Going back in time to Dylan Thomas' birthplace
On Monday October 27, Dylan Thomas, Swansea's most famous son, and one of the world's best-known poets, would have been 94 years old. The date also marked the opening of Thomas's birthplace, 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, Swansea, to the public, as a holiday residence.
For the past two years, Geoff and Anne Hayden have been restoring the Edwardian semi-detached house, which now resembles the way it looked when Thomas lived and wrote many of his poems in its middle bedroom. Guests will receive a 1914 newspaper, have a housekeeper to prepare meals, and live there with a wind-up gramophone and books for entertainment, and no television, radio or telephone.
Dr John Goodby, from Swansea University's CREW (Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales) has written extensively on Dylan Thomas, and was interviewed by a variety of radio stations on October 27 to mark the anniversary and the opening of the house.
Dr Goodby said: "Dylan Thomas was unique in being both a difficult writer and a popular one; it was an almost impossible trick to pull off, and he did it. Being an icon and a deeply serious writer probably contributed to his untimely end, but he is the only Welsh writer of the twentieth century with an international reputation, and he continues to draw readers—almost everything he wrote remains in print—and inspire the writers of the future."
Dylan Thomas' birthday is celebrated in the annual Dylan Thomas Festival which this year ran from October 23–November 10, with events held at the Dylan Thomas Centre, Somerset Place, Swansea. John Goodby gave the Festival lecture, 'The Liquid Choirs of His Tribes': The Influence of Dylan Thomas, on 29 October.
Dr Goodby will be also be giving the following two invited lectures in later this month: 'A Welsh Decade: Dylan Thomas and the Poetry of the Forties', at the English Department, University College Cork, 1.00pm, 19 November and 'The Real Tradition?: twentieth century Welsh poetic modernism, at the English Department, University of Wales at Lampeter, 5.00pm, 26 November.
Dr Goodby will also be giving the following poetry readings:
Galway City Library at 6.30 pm, 20 November
University of Wales at Lampeter at 6.15 pm, 26 November
For further details about the Dylan Thomas Festival, follow this link.
For more details on booking 5 Cwmdonkin Drive follow this link.
For more details about CREW follow this link.