A Ruabon-born poet and author has won a prestigious international award.

Dr Stan Morton, who now lives in Ruthin, was named the winner of the North America (USA and Canada) Festival of Wales (NAFOW) Welsh-language poetry award last weekend - for a poem written on the theme of “Roots”. 

He has written poetry throughout his life and published his first collection “Millennium’s End” in 2015. 

Dr Morton puts his ability to write poetry down to his experiences in the intensive Eisteddfod tradition of Ruabon Grammar School led by archdruids Geraint Bowen and B. M. Davies along with Gareth Hughes, Musical Director. 

He explained: "I remember writing poetry in various forms in English, Welsh, French, Spanish and maybe Latin throughout my teens, plus recitation and singing in various languages.

The Leader: Dr Morton's poemDr Morton's poem (Image: Dr Morton)

“It was a tough apprenticeship.” 

His winning poem was inspired by a visit to Theatr Clwyd with his grand-daughter Mabli to watch a children's version of the Mabinogion. 

Dr Morton's poem is mainly based in Rhosllanerchrugog, his father’s home town and contains many childhood memories of days spent there. 


He produced English and Welsh versions of the same poem simultaneously and entered both separately, with the Welsh language poem winning.

“I picked up the method from an obscure paper by Samuel Becket who wrote in French to compress and intensify the language he used in his plays,” he explained. 

Dr Morton was educated in the universities of Cardiff and Aberystwyth and has a B.A. in Modern Foreign Languages (Frensch, Spanish, Portuguese) and a Ph. D. in Languages and Linguistics. 

The Leader: Dr Morton's PoemDr Morton's Poem (Image: Dr Morton)

He was a well-known local teacher and lecturer and worked in many schools and colleges in North Wales including taking over from Dr Phil Davies as Head of the Language Unit in NEWI Cartrefle in the early 1990s. 

Also a well-known local sportsman, he played for Ruabon St Mary’s Senior Soccer team at the age of 17 before going on to play for Cardiff University.

In 1968 he returned as player-coach to Ruabon St Mary’s for three years before converting to rugby and playing for Whitchurch (Shropshire) and Ruthin Rugby Clubs. 

He was also co-author of the book, “The History of Ruthin Rugby Club.”