Gruffudd wins Eisteddfod Chair

A student from Bangor University is to be congratulated on winning the Chair at this year’s Urdd Eisteddfod in Meirionnydd.

Gruffudd Antur comes from Llanuwchllyn, near Bala, where the Eisteddfod was held. He is 22 year old student at the University’s School of Welsh, where he has just compeled an MA in Welsh language & Literature and is to begin a Doctorate course in September.

Gruffudd won the Chair competing under the pseudonym ‘Gwenno’. He entered a poem on the subject ‘Pelydrau’ (Rays).

Gruffudd told the BBC that winning the Chair so near to his home was an honour and a half.

It’s not an honour that Gruffudd is unfamiliar with; he also won the Urdd Eisteddfod Chair in 2012.

Mari George and Eurig Salisbury were this year’s judges. In their adjudication, they said: “There were 14 candidates this year, and all the contestants showed promise. We both enjoyed reading all the poems, and it was great to see that all of these young people enjoy playing with words.”

“From the first reading, we were thrilled with Gwenno’s work. It is a love song and unlike every other competitor, the standard of Gwenno’s ode was consistently high from start to finish. The mature charm of the cynghanedd ensures some of these lyrical lines will remain in our minds:

Yr hen ddyheu yn troi’n ddall

yn dawel; minnau’n deall

fod heulwen loywa’r ennyd

yn gorfod darfod o hyd,

a rhaid i’r ha’ ei droi’i hun

o hyd yn hydref wedyn.”

“Full credit goes to Gwenno and we are honoured to chair this deserving bard,” they said.

Gruffudd has been competing and involved with the Urdd all his life. He says that he is indebted and grateful to his family, friends, teachers, lecturers and everyone he knows for nurturing his interests in poetry and the ‘pethe’ and for making it all great fun along the way - "they know who they all, I hope!” said Gruffudd.

Professor Peredur Lynch, Head of the School of Welsh, at Bangor University:

‘Gruffudd Antur is one of Wales’ most promising young poets, and his success at the Urdd Eisteddfod is further proof of his talents as a poet. It will be an honour to have him as a PhD student at Bangor for the next three years.’

Publication date: 3 June 2014