Mererid Hopwood

Hopwood, Mererid

Mererid Hopwood was born in Cardiff and now lives in Llangunnor. After completing a degree in Spanish and German from Aberystwyth University, she gained a doctorate in German Literature from University College, London.

Mererid was the first female poet to win the Chair competition at the National Eisteddfod, in 2001, the Crown in 2003 and the Prose Medal in 2008.

In 2003, her poem ‘Dadeni’ featured in the film Dal Yma: Nawr, that starred the actors and musicians Siân Phillips, Ioan Gruffudd, Matthew Rhys and Rhys Ifans.

She works tirelessly to try and popularize cynghanedd (an intricate system of alliteration and rhyme particular to Welsh poetry), especially amongst girls and young people. She was the Bardd Plant (Children’s Poet) in 2005.

She was selected by the Exchange to participate in the first Writers' Chain translation workshop held in India in 2008 where she collaborated with poets from the UK and India.

She also translates work to Welsh. In 2005, she translated the children’s book, Seren Lowri by Klaus Baumgart from German to Welsh, and in 2019 she translated Der kaukasische Kreidekreis by Brecht for Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru (the Welsh-language national theatre of Wales). She also won Translators' House Wales Translation Challenge 2013, with a translation of three poems by Cuban poet, Victor Rodriguez Nunez.

Nes Draw, her first collection of poetry won the 2016 Wales Book of the Year Welsh Poetry category and was selected to the Wales Literature Exchange 2016 Bookcase.

She has been teaching for much of the last thirty years in the field of language and literature, teaching in all sorts of circumstances, from university to night school, from courses for the youngest to secondary school pupils. She is currently Professor of Languages and the Welsh Curriculum at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Mererid won Wales PEN Cymru's Emyr Humphreys Award in 2020, and she was the adjudicator for Her Gyfieithu 2020.