Llandrindod Wells poet Tegwen Bruce-Deans has won one of the Urdd Eisteddfod's most prestigious and sought-after prizes - the chair - after being declared Chief Bard at the festival in Carmarthenshire.

Competing under the pseudonym ‘Gwawr’, judges Hywel Griffiths and Gwennan Evans praised Tegwen as the competition's “most accomplished and mature poet” for her winning piece ‘Rhwng Dau Le’ (Between Two Places).

Born in London, Tegwen’s family moved to Llandrindod Wells when she was two years old.

She attended Builth Wells High School - now known as Ysgol Calon Cymru - and graduated in Welsh from Bangor University. Having settled in the city she now works as a researcher for BBC Radio Cymru.

Tegwen said: “Being able to say that a girl from Lewisham has won the Urdd National Eisteddfod Chair is pretty cool! But on a serious note, one of the things I love to promote the most is that anyone can be a poet – not just old white men from a traditional Welsh background.

"So, the fact that I can contribute to a small, small part of that movement of changing people's attitudes towards the idea of a contemporary poet is priceless.”

Watch Tegwen at the Urdd Eisteddfod:

This year the competitors were tasked with composing a poem or strict metre or verse libre poems, of no more than 100 lines on the theme ‘River’. Eleven poets presented their work for the competition.

Tegwen explained the inspiration behind her work: “After I graduated from university last year, my partner and I bought an old student house.


"It was a period of readjustment after coming out of education for the first time in many years, and as a result, a feeling like I'd lost part of my identity.

"On top of that I felt like I no longer had a sense of 'home' while we waited to start making roots in our new house.

“I was 'between two places' mentally and physically, and trying to make sense of the mixture of feelings and emotions that came as a result of this is the collection of poems. Whilst putting pen to paper, the metaphor of a river on its journey between two places perfectly captured the number of different feelings I was trying to portray, and consequently pulling it all together at the end."

The second prize was awarded to Tesni Peers (20) from Rhosllannerchrugog near Wrexham, and the third prize to Buddug Watcyn Roberts (22) from Bangor.