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'Exciting young poet' Catrin Dafydd wins Eisteddfod Crown

Credit: S4C

Poet Catrin Dafydd has been awarded this year's Eisteddfod Crown in Cardiff.

The writer from Gwaelod y Garth has won the prestigious Crown for a collection of poems on the theme of Olion (Traces).

Judges Christine James, Ifor ap Glyn and Damian Walford Davies placed her ahead of all other poets in the competition which attracted 42 entries.

Although not totally unanimous on every poet’s ‘rank’ in the competition, it was pretty clear that we agreed on which were the best.

The theme of this collection is the ‘mixed’ Welshness of Grangetown – the area over the river from this year’s Eisteddfod. The poet introduces us to a community of characters set on a ‘map’ of local streets, through a series of dramatic monologues.

Yma can write tenderly, but as the poem ‘Jentriffiecshyn’ shows, the poet can also write in a tongue-in-cheek style, raising questions about what exactly happens when Welsh speakers ‘colonise’ areas of the city. This is a timely and appealingly hopeful collection by a poet who is an eloquent interpreter for our capital city’s lively and mixed Welshness.

– Christine James, judge

Catrin studied at Aberystwyth University, where she was President of the Welsh language union UMCA from 2003-04.

She now lives in Cardiff and works as part of the Pobol y Cwm writing team.

She has written five novels, one of which was awarded this year’s Fiction Prize in the Welsh language Book of the Year competition.

The Crown was designed and created by Laura Thomas.

She said her inspiration for the design was derived from her signature technique, parquetry, where she inlays wood veneer into sterling silver.

Laura Thomas spent more than 400 hours creating the crown. Credit: ITV News

The Cardiff National Eisteddfod is held in Cardiff Bay until 11 August.