Elin Ap Hywel received Welsh as her native language when she was born in Colwyn Bay, North Wales. She learned English only after she and her family moved to London in the late 1960s. The family later moved back to Wales, but the tension between the two languages has continued to influence her poetry.
Her first volume of poems, Pethau Brau (‘Delicate things’), appeared in 1982, when she was studying Welsh and modern Irish at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. She has since published most of her poems in magazines and anthologies such as Writing the Wind, Celtic Resurgence, a collection of contemporary poems in the six Celtic languages.
Elin ap Hywel published her latest collection, Ffiniau (‘Borders’), together with fellow poet Grahame Davies, earlier this year. Both poets were born in the same part of northeast Wales, they went to the same schools and drew inspiration from a common mentor, the poet Bryan Martin Davies.
Elin ap Hywel has worked as an editor for Welsh Women’s Press and other publishers. She currently does free-lance work, including translations from Welsh into English. Her own work has been translated into Bulgarian, Galician, Italian, Japanese, and now also into Dutch.
[Elin ap Hywel took part in the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam 2002. This text was written on that occasion.]