Stephens, Meic, The Independent (London, England)
Inspirational writer who popularised Welsh poetry
One of the most accomplished poets of his generation, Iwan Llwyd explored all the media through which he might find a wider audience for his poetry, including radio and television, as well as public readings and musical performances in his native Wales and the Americas. He was particularly fond of marrying word and image, often in collaboration with artists such as Iwan Bala, Catrin Williams and Anthony Evans, the photographers Marian Delyth and Aled Rhys Hughes, and the television producer Michael Bayley Hughes, for whose programmes he wrote poems that were an integral part of the script. He was tired of television that was "merely wallpaper" and wanted to reclaim it as a medium for the creative writer.
One of his books, Rhyw Deid yn Dod Miwn ("A tide coming in", 2008), celebrates the coast of Wales, not the usual tourist spots, but those where man intrudes on the natural scene. All his books were meant to have visual appeal and to show how verse and illustrations can complement one another, and this one, with stunning photographs by Aled Rhys Hughes, is among the most elegant.
At his happiest in troubadour mode, with his trademark trilby and toting his guitar, he wandered all over Europe and ventured into some pretty out-of-the-way places in South America. The skyscrapers and bright lights of the Big Apple are featured in his book Hanner Cant ("Fifty", 2007), which has photographs by Marian Delyth, but the west coasts of Wales and Ireland are featured too, for he was as much a poet of place as one who sang about the people he loved.
Born in the village of Carno, Montgomeryshire in 1957, Iwan Lloyd Williams - like many creative people in Wales he dropped his anglicised surnames - was a son of the manse. He grew up in the Conwy Valley and in Bangor, later making his home in nearby Tal-y- bont; he began writing verse while at Friars School, Bangor. After taking a degree in Welsh at Aberystwyth, and in due course a master's for a thesis on the bardic patrons of north-west Wales, he worked with a theatre company and in public relations before resolving to live by his pen, which he did intermittently for the rest of his life.
He made his debut with Sonedau Nos Sadwrn ("Saturday night sonnets", 1981); the sonnet form, together with the rhyming couplets he learned from T H Parry-Williams, was a favourite of his and he returned to it in what was to be his last collection, Sonedau Pnawn Sul ("Sunday afternoon sonnets", 2009). There was nothing …
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Publication information: Article title: Iwan Llwyd. Contributors: Stephens, Meic - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: July 27, 2010. Page number: 8. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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