University hosts international Dylan Thomas Centenary Conference

Dylan Unchained: the Dylan Thomas Centenary Conference (1914-2014), from 3-5 September 2014, at Swansea University. Visit www.swansea.ac.uk/dylanthomas.

RIAH thin image bar

DT Conference image 1Hosted by the College of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University and in Swansea, the city of Dylan Thomas's birth, ‘Dylan Unchained’ engages anew with the poet who 'sang in [his] chains like the sea'. 

New research on Dylan Thomas’s work – from poetry to war propaganda, short stories to Thomas in translation – will be presented by academics alongside talks and events by poets and dramatists.

This conference, from 3-5 September 2014, has a truly international range, with lectures from Australia, America, France, Ukraine, and Finland.  Dylan Thomas’s influence and connections with Irish poets, American jazz and the English literary scene are all topics addressed by a range of prestigious academics and younger scholars.  The controversial Welsh dimensions of Dylan Thomas’s relationship with Wales is the focus of several theoretically innovative panels. 

Other highlights of the three-day event include a poetry reading by Geraldine Monk and David Annwn, introduced by Ian McMillan, a guided tour of the Dylan Thomas notebooks on loan from the University at Buffalo, USA, and the first live performance of the acclaimed radio play, 'Chelsea Dreaming', in which D J Britton combines with composer Paula Gardiner to conjure a cool and questing duel between Dylan and the voice of the Chelsea (the hotel where Dylan spent his last days in New York) itself. An ensemble of top Welsh actors and superb jazz musicians blend the poet’s comic and sad imaginings with the acid observations of a hotel which has seen it all before. 

DT conference image 2Keynote lectures will be given by Dr Leo Mellor (Cambridge); Professor Carol Watts (Birkbeck, London); and Professor John Wilkinson (Chicago). Swansea University’s very own Professor John Goodby will give a lecture introducing the centenary edition of Dylan Thomas, Collected Poems 1934-1953, to be published by Orion books/New Directions in October this year.

Dr Kirsti Bohata, chief organiser of ‘Dylan Unchained’ and Director of the Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales (CREW) at Swansea University said: "This is a major international conference on Dylan Thomas and it seems entirely fitting that it should take place at Swansea University. We're delighted to have such a strong programme, with experts from America, Australia, Europe, Ukraine as well as Wales and the rest of the UK.  For the first time, we have tried to make the conference welcoming to non-academics too, with talks, exhibitions, performances and readings to appeal to a wide range of tastes."

- For more information about the International Dylan Thomas Prize, sponsored by Swansea University, see here: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/dylan-thomas-prize/.

Dylan Thomas, Collected Poems 1934-1953, the annotated centenary edition, edited by Professor John Goodby of Swansea University, will be published in October. http://www.swansea.ac.uk/staff/academic/artshumanities/ell/goodbyj/.