UWTSD Professor launches new Welsh-English poetry collection


UWTSD’s Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing, Menna Elfyn will tonight launch a new collection of Welsh-English poetry with a special reading at the London Welsh Centre.

Menna Elfyn

Bondo, published by Bloodaxe Books, has at its heart a sequence of poems in response to the mining disaster that took place at Aberfan 51 years ago this October.

These poems were written over a number of years in private journals and notebooks, and reflect a deep and continuing connection with the mining communities in Wales. Indeed, Menna’s poem ‘The Gate’ / ‘Y Glwyd’, first published in her 2012 collection Murmur, is reprinted in this volume in remembrance of the loss of her grandfather in a mining accident.

Bondo, which is Welsh for eaves, ranges from Wales to Mexico, the Maldives, Greenland, India and the Balkans. The importance of keeping languages alive, Welsh included, is a strong theme in this collection, as is the power and beauty of memory.

As with all Menna Elfyn’s Bloodaxe titles, Bondo is published in a dual language edition, with English translations by leading Welsh poets. She is the only Welsh language poet who insists on publishing her latest work in Welsh with facing English translations. Her poetry has also been translated into many other languages.

Professor Menna Elfyn is one of the foremost Welsh-language writers. As well as being an awardwinning poet, she has published plays, libretti and children’s novels, and co-edited The Bloodaxe Book of Modern Welsh Poetry (2003) with John Rowlands. Her books include two bilingual selections, Eucalyptus: Detholiad o Gerddi / Selected Poems 1978-1994 (Gomer Press, 1995), and Perfect Blemish: New & Selected Poems / Perffaith Nam: Dau Ddetholiad & Cherddi Newydd 1995-2007 (Bloodaxe Books, 2007), a Welsh-only selection Merch Perygl: Cerddi 1976-2011 (Gomer Press, 2011), and two later dual language collections from Bloodaxe, Murmur (2012), a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation, and Bondo (October 2017). Her literary memoir Llyfr Menna Elfyn / Menna Elfyn’s Book will be published by Barddas in March 2018. Menna Elfyn was Wales’s National Children’s Laureate in 2002, and was made President of Wales PEN Cymru in 2014.

Further Information

For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies by emailing sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk / 01267 676908 / 07449 998476