2014 a busy year at the Birthplace

2014 is set to be the busiest year for the Dylan Thomas Birthplace. Since taking over in August 2013 house restorer Geoff Haden has introduced a number of changes to make Dylan, his work and life more accessible.

Dylan wrote two thirds of his published work in his tiny bedroom so we have dressed it in the style of 1934 when Dylan had just published is first book 18 Poems – see what he was reading, see what he was writing, smell the tobacco, see the sweets and soak up the atmosphere of Dylan’s little ‘cwtch’.  ‘ a safe place’ is a poor translation of  ‘cwtch’ as it is more than that – it is an all embracing safe haven – come and see for yourself

Published in: on 15 March, 2014 at 9:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dylan Thomas on the Wales Coastal Walk

The launch this year of the completed Wales Coastal Path has produced a new book by Jon Gower as well as numerous newspaper articles. One in Mr Murdoch’s flagship Sunday paper described Dylan as a “…drunkard and sometime poet…” which just displayed the ignorance  of the media who would not want the truth to get in the way of a good story.

The online Guardian has an audio slideshow which has a great piece about Number 5 and the Boathouse at Laugharne featuring the voices of Anne Haden and Jon Tregenna. However, there is nothing about the walks which are on a separate link or pictures of the stunning coastal scenery between the two! It’s still worth a look online

Climate Change in Verse

If you have a concern about Climate Change and a love of poetry then the Pontardawe Arts Centre was the place to be in early June 2012 for And This is Global Warming with readings from Elin ap Hywel, Sue Richardson, Dafydd Wyn, Emily Hinshelwood and the winners of Awel Aman Tawe’s Climate Change Poetry Competition.

Sue Richardson was at the Dylan Thomas Birthplace last October for the International Festival of Words. She draws on her experiences in some of the colder parts of the world and is passionate about climate change and how it is affecting the world.

There is no charge for entry but advisable to reserve tickets on 01792 863722

Published in: on 22 May, 2012 at 9:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Tony hatches a new book

Dylan Thomas once, when describing A Visit to America,  referred to the list of visiting lecturers to include “…fat poets with slim volumes…”. Tony Webb is a well built man and his first book of poems, lyrics and short stories – Down a Sparrow Lane - is certainly fatter than Dylan’s 18 Poems.

Nonetheless it is a delightful read which draws on his past and particularly his years of growing up in the east of Swansea. The book launch at the Brunswick in Swansea was a memorable evening of music, readings and laughter. All the better for the introduction by poet Malcolm Parr being half way through the evening on account of him disappearing to the loo.

Tony is perhaps better known as the front man for the Swansea folk/rock band Sparrow Lane and the book contains a number of lyrics to songs that he has written. The short stories include He Only Swore in Welsh which tells of his early life living close to his grandfather.

Unlike Dylan’s obtuse early poems Tony’s are easy to understand and are drawn from a lifetime living in Swansea.

Even his adventures further afield as in London, New Year’s Eve convince him there is no place like home. And home is not all roses – The Boy in the Subway is a tale of our time – sad and haunting.

Tony will be appearing at the Dylan Thomas Birthplace in October – don’t miss it!

Down a Sparrow Lane is available at Uplands Bookshop and from the author tonywebb56@gmail.com of the publishers Pinewood Press jackielyndon@ntlworld.com priced just £6

New Dylan book with Birthplace Connections

Jim Parc Nest records the CD insert for A Map of Love by Jackie HaydenRecording the CD insert of A Map of Love at 5 Cwmdonkin DriveNew books about Dylan come along and fairly regular intervals but not many boast a CD insert recorded in the bedroom of Number 5 where Dylan was born on 27th October 1914.

In fact The Map of Love – around Wales with Dylan Thomas by Jackie Hayden is unique in this respect. Even more unique is that the narrator is the Archdruid of Wales – Jim Parc Nest. The book provides little in the way of new information apart from an interview with Frank Jenkins who lived in Laugharne and went to school with Dylan’s daughter Aeronwy. His father had a mobile fish and chip van built on a Rolls Royce which featured in Dylan’s poem ‘Laugharne’

The book is written by Irishman Jackie Hayden (no relation to Geoff and Anne Haden who restored Number 5) who signed U2 when a Sony Record executive and is now an author and broadcaster who has been drawn back to Wales by the magnet that is Dylan. This shows in the chapter Dylan in Music which  illustrates the range of musicians that Dylan influenced.

The Map of Love – around Wales with Dylan Thomas is published by Iconau in collaboration with Fflach and costs £9.99

Published in: on 7 May, 2012 at 9:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Summer Drama Workshops

Writing Drama Workshops are designed for new and aspiring writers and take place at Number 5 as part of the Seventh Quarry Festival. On 25th August (10.00am to 2.00pm) international drama writers and tutors John Dotson, Lynda Maroski and Peter Thabit Jones will lead the courses. Demand will be high so booking is essential £20/£15 concessions. Further details

Red Carpet Film Premiere at Number 5

A new short film – The Poet - by student film maker Hanna Brustad – has its premiere on 11th May (7.30pm – free entry but bring a bottle) at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive – the house in which it was filmed. The film is a story of a poet in the 1930s who makes a life changing decision. Find out more

Published in: on 6 May, 2012 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Poets from a Hundred Lawns – poetry group

Poets from a Hundred Lawns is the new poetry group at the Dylan Thomas Birthplace which meets on the middle Wednesday of each month (next meetings 13th June/ 18th July 7.30pm). The group is a Stanza of The Poetry Society and carries on the tradition of Wednesday evening gatherings that the teenage Dylan started with his father’s encouragement back in the Roaring Twenties. Further information and contact details

World Book Night succes at Dylan’s

We never thought giving away 48 books would be so tiring but also so much fun.

Lots of new people to the house and perhaps lots of new book readers – Dylan would have been proud!

Published in: on 6 March, 2011 at 12:07 am  Comments (2)  
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Dylan aids World Book Night novel giveaway

Fingersmith by Welsh author Sarah Waters

40,000 copies of the book have been printed especially for World Book Night

The World Book Night comes to the birthplace of Dylan Thomas at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, Uplands, Swansea on Saturday (5th March 2.00 – 8.00 pm) with 48 copies of the award winning novel Fingersmith by Welsh author Sarah Waters to be given away.

Anne Haden from Dylan Thomas House has organised the event and says  “These are brand new books printed specially for World Book Night and we’re looking to give the books away to those who might not normally be able to get out and buy a book”.

 “The books are absolutely free and part of the giveaway of one million books to encourage people to read and I chose Fingersmith as I read it when it was first published and enjoyed its great storyline and craftsmanship.

 “This is a great opportunity as we all know someone who can’t get out easily, whose local library has closed or who can’t afford to buy a book.

 “Nominating a person with us means they can come to the birthplace of Dylan Thomas, meet other people, receive their book and become one in a million.

 “Maybe there is someone who hasn’t read a book for a while and this will rekindle their interest.

 “We’re planning a follow up event in a month when we hope they will all come along, exchange their views and perhaps some of their favourite books.”

 Anne Haden says that she thinks Dylan would have approved of the event “Dylan would have loved this – having a contemporary book for free and passing it on to others.”

The book is set in 19th century England and is the story of two orphans from very different backgrounds and was adapted for television by the Cardiff born writer Andrew Davies who is currently enjoying the limelight with his adaptation of South Riding. Andrew Davies also has a Dylan Thomas connection as he is on the judging panel of the Dylan Thomas Prize.

 Because of the likely demand the books are available for collection on a first come, first served basis and need to be reserved by phone or email before the event.

 Anne Haden 01792 472555 or info@5cwmdonkindrive.com

 www.worldbooknight.org

Published in: on 27 February, 2011 at 10:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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