Menna Elfyn is one of the foremost Welsh-language writers. As well as being an award-winning poet, she has published plays, libretti and children’s novels, and co-edited The Bloodaxe Book of Modern Welsh Poetry (2003) with John Rowlands.
Her books include two bilingual selections, Eucalyptus: Detholiad o Gerddi / Selected Poems 1978-1994 (Gomer Press, 1995), and Perfect Blemish: New & Selected Poems / Perffaith Nam: Dau Ddetholiad & Cherddi Newydd 1995-2007 (Bloodaxe Books, 2007), a Welsh-only selection Merch Perygl: Cerddi 1976-2011 (Gomer Press, 2011), and two later bilingual collections from Bloodaxe, Murmur (2012), a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation, and Bondo (2017). Optimist Absoliwt: Cofiant Eluned Phillips, her biography of the poet Eluned Phillips, was published (in Welsh) in 2016, and Cwsg: am dro yn ôl, a book about sleep illustrated by Sarah Williams, in 2019, both from Gomer Press. Her latest Welsh language collection, Tosturi (Mercy), with illustrations by Meinir Mathias (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas, 2022), is on the 2023 Welsh-language Wales Book of the Year Poetry Award shortlist.
When not travelling the world for readings and residencies, she lives in Carmarthen. She was Wales’s National Children’s Laureate in 2002, and was made President of Wales PEN Cymru in 2014. She was, until 2016, Creative Director in the School of Cultural Studies at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David; she is also Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing. She won a Cholmondeley Award in 2022, a prize which recognises a poet's body of work.
20th-century Welsh-language poetry in translation
Publication Date : 29 May 2003