Professor Gwyn Thomas hails from Tanygrisiau. He was educated at Ffestiniog County School, the University of Wales, Bangor, and Jesus College, Oxford.
He spent a long period as a lecturer at Bangor University and is now an Honorary Professor at the University.
He has published close to twenty collections of poems since the sixties, as well as a host of articles and scholarly works, including Y Traddodiad Barddol that is known to generations of students. His autobiography, Bywyd Bach, was published in 2006. Gwyn Thomas was a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and was responsible for instigating a debate within that organisation on the need for a Coleg Cymraeg.