Award-winning poet and playwright Menna Elfyn has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of Aberystwyth University.
One of the foremost Welsh-language writers, Professor Menna Elfyn writes with passion of the Welsh language and identity.
Her work, which has been published for four decades, includes fourteen volumes of poetry, many children’s books and anthologies, stage plays, adaptations and scripts for television, radio plays, libretti, and several television documentaries.
She is the most translated of all modern Welsh-language poets, her work having been translated into over twenty languages.
She was the Welsh-language Children’s Poet Laureate in 2002-03.
Professor Elfyn is Director of the Masters Programme in Creative Writing at University of Wales Trinity Saint David and a Literary Fellow at Swansea University.
Professor Elfyn was presented by Mr Eurig Salisbury from Aberystwyth University’s Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies on Tuesday 17 July 2018. The full conferral presentation is available below, in the language in which it was delivered.
Presentation of Professor Menna Elfyn by Mr Eurig Salisbury:
Ganghellor/Ddirprwy Ganghellor/Drysorydd, Is-Ganghellor, ddarpar-raddedigion, gyfeillion. Pleser o’r mwyaf yw cyflwyno Menna Elfyn yn Gymrawd Prifysgol Aberystwyth.
Chancellor/Pro Chancellor/Treasurer, Vice-Chancellor, prospective graduates and supporters. It is an honour and a privilege to present Menna Elfyn as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.
Ers dros bedwar degawd, mae Menna Elfyn wedi bod yn un o feirdd amlycaf Cymru ac yn un o leisiau mwyaf blaenllaw’r genedl ar y llwyfan rhyngwladol. Mae’n llenor hynod doreithiog ac mae ei gwaith wedi ei gyfieithu i dros ugain o ieithoedd.
Daeth ei phedwaredd cyfrol ar ddeg o farddoniaeth o’r wasg y llynedd, sef Bondo, casgliad o gerddi Cymraeg wedi eu gosod ochr yn ochr â chyfeithiadau gan rai o feirdd Saesneg gorau Cymru. Mae’r gyfrol honno a chyfrolau dwyieithog eraill, yn ogystal â chorff sylweddol o waith yn Gymraeg yn unig, yn dyst i’w dawn hynod gynhyrchiol ac i’w mentergarwch wrth feithrin cynulleidfaoedd hen a newydd.
Mae Menna’n wyneb ac yn llais cyfarwydd ar lwyfannau gwyliau llenyddol ar hyd a lled Cymru ac ar draws y byd, ac fe gydnabuwyd ei llwyddiant yn Sardinia yn 2009, pan dderbyniodd wobr ryngwladol am ei chyfraniad i farddoniaeth.
Hi oedd Bardd Plant Cymru 2002–3. Bu’n gyfarwyddwr cwrs am radd Meistr mewn Ysgrifennu Creadigol ym Mhrifysgol Cymru y Drindod Dewi Sant ers deunaw mlynedd, ac fe’i penodwyd yn Athro Barddoniaeth ac Ysgrifennu Creadigol yn 2014.
Bu Menna’n golofnydd i bapur y Western Mail ers yn agos at bum mlynedd ar hugain. Mae hefyd yn ddramodydd ac yn gofiannydd. Cafodd ei chofiant i Eluned Phillips, Optimist Absoliwt, ei gynnwys ar restr fer Llyfr y Flwyddyn 2017, a bydd fersiwn Saesneg o’r gyfrol honno’n cael ei gyhoeddi eleni. Eisoes eleni, daeth o’r wasg ei llên-gofiant, sef Cennad.
O’r cychwyn cyntaf, mae Menna wedi rhoi lle canolog i’r difreintiedig ac i lais y ferch yn benodol yn ei gwaith fel bardd ac fel ymgyrchydd. Yng ngeiriau Ceridwen Lloyd Morgan:
‘Mae’n anodd meddwl am unrhyw fardd arall yn y Gymraeg sydd wedi gwneud cymaint â Menna Elfyn i gyfleu a dadansoddi profiadau a theimladau merched (a phobl o bob math) … yn ddigyfaddawd ac eto’n dyner.’
Menna Elfyn is a poet and playwright who writes with passion about the Welsh language and Welsh identity. She has published fourteen collections of poetry and her work has been translated into twenty languages.
As well as being one of Wales’s foremost poets for over four decades, Menna has routinely shared her work on the international stage, and was awarded an international prize in Sardinia in 2009 for her contribution to poetry.
She is the director of a Creative Writing Masters course at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and was appointed Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing in 2014. She was Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh Children’s Laureate) 2002–3, and has been a columnist for the Western Mail since 1994.
Language, feminism, and giving a voice to the oppressed have always been at the heart of Menna Elfyn’s work as a poet and activist. In the words of Carla Manfredino:
‘If there is a poet addressing important issues about language today, it’s Menna Elfyn … [her] poems are a quiet call for the reconciliation of diversity, a reminder that cultural nuances are what make life meaningful.’
Ganghellor/Ddirprwy Ganghellor/Drysorydd, mae’n bleser gen i gyflwyno Menna Elfyn i chi yn Gymrawd Prifysgol Aberystwyth.
Chancellor/Pro Chancellor/Treasurer, it is my absolute pleasure to present Menna Elfyn to you as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.
Aberystwyth University Honours 2018
Nine individuals are being honoured by Aberystwyth University during the 2018 graduation ceremonies, which take place at the University’s Arts Centre from Tuesday 17 July until Friday 20 July.
Six Honorary Fellowships will be presented to individuals who have, or have had a connection with Aberystwyth or Wales, and who have made an outstanding contribution to their chosen field.
One Honorary Doctorate will also be presented; recognising an individual who has been outstandingly successful in their field, or who has a long record of renowned research and publication.
Two Honorary Bachelor degrees will be presented. These are presented to individuals who are members of Aberystwyth University staff without an entry-level degree in recognition of long-service, contribution and dedication to the Institution; and members of the local community who have made a significant contribution to Aberystwyth and the area.
Honorary Fellowships will be presented to:
- Professor Ann Sumner – art historian, exhibition curator and museum director
- Bonamy Grimes MBE – web entrepreneur and co-founder of flight price comparison website Skyscanner
- Euryn Ogwen Williams – broadcaster and seminal figure in Welsh media
- John Dawes OBE – former international rugby union player and coach
- Professor Menna Elfyn – award-winning poet and playwright
- His Honour Judge Milwyn Jarman QC – leading judge.
Author and scholar the late Professor Meic Stephens was presented with an Honorary Fellowship of Aberystwyth University on Thursday 3 May 2018 at a special ceremony in Cardiff. Sadly, Professor Stephens died on Tuesday 3 July 2018.
An Honorary Doctorate will be presented to technology entrepreneur and software designer, John Thompson.
Honorary Bachelor Degrees:
An Honorary Bachelor of Science Degree will be presented to retired Station Manager of Aberystwyth Fire Station, Eric Harries, who organised and led 50 humanitarian missions to Eastern Europe to help the innocent victims of war.
An Honorary Bachelor of Arts Degree will be awarded to Sue Jones-Davies, actress and singer, town councillor and former Mayor of Aberystwyth.
Professor Menna Elfyn, Honorary Fellow of Aberystwyth University
Left to right: Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University; Professor Menna Elfyn, Honorary Fellow of Aberystwyth University; Miss Gwerfyl Pierce Jones, Pro-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University