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Dylan Thomas centenary plans

Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea in 1914 Credit: ITV News Wales

The details of the year long festival to celebrate 100 years since Dylan Thomas's birth will be revealed today.

The Welsh poet was born on October 27, 1914 at No 5 Cwmdonkin Drive in Swansea.

He is most well-known for poems such as 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night' and 'And Death Shall Have No Dominion'.

His play for voices, 'Under Milk Wood' is one of his most famous works but he died before it was recorded.

He married Caitlin Macnamara in 1937 and moved to Laugharne in Carmarthenshire in 1938 where their first child was born.

Dylan Thomas died of pneumonia in 1953 at the age of 39.

He was on a trip to New York to deliver a series of talks and poetry readings.

His body was bought back to Wales and he is buried in the village churchyard in Laugharne.

Prince: Poetry 'inspires appreciation of Welsh landscape'


Prince of Wales records Dylan Thomas poem

Prince Charles visited Thomas' boathouse in Laugharne in July Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

The Prince of Wales will mark National Poetry Day with a recording of one of his favourite Dylan Thomas poems, 'Fern Hill'.

Prince Charles is Royal Patron of The Dylan Thomas 100 Festival and attended his boathouse in Laugharne in July to celebrate the 2014 centenary of the poet's birth.

Thomas lived at the Boathouse with his wife Caitlin and their children, Aeronwy, Llewelyn and Colm from 1949 to 1953 - the last four years of his life.

The Prince of Wales said:

"For National Poetry Day, I was very glad, if somewhat hesitant! - to be able to record a reading of one of my person favourites, 'Fern Hill', with its poignant and moving evocation of a rural west Wales childhood.

I cannot help feeling this is one of the great legacies of Thomas' poetry - that it inspires people to appreciate the incomparable landscape of Wales".

William Sieghart, the Founder of National Poetry Day, welcomed The Prince's recording:

"There's no mistaking The Prince of Wales' love of this moving poem. I hope many will follow his wonderful example on National Poetry Day. This is a day to find a poem you love and share it."

Dylan Thomas' grand-daughter, Hannah Ellis, is also a Patron of the Dylan Thomas 100 Festival. She said:

"I was so pleased to meet The Prince at my grandfather's birthplace in Swansea in his capacity as Royal Patron, and then again with The Duchess of Cornwall at the boathouse.

It's fantastic that he is closely involving himself in our centenary celebrations with a reading that my grandfather would have loved, of a poem that meant so much to him and our family."

Celebrating Dylan Thomas on National Poetry Day


Dylan Thomas' Swansea park reopens after restoration

Dylan Thomas wrote about spending time in Cwmdonkin Park as a youngster. Credit: Swansea Council

A Swansea park made famous by Dylan Thomas is being officially reopened today, after a major restoration.

Work at Cwmdonkin Park, on the doorstep of the poet's childhood home, has been finished in time for the 100th anniversary of the poet's birth, next year.

The £1.39m refurbishment has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Swansea Council, the Friends of Cwmdonkin Park and the Welsh Government's Sustainable Tourism Project.

A 1930s-style tearoom will be opened, and the Dylan Thomas shelter and drinking fountain restored.

This afternoon's celebrations will feature a performance of Under Milk Wood from local children, poetry workshops, and trade stalls, before an evening concert.

A series of events will be held in Swansea in 2014, 100 years after Dylan Thomas was born. Credit: PA

Cllr Nick Bradley, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: "The refurbishment of Cwmdonkin Park in time for the 100th anniversary of Dylan's birth will help celebrate our city's strong links with the world-famous poet.

"It's an especially apt location because of its closeness to Dylan's childhood home and we know he drew inspiration from the park for some of his works.

"The park promises to be a centrepiece of activities to mark the centenary next year when the eyes of the literary world will be on Swansea Bay."

Dylan Thomas Prize shortlist unveiled

The shortlist for the 2012 University of Wales' Dylan Thomas Prize has been announced and the five authors are all under the age of 30.

With a prize fund of £30,000, The Dylan Thomas Prize exists to nurture and inspire young writing talent from around the world.

The short-listed novelists are:

  • Tom Benn, 24, - The Doll Princess (Jonathan Cape/Vintage)
  • Andrea Eames, 26 - The White Shadow (Harvill Secker/Vintage)
  • Chibundu Onuzo, 21 - The Spider King's Daughter (Faber)
  • Maggie Shipstead, 28 - Seating Arrangements (Blue Door)
  • DW Wilson, 27 - Once You Break A Knuckle (Bloomsbury)

The five young writers were chosen by a panel of judges including Hay Festival founder Peter Florence, novelist Allison Pearson, Catatonia singer and BBC 6 music presenter Cerys Matthews, and Guardian Review journalist Nicholas Wroe.

Considering that Dylan wrote some of his most revered poetry at the age of 20, it's great to be involved in something which encourages young writers. The short listing was fraught with differing opinions; I look forward to the final melee!"

– Cerys Matthews, judge of the Dylan Thomas Prize

These books have come from around the world, two from Africa, one from Canada, one from the USA and one from England, and the hallmark of them all is readability. These are all thunderingly good stories written with maturity, flair and confidence. Yet again the Dylan Thomas prize is assured a great winner".

– Peter Stead, Chairman of the Dylan Thomas Prize

The Winner of the Prize will be announced at a glittering ceremony on 9th November - the anniversary of Dylan's death.

Dylan Thomas' life to be celebrated

The life and works of Dylan Thomas will be celebrated in a series of events in 2014 Credit: ITV News Wales

A year of celebrations has been announced to mark the centenary of Wales' most famous writer Dylan Thomas.

Backed by three quarters of a million pounds of Welsh Government funding there will be a series of events across 2014 to celebrate his life, work and influence.

A statue will also be erected near to Thomas' birthplace in Uplands, Swansea.

Heritage Minister, Huw Lewis, made the announcement at the Hay Literary Festival where he was joined by Thomas' granddaughter.

He called for groups and organisations interested in staging an event to apply for a share of the £750,000 of funding that has been made available by the Welsh Government, the Arts Council of Wales, City & County of Swansea and Carmarthenshire Councils.

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