Success for the Department of Welsh at the Wales Book of the Year

Professor Alan Llwyd wins Welsh-language Poetry Award

A Professor of Welsh at Swansea University has won the Welsh-language Poetry category in the Welsh Book of the Year Awards at a prestigious ceremony in Aberystwyth.

Cyrraedd a Cherddi Eraill  (Barddas) by Professor Alan Llwyd is a collection of biographical poems celebrating the poet's 70th birthday.

The winners of the categories were revealed at an awards ceremony at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Thursday 20 June, with each category winner receiving a prize of £1,000 and a specially created trophy from artist Angharad Pearce Jones.

Cyrraedd a Cherddi Eraill  features poems written between 2016 and 2018, split into two sections. In the first section, there are over 70 poems to mark the poet’s recent 70th birthday. These poems are mostly personal and biographical: poems of celebration and grief, joy and sadness as Alan Llwyd looks back on his life. The poems are written in a variety of different meters, with the sea featuring as a regular presence, either as a natural part of a poem’s geography or as a symbol or image. The second section features poems of both a personal and societal nature.

This year's judging panel included well-known broadcaster and sports writer, Dylan Ebenezer; Head of the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth University, Cathryn Charnell-White; and poet and writer Idris Reynolds,  winner of the 2017 Book of the Year for his biography of Dic Jones, Cofio Dic (Gomer). In awarding the prize to Alan Llwyd, Idris Reynolds said that “Alan Llwyd's mastery of the various poetic meters is remarkable and the cynghanedd takes your breath away.”

 Professor Alan Llwyd is a well known poet and writer. He has published a large number of volumes of poetry as well as anthologies, critical writing, books on Wales’ historical and cultural heritage as well as biogrpahoes and specialist texts on cynghanedd.  He won the Chair and the Crown at the 1973 National Eisteddfod, and again at the 1976 National Eisteddfod. Alan worked as an administrative officer for Barddas, and as the magazine’s editor from 1981 until 2011. In 2013 he was appointed as a Professor at  the Department of Welsh, Academi Hywel Teifi, Swansea University.

Dr Rhian Jones, Head of the Department  of Welsh at Swansea University, said: “The whole Department is so proud of Alan's achievement and congratulates him warmly. We are very fortunate to have someone of his exceptional ability and talent as a member of the Department who will be able to teach and inspire the next generation of writers and scholars. ”

Cover of Cyrraedd a Cherddi eraill