Mamiaith by Ness OwenMamiaith by Ness Owen


byNess Owen

Paperback | August 8, 2019

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Ness Owen lives on Ynys Môn off the North Wales coast. This is her first collection.
All of the poems are in English, five have been additionally translated into Welsh (with help from Sian Northey) one was written in Welsh and translated into English by Ness.
 The poems journey widely from family and motherhood, to politics, place and belonging: an underlying connection to the earth of Ness’ home, that feeds a longing/desire/determination to write in the Mamiaith (Mother tongue) that she speaks, but did not learn to write fluently. The interplay of languages and the shifts of meaning from one to the other feed the musicality of the poems.

Ness Owen lives on the island of Ynys Mon where she writes plays, poetry and stories in between lecturing and farming. Her work has appeared in various journals including Poetry Wales, Red Poets, I, S & T, The Fat Damsel, Culture Matters and in anthologies published by Arachne Press, Three Drops Press, Here and Now project and Mother's...
Title:MamiaithFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:50 pages, 7.81 × 5.06 × 0.1 inShipping dimensions:7.81 × 5.06 × 0.1 inPublished:August 8, 2019Publisher:Arachne PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1909208779

ISBN - 13:9781909208773


Table of Contents


Traed ‘Berffro
The History of a Zero
The Meeting
A Potion to Leave the Past Behind
Mr Naoto Kan Vists
Hogan Lan Môr
One Name - Cymru
Shut Up
Watching Her Leave
RE: Mud
#10 Ways to Say No (to radioactive mud) Without Using the Word “No”
Ta’im o dan draed neb
Wild Geese
Pebble Collector
Disgwylfa Chapel
Boys of Summer
No-one is Watching
How to Begin


Editorial Reviews

Spare, needle sharp but threaded through with love of country, language, people, past and future, this profoundly political collection stitches us into a rich tapestry. ‘….silence won’t shape our future… march where you’re standing…’ Owen exhorts. Tough though her message often is, she bends and weaves language lyrically, like a basket holding  ‘…fragments… earth scented, dropped, lost, broken…’ but for change to happen we must first learn how to begin, ‘to dance an inner smile.’Kate FoleyI seem to have been waiting a long time for the voice of a poet such as Ness Owen to burst on to the scene . Her poems lash with life in language that is both luminous and exhilarating.  She explores the quirks and enrichment of two languages which sometimes collide or countershade one another. Taut and tender, her meditations make these poems  ‘sing’ for  ‘canu’ in Welsh has long been the yardstick of a true poet. These poems linger in the mind long after the closing of this book.  At last, a poet who dares to embrace with a sense of wonder the two languages of Wales with poems that pulsate on the page. A truly magnificent debut.Menna ElfynMamiaith is the impressive debut collection of a poet already finding her stride. Her poems are testament to what can be stolen – language, land, selfhood – but the act of writing becomes an empowerment, resistance against life-denying forces. ... grappling with her inheritance of a broken mother-tongue that’s made her ‘tongue-tied’ in written Welsh – yet the poems, both Welsh and English language, serve as shoots of green, the triumph of poesis, attending to what was broken, mending from the past’s pieces.Quietly but firmly, in poems that are spare, incisive and vibrant, Owen, in making a stand, joins the march, inviting us all along too: ‘(Sing) You can’t turn back/Only walk forward’.Fiona OwenMamiaith is a glorious protest of poems marching determinedly into Cymru’s future with the banner of Cymraeg waving proudly at the fore… Through these poems Ness Owen unapologetically adds her voice to the demand for the indigenous Mamiaith (mother tongue) be given her rightful place in modern Wales and, following Owen’s journey, the reader can only feel a sense of pride that she has found her bilingual song and refuses to be silenced. Infused with the words: Regret in any language looks much the same, This collection is a call-to-arms where the personal becomes political: Zero tolerance / time to gather our stories / together voices will be heard. It is an appeal to celebrate our differences, and to not fear embracing the international community: Heddwch drwy gydymdrech / heddwch i fyd cyfan. Peace through solidarity / peace to the whole world. How do we approach such a seemingly enormous task? We follow the poet’s final words as we close this most enthralling book of poems and step back out into the world: begin with fearlessness.Sophie McKeand