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

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Published in: on 7 May, 2012 at 9:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Two festivals, two languages, worlds apart

Last week was the start of the festival season in and around Wales and I could not have witnessed two more diverse events only 50 miles or so apart.

Remember that I’m writing this in the knowledge that, although Dylan spoke only English, (more…)

Bob Zimmerman, Dylan and John Lennon – what’s in a name?

Oh dear – I’ve just offended an American!

I stumbled across a blog called the Ten Minute Ramble with some videos of Bob Dylan and just pointed out that he took his name from our own Dylan.

If I did! (more…)

Under 30? Written any published work? Want £30,000?

CALL FOR ENTRIES FOR £30,000 DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE

The world’s biggest literary prize for young writers

Entries are invited each year for the world’s biggest literary award for young writers – the £30,000 ($45,000) Dylan Thomas Prize – which will be awarded for the  best published work in the English language by an author under the age of 30 from any country in the world.

(more…)

Published in: on 10 April, 2010 at 10:51 pm  Comments (3)  
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Dylan death sculptor dies

Sculptor Peter Nicholas with the head of Dylan which will form part of a new sculpture in the Uplands by 2014

The announcement today of the death at 95 of David Slivka who sculpted Dylan’s death mask brings to an end another link with the writer.

Both were born on 27th October 1914 and celebrated their 39th birthdays just days before Dylan died in a New York hospital on 9th November 1953.

Four years after Dylan’s death he made five bronze busts. Two are now in America, one in the National Museum of Wales, one in the BBC Headquarters and the fifth in the Dylan Thomas Centre. (more…)

Published in: on 6 April, 2010 at 10:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Easter events – which one would Dylan choose?

Easter always seems a bit on a non event as a Bank Holiday weekend. The promised sun never seems to materialise and this year it was rain and cold winds to make it feel more like December.

While the beaches and attractions suffered we were ones to gain with a steady flow of house tours. I got me wondering which of the events of the weekend would Dylan have chosen? (more…)

Youtube video captures spirit of Number 5

Join Dylan for breakfast

“…the most inspirational house in Wales…”

Leading European writer Eric Verdonck and his Welsh guide John Wake stayed at Number 5 during Eric’s visit to research a book about Wales.

John’s video is accompanied by evocative music from the group Osian whose lead singer Lorraine King joined them on part of their stay.

Published in: on 23 March, 2010 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Like Dylan we have had a period of inactivity!

Particularly towards the end of his life Dylan Thomas has periods when the words never came. Actually, that’s not strictly true – the words of his poetry didn’t come but his film scripts and his radio work gave him new life  – and money!

That is why the Dylan Thomas Prize accepts entries in all the genres that Dylan worked – fiction, short stories, poetry collections, film  and media scripts. It was strange then to hear that Tessa Dahl (she’s the one squashed between Roald and Sophie) at the launch of the Prize in Boston on St David’s Day question whether you could differentiate and find a winner. (more…)

First impressions

I first saw inside 5 Cwmdonkin Drive in October 2003 when the house was open to visitors during the Dylan Thomas Festival on the 50th anniversary of his death.

At the time the house was leased to City and County of Swansea. As I walked up to the door I didn’t really know what to expect. The outside had the same drab, down at heel look as it done for many years before. (more…)

Our Vision

Dylan Thomas is the most famous son of Swansea. A bold claim as there are so many others with claim to the crown but Thomas has a lasting appeal with the legend starting during his own lifetime.

His birthplace – long neglected just as Dylan has been in his home town – is due for restoration and return to its former glory.