Top row from left to right - Joshua Jones, Maik Cây, Leo Drayton - Bottom row from left to right - Xuân Tùng, Lauren Morais, Kai Nguyễn
Thursday 30 November 2023

Room/Ystafell/Phòng is an anthology of poetry, photography, prose and collage created through a landmark collaboration between creatives from Wales and Viet Nam. Introduced and edited by acclaimed new Welsh literary voice Joshua Jones, it has been developed with the support of British Council Wales as part of the UK and Viet Nam season and published by Parthian Books.

Over the past year, the writers Xuân Tùng, Maik Cây and Kai Nguyễnfrom from Viet Nam and Joshua Jones, Leo Drayton and Lauren Morais from Wales, have come together to create an online workshop space and explore their creative practices, queer identities and how they have been shaped by the world around them. Featuring discussion transcripts, poetry, photography, collages, and prose, Room/Ystafell/Phòng is a celebration of the power of creating LGBTQ+ community spaces.

Creative director of the project, writer and artist Joshua Jones, said: "Room/Ystafell/Phòng is an innovative printed publication — of poems, stories, essays, photography and more — that is as bold and exciting as the queer writers behind the work. Cross-national and cross-cultural in scope, 'Room' will continue to ripple long after the project's culmination. I'm really proud to have been project leader, and to have worked alongside Parthian & British Council, as well as the Welsh and Vietnamese writers within the anthology, to publish this work, celebrate queer voices, and strengthen relationships in Viet Nam and Wales via art and writing.

British Council Head of Arts Wales, Rebecca Gould added: “The British Council is delighted to have been able to facilitate this inspiring international collaboration. Room/Ystafell/Phòng, as the title suggests, is all about space, creating a safe space and room for writers and creatives from diverse backgrounds, united by queer identity and experience, to connect, collaborate and inspire. The UK/Viet Nam season is a unique opportunity for cultural exchange.  As well as strengthening existing bonds this project has forged exciting new partnerships between the vibrant creative sectors of Wales and Viet Nam.”


For more information please contact: Anna Christoforou, Senior Media and Campaigns Manager, UK Nations, British Council at 

Notes to Editor

About Room/Ystafell/Phòng

Six writers, three from Việt Nam and three from Wales come together in the Room/Ystafell/Phòng to discuss their queer identities and how it has been shaped by world around them.  Featuring discussion transcripts, poetry, photography, collages and prose.

A man takes to the ballroom scene after months of lockdown in Há Nội, entranced by the vogue gods. An 81 year old lesbian artist writes to her ex-lovers daughter to explore her ten strange dreams. At 2am a young woman strides through Queen Street, Cardiff writing love notes to her cariad. Exploring sexuality, love and loss, language, cultural heritage, nature and joy this anthology sheds light on the queer experience in Wales and Việt Nam.

To find out more visit:

About the authors 

Joshua Jones is a writer and artist from Llanelli, South Wales. He has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, and has been published by Gutter Magazine, The Pomegranate London, Poetry Wales, Broken Sleep Books, and more. He has been commended by the Poetry Society and his story ‘Half Moon, New Year’ was shortlisted for the Rhys Davies Short Story Prize in 2021 and 'Nos Da Popstar was shortlisted for the Rhys Davies Short Story Prize in 2023. His collaborative pamphlet with artist Caitlin Flood-Molyneux, Fistful of Flowers, was published in 2022. His debut fiction publication Local Fires was published by Parthian Books in November 2023.

Kai Nguyễn is a multimedia artist based in Ho Chi Minh City. His practice focuses on the poetry of (moving) images, space and plants.

Leo Drayton is a young poet and aspiring playwright and filmmaker from Cardiff. He was a co-writer on the Welsh language book series Y Pump.

Maik Cây is an independent writer, playwright, and filmmaker from Hanoi, Viet Nam.

Lauren Morais is a poet and spoken word artist from Cardiff. She is currently one of the writers of Fran Wen’s production of Popeth Ar y Ddaear.

Xuân Tùng is a Ha Noi-based writer and dance advocate, his work focuses on investigative journalism and cultural criticism.

About the UK/ Viet Nam Season

Marking 50 years of UK–Vietnamese diplomatic relations, and 30 years of the British Council’s presence in Viet Nam, the Season ignites new collaborations that celebrate the best of UK–Vietnamese partnerships, and strengthens the connections between the people of the UK and Viet Nam. The Season imagines our future together bringing together artists, universities, and civil society leaders. People across Viet Nam and the UK have had the opportunity to experience innovative and exciting creative work from some of the best UK and Viet Nam companies, artists and institutions creating together.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language.  We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2022-23 we reached 600 million people.