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Islwyn was taught poetry by Gwilym Ilid and Aneurin Fardd (q.v.) , and there were at that time several literary circles in Monmouthshire , particularly at Abergavenny . He constantly competed in the eisteddfodau — for the most part unsuccessfully. In 1853 he won the prize at Cefn-coed-y-cymer eisteddfod for a poem, ‘ Abraham yn aberthu Isaac ,’ and another at the last eisteddfod of the Abergavenny Cymreigyddion Society for an elegy on Carnhuanawc ; he won the chair at Rhyl eisteddfod , 1870 , for his awdl , ‘ Y Nos ’; at Holyhead , 1872 , for an awdl, ‘ Moses ’; at Caerphilly , 1874 , for an awdl , ‘ Cartref ’; and at Treherbert , 1877 , for an awdl , ‘ Y Nefoedd .’ He never succeeded in winning the chair at the national eisteddfod, although he competed for it on many occasions. Towards the end of his life he formed the opinion that his urge for competing had caused him to neglect the preaching of the gospel.
His books and collected works were: Barddoniaeth, gan Islwyn , 1854 ; Ymweliad y Doethion a Bethlehem. Y bryddest fuddugol yn Eisteddfod Ivoraidd LIanelli , 1867 ( Aberdare , 1871 ); Caniadau gan Islwyn ( Wrexham , undated); Pregethau y Parch. William Thomas (Islwyn). Gan y Parch. Edward Matthews , 1896 ; Awdl ar y Nefoedd , 1878? ; Cymru, gan Islwyn ( Cyfres Blodau'r Grug , undated); Islwyn, pigion o'i waith , 1897 ; Islwyn ( Llyfrau Urdd y Delyn , 1897 ); Gwaith Barddonol Islwyn ( Owen M. Edwards ), 1897 ; Gwaith Islwyn ( Cyfres y Fil , 1903 ); Perlau Awen Islwyn, gan J. M. Edwards , 1909 ; Islwyn's English Poems , 1913 .
David Gwenallt Jones, M.A., (1899-1968), Aberystwyth
Published date: 1959