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 held the position from 2008 to 2016. During her time as National Poet Gillian Clarke performed to tens of thousands of people around the world, and has gained many notable commissions and residencies. Ifor ap Glyn was in the role between 2016 – 2022.
The National Poet of Wales is an exciting and high-profile role which represents the nation – its diverse cultures and languages – and celebrates writing from Wales both at home and abroad.
Hanan Issa is the current National Poet of Wales, after being appointed on the 6 July 2022. The National Poet of Wales takes poetry to new audiences and encourages others to use their creative voice to inspire positive change. They are an ambassador for the people of Wales, advocating for the right to be creative and spreading the message that literature belongs to everyone.
The work of the National Poet of Wales is varied. This includes receiving commissions to write poems for different themes and occasions; taking part in events and festivals in Wales and abroad; taking a leading role in literary projects and campaigns; running workshops and meeting a wide variety of people at official events.