Welsh Poets Gillian Clarke & Menna Elfyn


GILLIAN CLARKE’s Selected Poems is one of the most popular books of Welsh poetry. Hers is an important voice for Wales, particularly for Welsh women. The Times Literary Supplement praised her most recent book, Five Fields, saying, “Gillian Clarke’s poems ring with lucidity and power…. Her work is both personal and archetypal, built out of language as concrete as it is musical.” She has also published several well-regarded children’s books and translates Welsh-language fiction, drama, and poetry, including the work of Menna Elfyn. Clarke teaches creative writing and lives in Ceredigion with her husband and their flock of sheep.

MENNA ELFYN describes herself as a Christian anarchist with a passion for Welsh language and identity. After seven acclaimed collections of Welsh-language poetry, her most recent book, Cell Angel, was published in a Welsh-English bilingual edition. Dense and elliptical, her poems restlessly search for the spiritual within the earthly. Elfyn has also written stage plays, television documentaries, and opera libretti, and travels widely giving readings and workshops. “English,” she affirms, “has enabled me to travel the world and be understood, but the Welsh language is my world.”