Gwyn Thomas (poet)

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Professor Gwyn Thomas (born 2 September 1936)[1] is a Welsh poet, academic and a former National Poet of Wales.

Born in Tanygrisiau, Gwynedd, and brought up there and in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Thomas was educated at Ysgol Sir Ffestiniog, University of Wales, Bangor and Jesus College, Oxford;[2] Prof Thomas is Emeritus Professor of Welsh at the University of Wales, Bangor.[3]

Thomas has published 16 volumes of poetry, several volumes of work as a literary and cultural critic and has also translated the Mabinogion into English. Prof Thomas's first work as a poet Chwerwder yn y Ffynhonnau ("Bitterness in the Fountains") was published in 1962, while his latest Apocalups Yfory ("Apocalypse Tomorrow") was published in 2005.[2] Prof Thomas is also a literary and cultural critic and has published several volumes of essays, critiques, adaptations and translations, including the classic Y Traddodiad Barddol – a study of the classic poetic tradition of Wales. Prof Thomas is also involved with the film industry in Wales, and has helped pioneer techniques to combine poetry and film.

In 2006, Thomas published his autobiography, entitled Bywyd Bach, having been asked to write this as one of the series Cyfres y Cewri (Series of the Giants).

Also in 2006, Thomas was appointed National Poet of Wales by Academi,[4] replacing Wales first national poet Gwyneth Lewis. Thomas said he would use the 12 month appointment to draw attention to the work of Welsh poets.

Thomas has provided the words for many inspiration books and recently added his touch to an inspirational photographic book entitled Blaenau Ffestiniog.

As Welsh National Poet Thomas was commissioned to write five stanzas celebrating the opening in June 2009 of Hafod Eryri, the new summit building at the top of Snowdon, inscribed on the buildings and windows they read:[5]


Thomas and Margaret Jones won three annual Tir na n-Og Awards from the Welsh Books Council for the previous year's best Welsh-language children's nonfiction book. Their award-winning collaborations were Culhwch ac Olwen in 1989, Chwedl Taliesin in 1993, and Stori Dafydd ap Gwilym in 2004. The first two were published by Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru (University of Wales Press), the latter by Y Lolfa.[6]

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