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.
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.
“We are a country where words and lyricism go hand-in-hand and the role of National Poet of Wales is testament to the importance we place on language. Whether on the page or the stage, Ifor ap Glyn’s role has been to thrill and inspire us but also to respond to and reflect the world around us, helping us to make sense of it.”
First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford
The Search Begins for the next National Poet of Wales
The current National Poet of Wales is Ifor ap Glyn, whose term comes to an end in May 2022. We have launched our search for the next exceptional poet to take on this role, and are inviting organisations, groups, charities and individuals to nominate their favourite poets, and inviting poets to express an interest themselves.
About Ifor ap Glyn:
During his time as National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn has been a cultural ambassador for Wales and its literature and has travelled the world – both literally and figuratively. His poetry has appeared on the public transportation network of Brussels and projected on the side of Big Ben. He has been commissioned to write poems and prose to mark several occasions over the past few years, including: 50 years since the Aberfan tragedy; the UNESCO Year of Indigenous Languages 2019; 20 years of devolution in Wales; not to mention many social appeals, notable birthdays and the highlights of Welsh football.
Ifor has contributed widely to a variety of projects in Wales and beyond, advocating for the power of literature to change lives. These include Cofi Armi, Reading Friends, Holy Glimmers of Goodbye, Hen Wlad fy Nhadau and Cofio’r Cau.
Born and bred in London to Welsh parents Ifor 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.
“It has been a privilege to respond a wide variety of events in the national calendar over the past three years ranging from the joyous to the poignant, and hoping to reach new audiences in Wales and beyond. I look forward to the next three years and to the challenge of further developing partnerships and promoting the two literatures of our country the best I can!”
– National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn
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 appointed in 2016.