Leaping from the pages, jostling for position alongside the Valleys mams, dads, and bamps, and described with great warmth, the superheroes in question are a motley crew: Evel Knievel, Sophia Loren, Ian Rush, Marty McFly, a bicycling nun, and a recalcitrant hippo. Other poems focus on the crammed terraces and abandoned high streets where a working-class and Welsh nationalist politics is hammered out. This is a post-industrial Valleys upbringing reimagined through the prism of pop culture and surrealism. Edwards marries an authentic colloquial voice with sound technique to produce poems that recognize the exotic in everyday life, and a first collection that, remarkably, has won the Costa Prize for Poetry 2014.
Henry’s new collection explores a marital break-up, his childhood in Aberystwyth, and in the final sequence we meet 'Davy Blackrock': washed-up songwriter and modern day alter ego of Dafydd y Garreg Wen (David of the White Rock), alias David Owen (1720–1749), the blind, 18th century harpist and composer who fell asleep on a hill and dreamt the famous song which bears his name.