Gruffudd Owen hails from Pwllheli in Gwynedd but now lives in Cardiff. He was educated at Ysgol Cymerau, Ysgol Glan y Môr, and Coleg Meirion Dwyfor Pwllheli, before going on to study Welsh at Aberystwyth University. He worked for ten years as a script editor for the television series Pobol y Cwm, and now works as a freelance writer and editor.
He has always enjoyed reading and writing poetry and creative writing of all kinds. In 2009 he won the Drama Medal at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Cardiff Bay, and in 2018 won the Chair at the National Eisteddfod, again in Cardiff Bay. His first volume of poetry, Hel Llus yn y Glaw (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas, 2015), was shortlisted in the Poetry Category for Wales Book of the Year Award 2016.
He is a renowned performer of poetry and music, and is a member of the bardic team, Y Ffoaduriaid, on the radio series Y Talwrn. He is also one of the organizers of Bragdy’r Beirdd poetry nights in Cardiff and has won many ‘stomp’ stools. In his spare time Gruffudd enjoys singing, cycling, climbing and juggling.
Casia Wiliam was announced as Bardd Plant Cymru 2017-19 in a ceremony at Eisteddfod yr Urdd Ogwr, Taf ac Elái in 2017.
One of four children, and the daughter of a writer, Casia has always enjoyed being part of a group and listening to stories. Since childhood, reading and writing have played a large part in her life, and she was encouraged to pursue those interests by great teachers at Ysgol Nefyn, Ysgol Botwnnog and then at Coleg Meirion Dwyfor. She then went on to study English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University where she was tutored and inspired by poets such as Tiffany Atkinson and Damian Walford Davies.
She has adapted two Michael Morpurgo novels into Welsh – Ceffyl Rhyfel (War Horse) and Y Llew Pilipala (The Butterfly Lion), both published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch. She has also published original work in Welsh, including a novel for young teenagers called Sgrech y Môr (Gwasg Y Lolfa, 2014), two short novels – Arthur yn Achub y Byd and Pedrig y Pysgodyn Pengaled (both Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2015) – and one short story in the collection Straeon Tic Toc (Gwasg Gomer, 2016).
“I believe writing is beneficial to children and young people (and adults for that matter!). It’s a safe way for them to express and discuss their hopes and dreams, as well as their fears and troubles. It’s also a good way to ensure that children and young people relate to others, and it’s a brilliant way to increase confidence as they read or perform their work in front of others."
– Casia Wiliam
Anni is well known to the children of Wales as a presenter, author and poet. During her time as Bardd Plant Cymru, Anni visited every county in Wales, 83 schools, and 10 castles; entertaining, inspiring and engaging with over 6000 children. Activities included workshops, a Language Charter tour, the Cbeebies show, performances during Cardiff Children's Literature Festival, Roald Dahl 100 Wales celebrations, creating and performing a show at the Welsh History Festival for Children, Y Senedd anniversary celebrations and the Urdd Message of Peace and Goodwill to name just a few.
Aneirin was a rapper in the hip-hop groups Genod Droog and Y Diwygiad. He won the Chair at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Cardiff in 2005, and the Chair at the National Eisteddfod in Monmouthshire in 2016. He is twice winner of the Wales Book of the Year Welsh-language Poetry Award – in 2013 and in 2017 for his collections, O Annwn i Geltia (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas, 2012), and Bylchau (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas, 2016), respectively. He launched the popular Bardd Plant Cymru Twitter account and ran successful projects such as Y Gerdd Fawr, as well as working with thousands of children during his time in the role. He loves zombies, vampires and Doctor Who. His new collection, Llafargan, will be in the shops from summer 2019.
In 2011 the Bardd Plant Cymru role was extended to two years in order to amplify the effect and profile of the scheme. In 2012, Eurig wrote a poetry show called Bx3 with two other young poets, Catrin Dafydd and Aneirin Karadog. In 2012 Eurig, alongside 3 other poets, also managed to complete the challenge of writing 100 poems in 24 hours as part of Literature Wales Her 100 Cerdd project. He won the Chair at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Denbighshire in 2006, and the Prose Medal at the National Eisteddfod in 2016 with his novel, Cai (Gwasg Gomer, 2016). He is now a lecturer in the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth University and in his spare time co-presents the Clera podcast with his successor in the post, Aneirin Karadog. Poems and much more, can be found on his website www.eurig.cymru.