Tŷ Celf – Promoting New Writing in Wales









‘Tŷ Celf’.

In Welsh, the phrase (pronounced ‘tee-celv’) means ‘Art House’, or ‘house of art’. It is only fitting therefore that it serves as the name for Tŷ Celf, Cardiff Student Media’s latest creative magazine.

Showcasing a wide array of creative endeavours, Tŷ Celf adheres to a clean, minimalist aesthetic in its presentation – directing the reader’s attention instead to the talent on display. And thus far this talent has manifested itself in various works of art, writing – whether short prose or poetry – and photography; from pictures of cityscapes, to a beach in the twilight hours of the morning.

Funded by Cardiff University’s Student Union, and directed primarily towards current students, Tŷ Celf is a magazine very much aimed at promoting young writers and artists in Wales. It is not exclusively directed toward those attending Cardiff University, as the accompanying blog will sometimes accept submissions from Cardiff alumni – or those simply based in Cardiff itself – and is regularly updated with contributions.

The successor to the CSM’s previous creative magazine – Creativity – Tŷ Celf is still fairly hot off the press, with two print issues to its name. To learn more about Tŷ Celf we talked to Rosey Brown, a MA student studying Creative Writing at Cardiff University – and the magazine’s current editor – who kindly answered some of our questions:

Are there any specific themes or ideas Tŷ Celf is interested in?

Most of all, Tŷ Celf is a creative and innovative space for students of Cardiff University. Before the current incarnation, Cardiff Student Media had Creativity magazine. The main difference between the two magazines is that Creativity had a theme for each issue. This can, in some cases, I think, limit a magazine and stifle inspiration among its contributors. Photographers and artists may also not have the time to produce work that fits the brief. Luke Slade, who designed last year’s (and the first) Tŷ Celf reacted to this by being very minimal in design, and I think it’s important to maintain that. The magazine is not meant to draw attention to itself; it is meant to be a platform for the students’ work.

How important do you think supporting writing, particularly among young writers, is in Wales?

Undoubtedly very important. Fortunately, there are loads of excellent competitions and other events for budding writers these days, in Wales. Tŷ Celf is planned specifically with Cardiff University students in mind. It’s good to have somewhere that the university’s Creative Writing students can see their work published, especially as Cardiff University’s Creative Writing MA currently doesn’t publish an anthology each year (although the current year group is working to have one set up). As well as this, I think it’s a good way to showcase the talents and hobbies of students of other subjects across the university.

How often is Ty Celf published?

The magazine format is published just once a year at present – partly due to the financial constraints of Cardiff Student Media. This year’s edition is also available online, all year round, in addition to the accompanying blog.

How and when can someone contribute to Ty Celf?

To the blog: all year round. Simply email us at tycelfcardiff@gmail.com! The magazine will put out a call for submissions a month or two before publication. I’m also currently on the lookout for an editor for next year, so please get in touch via email if interested.
Welsh Writer’s Trust can only hope that we will have some quality work submitted by these writers to our upcoming creative writing competition, geared towards young people. Please find an extracted poem, from the Spring issue of Tŷ Celf below:

The Whole Dark Forest

‘She’s got the whole dark forest living inside of her’ – Tom Waits, on his wife

She has the whole dark forest
living inside her. Ivy winds
in a creep up her spine while
seedlings shoot, from the tips of her sleeve
and if you smooth her skin
the light press of leaves
can be traced, like an inked page
from a textbook of botany.
In rain she secretes oils to remind one of spring.

She is rough to touch, grown along contours
of defence, given to contortions
in search of the light they repeatedly hide
behind tower blocks, which crop up
unbidden. A modern woman
in a time of deforestation, caught
in the onslaught of sub-contractors from the city.
She sheds
so you may not pick her clean
and leave her bald for winter.
The colour of her lips is crushed
pigment of poison berries;
they move in reply to the enquiring moon
hung behind its stage-screen cloud
and the debonair wind
she lets part her shroud
to exhibit
her nakedness.

However, a warning: if you snuffle around
her skirts for truffles, if you grunt
too close: she will show you her bark.
She only takes callers who come after dark
on their knees
but for the company of trees.
The forest sees its own, you see,
knows whose arms are bowers
unfurling their knots, and whose bouquets
are flowers
with ribbon. Bring gifts.
She’ll only receive
sacrifices, limbs of leaves dropped to her feet
where she will knead them, lovingly
into her mulch.

Hood – stray off the path and join her, thrive
but if you come with an axe to split her, listen;
she will crack, open – and her sap
which will spill upon the ground
surround your ankles in less than a second,
will stick you to the spot as quick as
quick sand, and
you can listen,
to the padding
of wolves.

Rebecca Roy


Photo Credit: Laurie Taylor


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