2014 is the centenary year of the birth of Dylan Marlais Thomas, the Swansea-born poet who revolutionised English-language poetry and became a legend in his lifetime.
One of the most original voices of the 20th century, Thomas had a rare and powerful passion for poetry and a flair for verbal experimentation that set him apart from his peers. An influence on talents as diverse as Ted Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, John Lennon, Richard Burton and Patti Smith, his work continues to excite new audiences. Poems such as ‘Fern Hill’ and ‘Death shall have no dominion’ and his verse play Under Milk Wood are taught in schools and regularly performed all over the world. His centenary year invites readers and admirers to re-engage with Dylan Thomas, and explore some of the myths that surround his name.
A formidable voice when it came to the poetry of place, Dylan Thomas left an imprint on the memory of towns and cities across Wales, England and beyond.
Literature Wales’ A Dylan Odyssey, part of the Welsh Government-led Dylan Thomas 100 Festival in 2014, is an opportunity to revisit the poems and experience the landscapes that inspired them. Fans of Thomas will be celebrating his life and legacy in Wales, England, Ireland and the United States. Literature Wales organised a warm-up event on 20 July, 2013 which saw audiences canoeing out onto the Taf Estuary to view Dylan’s Boathouse from the water, followed by jazz and New York-inspired food in food critic Simon Wright’s culinary emporium. Throughout 2014, poets and singers, scholars, actors and novelists will be performing, celebrating and revisiting the life and legacy of Wales’ best-known author.
Born Swansea, 27 October, 1914
Died New York, 9 November, 1953
Where are the events? Swansea, Laugharne and South Carmarthenshire, South Ceredigion and North Carmarthenshire, Cardiff, Oxford, London, Ireland, New York
Possible angles/stories: poetry/literature and travel, city walks and rural hikes, book and arts festivals, interviews with authors and biographers, hotels, local food and drink, celebrity associations.