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An Elusive State: Entering Al-Chwm

An Elusive State: Entering Al-Chwm

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A man hits fifty. He grew up surrounded by a belief in progress. Now he, and the world around him, are not so sure. He creates a Utopia to comfort himself. Steve Griffiths's cycle of poems, Al-Chwm, tells the story of the life and death of an imaginary utopia. The cycle began with a vision in the province of Granada which merged a twilight in the hill town of Montefrio with one in Griffiths's home village in Anglesey, North Wales, as the lights came on one by one. Al-Chwm, first heard on Radio 3 in 2006, is a parallel universe, a magical epic, a comfort, a mystery.

Steve himself describes it as:
"… a book about maturity, history, mistakes, places, death, democracy, power, laughter in the dark, science in the context of these matters, glasses half full or half empty, cups overflowing and the advantages and disadvantages of this…"

"… let me say how much I enjoyed the manuscript – it was a real breath of fresh air – genuinely individual…"
Don Paterson

"… Challenging, refreshing… the tangential world we really inhabit… ambitious, demanding and should be seen…"
Robert Minhinnick

Steve Griffiths was born in Trearddur Bay, Anglesey, in 1949. He has published four collections of poems since 1980, the last being Selected Poems (Seren, 1993). In the Nineties he took a long break from writing and publishing, before an intense period from 1999–2004 when he wrote An Elusive State: Entering al–Chwm.