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This bilingual website will contain a new edition of the work of the fourteenth-century Welsh poet Dafydd ap Gwilym which is to be opened to the public in April 2007. The edition is the product of a four-year project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The project team is lead by Professor Dafydd Johnston of University of Wales Swansea, and includes staff of three university Welsh Departments, Dr Huw M. Edwards (UW Aberystwyth), Dr Dylan F. Evans (Cardiff University) and Dr A. Cynfael Lake (UW Swansea), supported by three research assistants, Dr Sara Elin Roberts (2002–6), Dr Elisa Moras (2003–4) and Ifor ap Dafydd (2005–7), and a technical officer, Alexander Roberts.

Dafydd ap Gwilym composed Welsh-language poetry about love and nature in the mid-fourteenth century, using extremely sophisticated verse forms. He is generally regarded as Wales’s greatest Welsh-language poet, and is a major figure in medieval European literature (as shown by the numerous  translations of his poems published both in the UK and the USA). The standard critical edition for the last fifty years is Sir Thomas Parry’s Gwaith Dafydd ap Gwilym published in 1952. This new edition will represent a substantial advance in scholarship in that it will provide superior texts and new interpretations of these highly complex poems. It will also make the poems accessible to a wider audience, both Welsh and English-speaking, by providing paraphrases in modern Welsh and English translations of all the poems.

The edition will contain:

  • 170 poems, (19 in a section of uncertain authorship)
  • edited texts of each poem
  • Welsh paraphrases
  • English translations
  • detailed notes
  • transcriptions of main manuscript texts
  • digitised images of the earliest manuscripts
  • a stemma for each poem
  • recorded readings of all poems

The Introduction will deal with:

  • the poet’s life and background
  • the Welsh and European literary context
  • metre and cynghanedd
  • the musical accompaniment
  • the manuscript tradition
  • editorial principles
  • authorship
  • apocryphal poems

The texts will be fully searchable by means of a concordance, and manuscript contents will be presented in a database.

Particular attention will be given to the two Dafydd ap Gwilym poems on the Welsh A-level syllabus, including a visual explication of their cynghanedd.

The new edition will be launched at a two-day conference at Swansea University, 4–5 April 2007.

The conference will include a concert at the Dylan Thomas Centre on the evening of Wednesday 4th April, when Dr Sally Harper of the Music Department, University of Wales Bangor, will present renditions of some of Dafydd ap Gwilym’s poems by Dr Meredydd Evans, accompanied on the harp by Bethan Bryn, and performances of solo harp pieces from the Robert ap Huw manuscript by Bill Taylor.

For more information about the project and the conference contact the Welsh Department, Swansea University, i.ap-dafydd@swansea.ac.uk, 01792 295193.

For the conference programme please click here and for a registration form click here.