National Poet of Wales

Literature Wales announces award-winning poet Ifor ap Glyn
as the new National Poet of Wales 

Llun © Emyr Llewelyn Jones

Literature Wales has announced the two award-winning poets and performers who will take up the posts of National Poet of Wales and Young People’s Laureate Wales. Ifor ap Glyn will take on the role of National Poet of Wales in May 2016, championing Welsh poetry and taking it to a global stage. Sophie McKeand begins her work as Young People’s Laureate in April 2016, an initiative which gives youth communities the opportunity to develop their creative voices.


The National Poet of Wales is a cultural ambassador role which honours some of the most innovative and highly regarded writers. The National Poet represents the best writing from Wales on the national and international stage, leading campaigns within Wales and appearing at events and festivals worldwide to raise the profile of writing and writers from Wales.

Established in 2005, the first National Poet of Wales was Gwyneth Lewis who was followed by Gwyn Thomas in 2006. The post reached new heights under Gillian Clarke, who has held the position since 2008. During her time as National Poet Gillian Clarke has performed to tens of thousands of people around the world, and has gained many notable commissions and residencies. Some of Gillian's National Poet of Wales commissioned poems are available to read here.

About Ifor ap Glyn:

Born and bred in London to Welsh parents Ifor ap Glyn is a multi-award-winning poet, presenter, director and producer. Ifor has won the Crown at the National Eisteddfod – one of the festival’s most prestigious prizes – on two occasions, first in 1999 and most recently at the Denbighshire and District National Eisteddfod in 2013. From 2008-2009 Ifor was Bardd Plant Cymru, the Welsh-language Children’s Laureate. 

He lives in Caernarfon and works at Cwmni Da, an independent television and film production company of which he was a founding member. He has won several BAFTA Cymru awards for his work including the Lleisiau’r Rhyfel Mawr and Popeth yn Gymraeg series.

Ifor has represented Welsh poetry around the world in both the Welsh and English language, having performed at festivals such as the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington DC.

On taking on the role of National Poet, Ifor ap Glyn said: “Gillian has taken the role of National Poet to new heights during her tenure, and I'd like to thank her for her tireless efforts in promoting Welsh poetry and literature at home and on the international stage. She has also been instrumental in fostering links with poets from all over the world and helping to bring their work to Wales. These are both paths which I will continue to follow. Writing in Welsh is no bar to connecting with a wider audience, as I have found in the past, from Boston to Brussels and Dublin to Washington, and as the next National Poet of Wales I look forward to promoting what the writers of Wales have to offer in both languages.”

Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, said: “After the fantastic work by Gillian Clarke as National Poet, it is exciting to see the role pass to a Welsh-language poet who I am sure will help to celebrate the Welsh language, which is among the greatest treasure of these islands.”

Current National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke said "Ifor ap Glyn is a friend who will take on the baton with charm, and be an articulate voice for Wales and for poetry. Each National Poet re-invents the role, and I am confident he will speak up for Wales and for poetry. He makes words dance on page and stage."

Ifor’s first official event as National Poet of Wales will be at the Hay Festival on Tuesday 31 May, where he will perform alongside Gillian Clarke. He will then embark on a UK-wide tour in the autumn.

The activities of the National Poet of Wales can be followed on the Literature Wales website and on Twitter: @LitWales.

For further information, contact Literature Wales:
029 2047 2266 /