Radio Cymru, in partnership with the Welsh Books Council, has today announced that, following a listeners’ poll, the poet and scholar Professor Gwyn Thomas has been named Wales’s Favourite Poet.
Gwyn Thomas chosen as Wales's Favourite Poet #dathludarllen
Following the launch of the campaign to find Wales’s Favourite Poet in April, and an online vote from Radio Cymru listeners, Gwyn Thomas, originally from Tanygrisiau and named National Poet of Wales in 2006, has emerged as the winner.
At the beginning of the month, following intense debate, a panel of experts chose a shortlist of ten literary poets. The ten poets on the shortlist were: Dic Jones, Gerallt Lloyd Owen, Gwenallt, Gwyn Thomas, Iwan Llwyd, Mererid Hopwood, R. Williams Parry, T. Gwynn Jones, T. H. Parry-Williams and Waldo Williams. Over the last four weeks, ten individuals have appeared on Shân Cothi’s morning radio show, Bore Cothi, to discuss the work of their favourite poet and encourage radio listeners to vote.
According to author Meg Elis, Professor Gwyn Thomas, former Head of Welsh at Bangor University, "speaks to a wide audience and has done so using everyday language. He doesn’t worry about changing styles or direction. He’s been productive for decades, but has maintained the high standard of his work throughout. He’s a poet with whom you feel at ease, and at one with him – and that’s exactly what you want in a good poet."
Elwyn Jones, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council, added: "Since the launch of the campaign to find Wales’s Favourite Poet in early April we have received excellent presentations on each of the shortlisted poets on Radio Cymru, and it gives me great pleasure to congratulate Gwyn Thomas on his success. He has published numerous books and his poems discuss some of life’s most important questions, often with a healthy dose of humour. It’s no wonder that his work appeals to such a wide audience."
The latest volume of poetry published by Gwyn Thomas, Profiadau Inter Galactig in October 2013, appeared over fifty years after the publication of his first volume of poetry, Chwerwder yn y Ffynhonnau. In his review on gwales.com, Dafydd Morgan Lewis states that Gwyn Thomas "has succeeded better than any other Welsh poet of his generation to convey life in the second half of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first century. From the very beginning, his use of language has been contemporary and exciting. Indeed, there’s something about his work that makes you think that the future of the Welsh language remains safe while he is still writing."
To find out more about Wales’s Favourite Poet campaign visit www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/radiocymru/posts/Dewis-Hoff-Fardd-Cymru