A Child’s Christmas in Wales 2022
The new piece was commissioned by the Hay Festival in partnership with Literature Wales and was shared for the first time on Saturday 26 November, at the Hay Festival Winter Weekend.
Hanan Issa was in conversation with Dylan Moore in the sold-out event in Hay-on-Wye on the transcendent power of poetry and Wales’ strong lyrical heritage where the new commission was premiered.
The new commission was released in a special Hay Festival podcast and on the festival’s YouTube channel on 1 December 2022.
“I suppose it’s karma that I mix up my Christmases, summers, Eids and winters.” – Hanan Issa
The National Poet of Wales’ new commission describes her own experience of Christmases past, and wonders what her son’s future will hold.
Hanan said: “Dylan Thomas’ iconic piece has endured as an indulgent, comforting tale to generations. It speaks to that very universal desire to recover something lost, to relive a happy memory. I was excited when Hay approached me with this challenging commission since it encouraged me to explore how we retain memories and images of innocence, as well as the less rose-tinted prospect facing young people today.
“I wish I could say that my son’s Christmases, Eids and winters are as carefree as mine or those of Dylan Thomas”.
Hanan is National Poet of Wales 2022 – 2025, she has also been awarded the Hay Festival International Fellowship 2022-23. Information about Hanan and the role of National Poet of Wales is available here.
Dylan Moore is a former recipient of the same Fellowship, editor of The Welsh Agenda magazine and author of Many Rivers to Cross (Three Impostors, 2021).