[Spellyans] Holyer an Gof 2010

WILSON NANCY butlerdunnit at ntlworld.com
Sun Aug 22 20:17:38 BST 2010

I now have my UCR copy of Testament Noweth and NJWilliams UCR Gerlyver to
help me with any 'stumbling' in the texts. Both books are from
Evertype/Spyrys and I highly recommend them. They rather reinforce my
instinct that UCR, for all it has been so prematurely dumped by most, is
still the richest form of Cornish.
I know these books date from further back than these prizes probably apply
but I am sure they will have been equalled in production quality by the ones
mentioned here so it does seem a shame no commendations were awarded.

Yn Lel,


On 18 August 2010 16:35, Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com> wrote:

> Here is the response of another of those bards, along with my response:
> On 18 Aug 2010, at 00:52, a bard wrote:
> > Dear Mr Everson,
> >
> > I don't think we've met, I've no knowledge of your products, I'm no
> supporter of any publisher per se, nor am I a supporter of any single
> Cornish language variant, but I am honoured to be a bard of Gorsedh Kernow.
> As well you should be.
> > I do not know who comprises the Holyer an Gof committee. However, the
> bards I know are honourable men and women who think for themselves, select
> principled criteria, and make rational judgements based on those criteria.
> I don't know who they are either. I'm sure they're very nice people. Just
> as I'm sure you and I are.
> The fact, however, is that in previous years in the Cornish Language
> section of this prize secondary and tertiary prizes (High Commendation and
> Commendation) were given for books entered, and that this year such prizes
> *were* awarded in other categories.
> The fact that my books (which are really rather splendid) were snubbed
> appears to be a deliberate political decision on the part of a person or
> persons within the Gorseth.
> > I'm interested to hear of your books; I wish them success.
> If you would like to see what was submitted, see
> http://astore.amazon.co.uk/kernowek-21 -- And if you'd like to see even
> more, you can go to amazon.co.uk and type in "evertype" and "cornish". You
> can use Amazon's "Look Inside!" feature to see what the books look like. I'm
> not even lobbying you to buy them; you can look for free.
> > I am sorry to think you are disappointed, but I suspect there is
> increasing and intense competition in your field.
> To be honest, I'm not disappointed for my own sake. I'm disappointed for
> the sake of the Gorseth. Intense competition, you say? Perhaps so. In fact
> (though you might not know it) in 2009 I published more new books in Cornish
> than any other publisher.
> But I wasn't crowded out by other publishers winning the High Commendations
> and Commendations, either. This year, it was decided to give only a joint
> First Prize to the Kesva and Cowethas, and to snub everybody else. I say
> again: The Holyer an Gof committee has told the world that in their view,
> apart from a fat KK dictionary and a skinny reprint of some kiddies' songs,
> no books of merit appeared in 2009.
> That doesn't look very "honourable". It looks like a political stitch-up.
> Give a prize to the Kemmyn book, and share it with the SWF reprint (of a
> mere 24 songs) and dismiss everything else.
> Like 125,000 words of Cornish-language fiction.
> > You ask me what I think.
> I did, and I thank you for telling me.
> > I think it is clear that you care deeply about Cornish-language material.
> I salute anyone working to advance Cornish culture.
> I do, and I thank you for saying so. In fact, the response of Holyer an Gof
> has not daunted me. It will not deter me from continuing to publish, either.
> For my part, I hope to honour the legacy of Gwas Myghal, Henry Jenner.
> > However, whilst I can understand your frustration, I fail to see the
> rationale of your public utterance. I'm concerned that some will not see it
> as a constructive way to engage with Gorsedh Kernow or initiate a dialogue
> of enquiry  or mutual understanding with the H an G committee.
> I have made a "public utterance" because the choices made this year reflect
> *badly* on the Gorseth and on that competition.
> You'd never heard of my books. The Holyer prize, in snubbing them, helps to
> make sure that nobody else hears of them either. And I do say "snub" because
> nothing *prevented* them from Commending anything except a prejudice against
> ... well, what? A "foreign" publisher? A critic of KK? A user of an
> orthography that corrects identified mistakes in the SWF? The translator?
> The book covers and typography are attractive enough. And the Holyer an Gof
> rules did not specify which orthographies were "acceptable" and which were
> not. Nothing prevented Commendation or High Commendation but a choice to
> refrain from recognizing eight books from one publisher -- the one publisher
> who published more Cornish-language content than any other in 2009.
> Or from recognizing any of the books which Agan Tavas or Spyrys a Gernow
> submitted. I haven't made this complaint because of my own ego or craving
> for glory. I've made it because this year, "fairness" was wanting. I can't
> imagine "principled criteria" that would have made this year's awards
> different from previous years.
> No one in the Gorseth or on the Holyer an Gof committee has never
> communicated to me, apart from sending an invitation to the prize ceremony
> which arrived only a day before the event because they hadn't put enough
> international postage to get the invitation to me in Ireland in time. I'm
> certainly glad I didn't spend the £200 it would have cost me to attend.
> I will of course submit more books next year. Two were published in
> February -- a new edition of Jenner's Handbook, and a bilingual novel by
> Alan Kent.
> I have sent out my e-mail to a number of bards whose addresses I have,
> because I think that this stinks. I want to encourage you and your fellow
> bards to talk about this. It's all very well to be sure that honourable
> people made rational judgements. But from here in the trenches it looks
> otherwise. I thought it important that some of the bards learned this.
> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
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