THE KEEP introduces itself with a special pilot issue dedicated to the genius of the Welsh Marches: to present the new work of contributors who have chosen to live in these age-old borderlands. Though they take inspiration from a unique spirit of place, the relevance of their work knows no borders.
THE POTENT GREEN by Soma Ghosh
On the trail of The Green Man, Soma Ghosh walks and talks spiritedly with Nina Lyon, author of Uprooted, about creating “punk religion” and getting to grips with the “God-thing”.
BULMER: THE SIGNIFICANT MOMENT by John Bulmer
In a retrospective of his long career as a pioneer of photo-journalism, John Bulmer shows and tells how he brought colour and a new vision to the North of England.
ADDLANDS by Tom Bullough
Introducing an extract from his new novel, Addlands, set in the Edw Valley, Tom Bullough retrieves the loss of Radnorshire from its place in Welsh history and his own imagination.
UNDER THE TUMP by Oliver Balch
In an extract from his new book, Under the Tump, travel writer Oliver Balch makes the longest journey of all, homewards with his young family to the Welsh Marches.
ON THE SEA’S LAND by Owen Sheers
The prologue to a suite of poems by Owen Sheers introduces a poetic coastline journey through the real, imagined and linguistic landscapes of Southern Gower.
THE SILK BUTTERFLY COLLECTOR by Tracy Thursfield
In the body-confidence of threads sewn to fit herself, Katherine Sheers stitches up an independent career as a lingerie designer and as an artist in embroidery.
WHERE THE WESTBOURNE MEETS THE WYE by Duncan Fallowell
Welsh border street names in Notting Hill intrigue Duncan Fallowell who contrasts privileged urban preservation with the poly-despoliation of his rural Arcadia
THE BEST RESTAURANT IN A SMALL TOWN by Dylan Jones
Escaping the stress and status anxiety of ‘event dining’ in London, L.A. and New York, Dylan Jones relaxes in the quiet riverside pleasures of the best little restaurant in his world.
THE CHURCH OF MERTHYR ISSUI AT PATRICIO by Mark Harrell
On a pilgrimage to a little hermit church in the Black Mountains, Mark Harrell traces its architectural mercies and spiritual mysteries from medieval times to modern days.
RICH BOY, POOR BOY by Soma Ghosh
Escaping from schizo Herefords along Offa’s Dyke, Soma Ghosh falls in with ex-city teenage boys on the run from posh country boarding schools and rural rehab crisis centres.
EXILES & SANCTUARY by Ben Rawlence
Whether they seek political shelter in a Nigerian refugee camp, or religious sanctuary in a Black Mountains parish, Ben Rawlence learns their old lesson: “hope sustains the exiles”.
BORDERTOWN by Dix
To enter Bordertown “from off”, strangers have to leave their trousers with Squid, the Gatekeeper. Dix patrols the border on a mobility scooter. With vegetables.