The School and ‘Gwyn’s legacy’

A weekend of lectures and discussion are to be held at Bangor with the hope of capturing some of the diversity of the huge contribution made by the former head of the Welsh Department.

The conference 'Gwaddol Gwyn' (Gwyn’s Legacy) looks at some aspects of the work achieved by the poet and lecturer Gwyn Thomas, during nearly half a century of connection with the University.

"We felt that we needed an event to commemorate one of Wales’ main literary figures of the second half of the twentieth century – his contribution was immense," said the current head of Department, Professor Gerwyn Wiliams.

"It is entirely fitting that the conference takes place in Bangor as it is here that he spent most of his professional career and is identified with Bangor – where generations of students have studied under him.”

The conference will be held at Pontio on Friday night and Saturday 23 and 24 March, and will include conversations about a wide range of Gwyn Thomas’ interests, from religion to television and film and from translating the works of Shakespeare to children's poetry.

One of his friends and former colleague, Professor Gruffydd Aled Williams, will open the conference with a lecture on the Friday night that summarises all of Gwyn Thomas’ diverse contribution, with one of the School's research students, Elis Dafydd, showing his film which includes interviews from a number of modern poets talking about his influence on them.

"That will be a valuable resource for researchers in the future," said Gerwyn Wiliams. "It includes the voice of more than one generation, which is very appropriate."

Gwyn Thomas would have loved the building where the conference will be held – the University's new Arts Centre – Pontio.

"As one who believed passionately in the arts, I believe that Gwyn would have been thrilled to know that this conference is being held in a building that has so many exciting possibilities." Gerwyn Wiliams added.

The conference is free to attend, but advance booking is necessary. For further details, please visit:

Publication date: 2 March 2018