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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 August, 2003, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
'Popular poet' wins chair
Twm Morys
Twm Morys won for a poem on the theme of "Doors"
A popular poet and musician from north Wales has been awarded the prestigious chair at this year's National Eisteddfod in Meifod, Montgomeryshire.

Twm Morys from Llanystumdwy - writing under the pseudonym Heilyn - won with a poem linking the themes of doors, the past and future opportunities.

The 42-year-old writer and performer, the son of acclaimed travel writer and historian Jan Morris, was presented with his prize by last year's winner, Myrddin ap Dafydd, who adjudicated along with Donald Evans a Ieuan Wyn.

He beat nine other contestants with a piece of work that "showed the Welsh bardic tradition at its best", according to the adjudicators.

He receives the coveted chair, crafted by Robert Morgan of Llanbrynmair, as well as 750.


Born in 1961 in Oxford, Mr Morys was brought up in what he describes as an "Anglo-Welsh" household.

He attended a boarding school in Shrewsbury and later Brecon Comprehensive School where he was the only pupil in his class sitting an A Level in Welsh.

He has published numerous books, including a collection of poetry called Ofn Fy Het (Afraid of My Hat) and A Machynlleth Triad, in conjunction with Jan Morris.

The Chairing of the Bard ceremony is one of the highlights of the annual celebration of Welsh language and culture.

Sweltering temperatures have helped this year's event break all previous records, with more than 150,000 visitors turning up to enjoy the competitions and entertainment on offer.

First attempt

Earlier in the week Cefin Roberts from Bangor, who was recently appointed artistic director of Wales' first national Welsh language theatre, won the prose medal.

Mirain Haf and Cefin Roberts
Cefin Roberts' winning work was read by his daughter, Mirain Haf

Already a renowned scriptwriter, actor, theatre director and teacher, his winning work was his first attempt at writing a novel.

In 1990 he and his wife, Rhian, founded the Glanaethwy stage school in Bangor.

The main character in his novel, Brwydr y Bradwr (Traitor's Battle), is a young pig befriended by a farmer's daughter.

Last year's prose medal winner, Elfyn Pritchard from Sarnau, near Bala, this year won the Daniel Owen Memorial Prize on Tuesday.

The author and retired head teacher won the 5,000 prize for an unpublished novel which examines the intricacies of adult relationships.

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