies is editor of New Welsh Review MORE BOOKS
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 26, 2012
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