Menna Elfyn (born 1951) is a Welsh poet, playwright, columnist, and editor who writes with passion of the Welsh and identity. She has published ten volumes of poetry and a dozen more of children’s books and anthologies. She has also written eight plays for stage, six radio plays for BBC, two plays for television as well as writing documentaries for television. Her latest publication is Perffaith Nam/Perfect Blemish, (Bloodaxe Books, 2007), and IN PERSON, Bloodaxe Books, one of 30 poets chosen from around the world by the publisher in 2008 as one of their most successful poets. She also co-edited the Bloodaxe Book of Modern Welsh Poetry. She has won numerous prizes for her work, the most recent of which is a Creative Arts prize to write a book on ‘Sleep’.
When Menna issued her bilingual selected poems Eucalyptus, (Gwasg Gomer 1995), Tony Conran described her as ‘the first Welsh poet in 1500 years to have her work known outside Wales’. Her second bilingual volume, Cell Angel (1996), was hailed by the same critic as the most significant collection of Welsh poetry for 40 years. Her most recent collection is a more contemplative volume whose paradoxical title Perffaith Nam/Perfect Blemish (2005) suggests an exploration of imperfection, both within language and within oneself, and the search for completion through the intricacies of writing.
Menna Elfyn has travelled the world as poet and teacher and is much in demand; every year, her work takes her to other countries such as the Philippines, Zimbabwe, the Middle East as well as the US. Her work has been translated into eighteen languages including Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Lithuanian.
She is Writing Director of Masters Programme in Creative Writing at Trinity University College, Carmarthen and a Literary Fellow at Swansea University.
Menna lives in Llandysul, and her daughter, Fflur Dafydd, is a successful writer and musician.
- Mwyara, Gwasg Gomer (1976)
- Stafelloedd Aros, Gwasg Gomer (1978)
- Tro’r Haul Arno, Gwasg Gomer (1981)
- Mynd Lawr i’r Nefoedd, Gwasg Gomer (1985)
- Aderyn Bach Mewn Llaw, Gwasg Gomer (1990)
- Eucalyptus, Gwasg Gomer (1995)
- Cell Angel, Bloodaxe Books (1996)
- Cusan Dyn Dall/ Blind Man’s Kiss, Bloodaxe Books (2001)
- Perffaith Nam, Gwasg Gomer (2005)
- Perffaith Nam. Perfect Blemish, Bloodaxe Books (2007)
- Er dy fod , Gwasg Gomer 2007 (book for learners/learning a language)
- Red Lady of Paviland A project with composer Andrew Powell, Musical Director Craig Roberts and the Burry Port Town Band, the centrepiece of which will be Menna and Andrew's new work 'Y Dyn Unig' (The Lonely Man).
- Major Prize for Volume of Poetry (Stafelloedd Aros), Wrexham National Eisteddfod. (1977)
- Member of the Gorsedd for contribution to Welsh Literature. (1995)
- Poet Laureate for the Children of Wales (2002)
- Creative Wales Award (2008)
- Anima Istranza Foreign Prize for Poetry (2009)
- Arts Council Prize for 'Aderyn Bach mewn Llaw'
- Longlisted for book of the year, ' Cusan Dyn Dall/ Blind Man's Kiss
- Menna Elfyn Website
- Menna Elfyn Profile at BBC Wales
- Menna Elfyn Profile at British Council
- Menna Elfyn Profile at Bloodaxe Books
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