JENKINS, EVAN (1895 - 1959), poet

Name: Evan Jenkins
Date of birth: 1895
Date of death: 1959
Parent: Margaret Jenkins
Parent: Thomas Jenkins
Gender: Male
Occupation: poet
Area of activity: Eisteddfod; Poetry
Author: Dafydd Jones

Born 2 May 1895, youngest of the 8 children of Thomas and Margaret Jenkins, Tynewydd, Ffair-rhos, Cardiganshire. His father was a miner who worked in the local lead mines, and farmed his smallholding in his spare time. Evan went to Pontrhydfendigaid elementary school in 1901, and to Tregaron county school in October 1909, but when he left is not recorded. He failed to pass the medical examination for military service during World War I but apparently worked in a munitions factory. In 1919 he went to the University College, Aberystwyth and graduated B.A. in 1921. It is said in Cofiant Idwal Jones, by D. Gwenallt Jones (D. James Jones ‘Gwenallt’), that he and Philip Beddoe Jones, composed cywyddau in a poetic contention when they were students of T. Gwynn Jones. He taught for a period in Taliesin and Llanfihangel-y-Creuddyn schools. Being of poor health he left the teaching profession and in 1924 he became secretary to the Union of Cardiganshire Friendly Societies, a post which he held until 1948.

He was primarily responsible for encouraging the work of poets in the Ffair-rhos district and was a member of the Cardiganshire team in bardic contests. He won the South Wales bardic chair at Treorci on two occasions, the crown at the Anglesey eisteddfod, and prizes for lyrics, an englyn, a sonnet and a cywydd at national eisteddfodau. When the last of his sisters left the old home he moved to live with her and her husband at Ffynnon Fawr. About a year before his death he moved to live with his two sisters at Minawel, where he died 2 November 1959. He was buried in his brother John's grave in Strata Florida. His prize-winning collection of lyrics was included in the Cardiff national eisteddfod volume of adjudications and winning poetry, 1938, 108-18. A selection of his poems was selected and edited by T. Llew Jones under the title Cerddi Ffair Rhos (1959).

Author

Published date: 2001

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