Eurig Salisbury appointed Town Bard for Aberystwyth

Eurig Salisbury speaking at Aberystwyth Town Council’s Mayoral Inauguration Ceremony on 19 May. Photo: Nick Ferguson

Eurig Salisbury speaking at Aberystwyth Town Council’s Mayoral Inauguration Ceremony on 19 May. Photo: Nick Ferguson

31 May 2023

Lecturer in Creative Writing and award-winning poet, Eurig Salisbury, has been appointed as Aberystwyth’s first ever Town Bard (Bardd y Dref).

The announcement was made at Aberystwyth Town Council’s Mayoral Inauguration Ceremony on 19 May, where Aberystwyth University alumna, Councillor Kerry Ferguson assumed office as Mayor.  

At the Ceremony at the National Library of Wales, the new Mayor presented Eurig with the bardic staff and certificate.  In return, Eurig read poems for the newly appointed Mayor and retiring Mayor, Talat Chaudhri.

The idea of creating the post of Town Bard in Aberystwyth was the suggestion of Councillor Emlyn Jones, the new Mayor's consort, who said:

“Aberystwyth is a very literary and artistic town, and I am very proud that we have agreed to establish a Town Bard. This is a reflection of the area's poetic wealth, with a look back to the Welsh poetic tradition of having a 'court' poet, but mainly looking forward to celebrating modern Welsh poets and poems that flourish here in Aberystwyth. I can think of no one better than Eurig to be the first bard in this new tradition!”

Following the Mayoral Inauguration Ceremony, Aberystwyth’s new Mayor, Councillor Kerry Ferguson said:

“Among the audience were the Mayor and officials from St Brieuc, the Mayor and visitors from County Wicklow and the new Mayor of Llanbed, and they were all very enthusiastic about the idea. So it is quite possible that more Town Bards will appear across Wales and on the continent before long. It's a great feeling of pride to see Aberystwyth Town Council taking such an innovative step.”

In receiving his new title, Eurig said:

“I feel honoured to have been appointed Aberystwyth’s first ever Town Bard, and am looking forward to a year of poetry ahead. This new initiative is a wonderful demonstration of the continuing importance of poetry of a strong public, community-based nature here in Wales.

“Whilst the traditional image of Welsh-language poetry locates it mainly in rural areas, we also in fact have a long, albeit less well-known, history of urban poetry.

“While completing my MPhil at Aberystwyth University I studied the work of fifteenth-century poet Guto'r Glyn, whose celebrated poem of praise to the town of Oswestry heralded the beginning of a centuries-long tradition of composing poetry for and in the town of Oswestry; and Welsh poetry was present in other towns in Wales and the Marches too. So, the idea of having a Town Bard has its precedents.”

Eurig Salisbury

Eurig Salisbury graduated in Welsh and Film and Television Studies from Aberystwyth University in 2004, and continued his studies in the Welsh Department and gained an MPhil degree on the early work of Guto'r Glyn (2006).

In 2006, he won the Chair competition at the National Urdd Eisteddfod in Denbighshire, and was also appointed research fellow at the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth, where he worked for nine years, contributing to three innovative projects on medieval Welsh literature.

He is a published author (Llyfr Glas Eurig, 2008; Sgrwtsh!, 2011).

He was appointed Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh Children's Laureate) 2011-13, and was the first to hold the post for two years. As well as undertaking a wide variety of different literature-based activities across the country, from school workshops to literature festivals to stomp and slam competitions, he has tutored young writers at the Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre and was one of the Welsh-language judges for Wales Book of the Year 2014.

He was appointed Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth University in September 2015.

He is the Welsh-language editor for Poetry Wales magazine. He has also worked closely with the Hay Festival, the British Council, and Wales Arts International on a number of literary projects and has taken part in festivals in India, Bangladesh, Colombia, Kenya and a host of European countries.

He was one of the Hay Festival's International Fellows in 2012-13.

His work has been translated into a number of languages, including Bangla, Malayalam and Italian.