1950s celebration at Dylan’s house

If you have memories of the 1950s you would like to share then get along to Number 5 on Friday 29th June between 10.00am and 2.00pm when Leighton Jones from the radio station Swansea Sound will be broadcasting live as part of a themed 1950s celebration.

The following day 30th June 7.30pm 1950s themed celebration with its music, fashion and maybe even some ‘never to be told before’ tales. In 1952 Dylan was still alive and Anne was soon to be born £10 per person

Published in: on 17 June, 2012 at 4:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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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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

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


Published in: on 27 February, 2011 at 10:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Poetry courses to follow in Dylan’s footsteps

A new weekly poetry and writing course based at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive – the birthplace and home of Dylan Thomas – aims to encourage new and aspiring writers to express themselves through their work.

 The course “Poetry – to begin at the beginning” is the first in a series of ten week long courses being run by Anne and Geoff Haden of Dylan Thomas House in conjunction with the poet and writer Peter Thabit Jones who is an acknowledged expert on the work of Dylan Thomas and has lectured and taught all over the world.

The courses start on Thursday 23rd September (10.00am to 12.00) and for the first five participants to enrol there is a discounted course fee of £35 instead of the normal £75.

Says Mr Thabit Jones, “Many people want to write and don’t know where to start, so the aim of the course is to explore some aspects of writing and poetry and to help participants develop their own style.

“We want the course to be at the level of the participants who will be encouraged to develop their own work and to explore their own creativity.

“Not only will the course allow people to write in the house where Dylan produced over two thirds of his published output but we will also explore the local area including Cwmdonkin Park and the Uplands for further inspiration.”

Mr Jones is the founder of the international poetry magazine The Seventh Quarry and has recently completed the narration of a DVD Dylan Thomas Walking Tour of Greenwich Village, which he produced in collaboration with the late Aeronwy Thomas – Dylan’s daughter – on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government in New York.

Anne Haden says “I’m really excited that Peter has agreed to run these courses as I know that there is a demand in Swansea from both the aspiring and the more experienced poets and writers.

“Poetry was once the province of the elite but Dylan showed that an ordinary guy can produce great work and, although we can’t bring Dylan back, we can create some of the environment that helped him be so prolific in his early years”.

“Later in the year we will be announcing a series of weekend courses in a number of different creative arts.

Peter Thabit Jones   01792 774070 or info@peterthabitjones.com

Anne Haden   01792 472555 or info@5cwmdonkindrive.com

Peter Thabit Jones leads a discussion at a poetry reading with members of The Seventh Quarry magazine

Published in: on 8 September, 2010 at 10:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Once upon a time there were two ferries….

The news this week that the much heralded Swansea Ilfracombe ferry link is unlikely to get under way until next year is a bitter blow to tourism operators on both sides of the channel.

Mystery surrounds the announcement with the ferry company first blaming Swansea City Council for not providing suitable landing facilities (more…)

Published in: on 13 June, 2010 at 2:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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