In a ceremony at the Urdd National Eisteddfod today, First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones announced that the title of Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh Children’s Poet Laureate) 2015-17 has been awarded to writer and TV presenter Anni Llŷn.
She will embark on her poetry apprenticeship with the current Bardd Plant, Aneirin Karadog, in various festivals over the summer before fully taking on the role in September.
The Bardd Plant Cymru project is a partnership between Literature Wales, S4C, Welsh Government, Urdd Gobaith Cymru and the Welsh Books Council.
Sioned Wyn Roberts, Children’s Content Comissioner for S4C says; "I am over the moon that Anni has been chosen to be Bardd Plant Cymru and I wish her the best of luck in her new role. Anni is a very familiar face on S4C; on Stwnsh programmes and as part of the presenting team for our programmes from the Caerphilly Urdd Eisteddfod maes this year. She is a skilled poet and author and her ease at chatting and working with children and young people. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Aneirin Karadog for his work as Bardd Plant Cymru before it comes to an end."
Anni is already a familiar face to children and young people in Wales having spent five years in her former job presenting the TV programme Stwnsh on S4C.
Her talents as a writer came to light in 2012 when she won the Crown at the Urdd Eisteddfod for her prose, and she has since published two novels for children, Nanw a Caradog Crafog Llwyd Lloerig (Gomer, 2013) and Asiant A (Y Lolfa 2014).
Anni’s delight in prose as well as poetry will put the emphasis on narrative in her workshops, drawing attention to two important centenary celebrations in 2015 and 2016 of Welsh children’s authors T. Llew Jones and Roald Dahl. Originally from Sarn Mellteyrn, in the Llŷn Peninsula, Anni now lives in Cardiff where she graduated in Welsh, and she looks forward to travelling back and forth from the capital city to the Llŷn Peninsula, and everywhere in between, visiting schools and communities across Wales.
Anni commented: "I’ve had to learn over the years that you need to be quick on your feet when meeting a new group of children and vary your way of communicating, as every child and school is different. Visiting so many different schools across Wales will be a challenge, as well as getting everyone to understand my Llŷn accent!"
Anni joins a long list of names that have taken on the role of Bardd Plant since the project was launched in 2000, including, from the most recent to the first: Aneirin Karadog, Eurig Salisbury, Dewi Pws, Twm Morys, Ifor ap Glyn, Caryl Parry Jones, Gwyneth Glyn, Mererid Hopwood, Tudur Dylan Jones, Ceri Wyn Jones, Menna Elfyn, Mei Mac and Myrddin ap Dafydd.
Anni said: "Looking back at all the talented poets who’ve been in this post before, I’m quite nervous, but also very excited and honoured to be taking on the role of Bardd Plant Cymru. I’ve kept Aneirin Karadog’s phone number handy just in case I need any advice!
"I’ve worked with children for years now, they’re a great inspiration. As Bardd Plant Cymru I hope that I can also inspire them to play and have fun with words, and not to be afraid to be creative and use their imaginations. I hope that working with children will also be an opportunity for me to be more productive as a children’s writer."
To express an interest in hosting a Welsh-language workshop by Bardd Plant Cymru in your school, please visit www.barddplant.cymru or email firstname.lastname@example.org