Showcase Launch

Dylan Thomas lecture

Prof. John Goodby with Prof. Kurt Heinzelman, Professor of Poetics at the University of Texas at Austin and one of the judges of the Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize

Houston: 26th October

John Goodby

A world authority on Dylan Thomas, and an expert on modern Irish poetry, John Goodby is a critic, poet, and translator of poetry, and the Director of Swansea University’s Dylan Thomas Research Project.

He has advised the BBC, AHRC, British Academy and many other bodies marking the centenary of Thomas’s birth this year, and has contributed to numerous radio and television broadcasts, films and documentaries.

His most recent books on Dylan Thomas are The Poetry of Dylan Thomas: Under the Spelling Wall (2013) and a new centenary annotated edition of the Collected Poems, due to be published in October 2014. These read Thomas in terms of his ‘revolution of the word’, and treatment of the body, surrealism, war and pastoral, and seek not only to restore him to his original contexts, but also to relate him to contemporary concerns.

Goodby views the 'Rimbaud of Cwmdonkin Drive' as a hybrid, trickster figure, whose fusion of modernism and mainstream styles throws into relief the fault-lines in post-Waste Land British poetry. Forcing us to rethink the dominant accounts of modern poetry, this is a Thomas who challenges the way we understand poetry, and continues to shape the relationship between art, popular culture and mass media in the early twenty-first century.


Dylan Thomas and Swansea

Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas is one of the most extraordinary and original writers of the twentieth century. His poetry and short stories command global popularity, yet constantly surprise and challenge in their daring experimentalism. Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea in 1914, and his poetry and fiction emerge from the intense experiences of growing up in the cultural borderlands between rural and industrial societies, between Welsh- and English-speaking Wales, between the conventions of a middle class upbringing and the imaginative and linguistic transcendence of those inherited modes of being and belonging.

Swansea had been famous as that ‘intelligent town’ where culture, science and industry thrived in an internationally focused environment. By the time Dylan Thomas was born Swansea no longer dominated global industry, but remained a culturally vibrant city with a strong connection to its industrial and rural hinterlands, and an international outlook.

In his respectable home and community, Thomas often felt stifled and his sensual, iconoclastic, humorous writing is as much a reaction against his ‘ugly, lovely’ hometown, as it is the most famous embodiment of it