A very special evening to greet the poet Alan Llwyd
In October, a very special evening was held to greet the poet Alan Llwyd in his community following his achievement winning the Chair at the Llŷn and Eifionydd National Eisteddfod. Since the Eisteddfod relaxed the rule regarding winning twice only, Alan is the first poet to win the National Eisteddfod Chair for the third time.
Although he is a native of Pen Llŷn, Alan has settled in the Morriston area of Swansea for many years and raised his family there. The Calon Lân Centre within the old Mynyddbach Chapel was the perfect location for the evening., with an open invitation to the community to join and indeed, a crowd came.
The audience was treated to wonderful performances by Ysgol Gymraeg Bryntawe choir as well as the school's recitation party performing Iwan Llwyd's poem, 11.12.82. There was more wonderful singing from the Lleisiau Lliw choir and Swansea University’s recitation party, Aelwyd yr Elyrch, performed an extract of Dylan Thomas' famous work, Under Milkwood.
The evening was presented in a warm, welcoming manner by one of S4C's most familiar faces, Sian Thomas, who is a graduate of the Welsh Department at Swansea University. The audience had the unique experience of hearing Robert Rhys, an Honorary Research Fellow for the University, discuss the winning poem, 'Llif'. Robert Rhys drew attention to some of the unique features of the poem and in particular, the way we can identify with the poet's words and his tremendous ability to write in cynghanedd but in a way which is so understandable to the reader.
Another highlight of the evening was being in the company of more than one chief bard as some of Alan's friends greeted him with poems. It was indeed an honour to listen to the Chief Bards Tudur Hallam, Christine James, Aneirin Karadog and Robat Powell read poems they had composed specifically for that evening.
Professor Gwynedd Parry, Head of the Welsh Language Department, said, "There was an extremely successful evening to celebrate the historic achievement of Wales’s greatest poet who is also a scholar and valuable member of the Welsh Department at Swansea University. Thank you to Academi Hywel Teifi for organising an event that brought the University and the community together, and to all the contributors for memorable performances and tributes."
Sir Roderick Evans, Chair of Academi Hywel Teifi and Pro-Chancellor of Swansea University, said, "It was a privilege to be part of an evening which reminded us of the extraordinary wealth within our society and nation, which also gave the community an opportunity to express their admiration of Alan and his huge contribution to the treasures of our literature. When listening to Robert Rhys' deft treatment of Alan's poem, and the chief bards’ greeting poems on the evening, it is clear that a wealth of talent has been, and continues to be, part of Swansea University's Department of Welsh!"