Mererid Hopwood came to the Chair of the Welsh and Celtic Studies in January 2021. Before that she had been Professor of Languages and the Curriculum Cymreig in the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. She has spent her career in the fields of languages, literature, education and the arts. She won the National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Chair, Crown and Prose Medal and Welsh Book of the Year prize for poetry in 2016 for her collection of poems, Nes Draw. She has been children’s poet laureate of Wales (Bardd Plant Cymru) and in 2018 won the Tir na n’Og prize for her writing for children. She has composed words for musicians, visual artists and dancers, and has taken part in literature festivals in Europe, Asia and South America. She has translated many works of literature into Welsh including plays from Spanish and German for Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. She is Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and the Academi Gymreig, and Honorary President of the Waldo Williams Society. She is the secretary of the Academi Heddwch Cymru.
Director of Research for the Department.
This year, I shall be contributing to the following modules:
M.A. in Professional Translation Studies.
My main research interest is in Language and Welsh Literature in particular poetry; literary translation; children’s literature; peace literature; curriculum development and language pedagogy.
Since my student days in Aberystwyth in the mid 1980s I have taken advantage of all kinds of opportunities to develop my understanding of language and of literature, from Wales as well as some other European countries, and have nurtured a particular interest in writing and translation. I enjoyed the chance to live in Germany and Spain and have taken part in readings and discussions in places as diverse as Chile and Tumble, Hausach and Haverfordwest, Leipzig, Llangollen, Ledbury and London. This year, as the Hay Festival’s International Fellow, though much of the travelling will be virtual I look forward to learning more about the cultures of countries such as Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
I enjoy collaborating with others to combine creative forms. Examples of this kind of creative enterprise have been the Cantata Memoria, For the Children with Karl Jenkins, Hwn yw Fy Mrawd with Robat Arwyn and the opera Wythnos yng Nghymru Fydd with Gareth Glyn. In terms of dance, I have learnt a good deal during the recent ‘lock down days’ through the Plethu project to create pieces such as Aber Bach and Hirddydd with National Dance Company Wales.
I am member of the Barddas working group, the editorial board of Taliesin, the academic board of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and the board of trustees for the Wales Millennium Centre.
I am also a shadow member of the Cymdeithas y Cymod (International Fellowship of Reconciliation Wales) working group and Vice-President of the Movement for the Abolition of War.