Lowri Gwilym

Lowri Gwilym, who died suddenly in July 2010 at the age of 55, was a woman in the midst of a life full of purpose and meaning. An award-winning editor for factual programmes at the Welsh-language channel S4C, and before that for the BBC, she travelled between Cardiff and her home village of Trefenter, near Aberystwyth, where she lived with her partner and their two boys. The village was her centre, the place of childhood summers, of family, of history and community; yet she had a thoroughly international upbringing, in Libya and Turkey, where her father, the poet and translator Gwyn Williams, was professor of English. Later, after university at Bangor and Oxford, she taught for a couple of years in Bologna. She spoke several languages well, and lived a fully bilingual life through two of them, Welsh and English. In the rare moments of time she had for herself, on trains, between meetings, she jotted down bits of poems on the backs of envelopes in the language she loved best. There should have been many more like this. Lowri brought her vivid intelligence, shaped by many cultures and languages and places, back to nourish her Welsh heartland; translating her words opens them out once again to the world.

– from Damian Walford Davies’ introduction in MPT 3/14 Polyphony