On this date…17th January 1934

The editor of the South Wales Evening Post, J.D. Wiliiams reviewed the Swansea Little Theatre’s latest production. It was the 18th century William Congreve comedy, The Way of the World. Dylan is not mentioned in the review but is listed in the cast as ‘Witwould.’

In his review, J.D.W remarked, 

‘brilliant dialogue, the cynic touches, the epigrams hard as diamonds and as cruel as fate.’ This is not to say that he hadn’t found fault, he also commented that the players ‘are acquiring a set of mannerisms that too prominently identify them whatever their part. They need to find new graces with hands and shoulders.’ 

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On this date…14th January 1933

An apology and retraction was made on the front page of the South Wales Evening Post.
Nina Hamnett’s book Laughing Torso, which the Post’s junior reporter Dylan Thomas referred to as a ‘banned book’ in his article of January 7th 1933 entitled Genius and Madness Akin in the World of Art, had not in fact been banned as reported.

Young Thomas would ‘leave’ his position on the staff of the newspaper soon after…

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On this date…10th January 1935

An advert in the South Wales Evening Post gives mention that the first book of poems by Swansea’s Dylan Thomas entitled 18 Poems, will be reviewed in its sister paper the Herald of Wales.

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On this date…9th January 1935

The Listener of the Gossip of the Day column of the South Wales Evening Post talks of a conversation they have had with author Richard Hughes about young Swansea poet Dylan Thomas.

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On this date…7th January 1933

Whilst working as a junior reporter Dylan had an interesting article entitled ‘Genius and Madness Akin in World of Art’ published in the South Wales Evening Post.

In his piece he examines the lifestyles and character ‘kinks’ of many prominent figures in history and the present day. At the end of the article he poses the question ‘Who would be a genius after all?’

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On this date…5th January 1935

Dylan’s friend and mentor Bert Trick writes to the editor of South Wales Evening Post hailing the rising young poet whilst attacking the lack of discussion generated since the release of Dylan’s first book 18 Poems by what he calls the ‘intelligentsia of Swansea.’ Trick asks the question, ‘are these cultural circles so moribund that they cannot see a new star in the literary firmament?’

‘Sir,- One can be pardoned for imagining that the paragraphs concerning the poems of Dylan Thomas, which have appeared in your columns, would have evoked a spate of correspondence from the intelligentsia of Swansea.
Are these cultural circles so moribund that they cannot see a new star in the literary firmament? Are they so cloyed with picking-over the cold coalitions of the academic school that they have no appetite for the red-blood and meat of the moderns?
Or is it due to a distrust of local talent, the phenomenon that compels native artists to assume foreign names to win recognition for their talents?
The early reviews of Dylan Thomas’s volume of eighteen poems have been not only commendatory, but, to a degree, eulogistic. He is regarded in the higher literary circles as the outstanding poet of the last decade, and it is true to say, as was quoted in your paragraph, that he has already outstripped the Eliot-Pound-Auden school, having wrought a technique entirely individual, which is at the same time in direct line of descent from Blake, Webster and Beddoes.’

A. E Trick
69, Glanbrydan avenue
Swansea

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Did you enjoy a drop this Christmas?

D.J. Thomas (Dylan’s father) enjoyed a glass or two of Hancock’s Mild Ale. It was his favourite tipple and in his day was widely available in Swansea. As you can see from the advert from the South Wales Evening Post, you could even get it delivered to your door for Christmas…

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William Hancock & Co Ltd had a strong presence in Swansea and was Wales’ biggest brewer. The company operated several sites in the town from 1887 until the late 1960s including one near the famous Vetch Field and one at the bottom of now ‘infamous’ Wind Street. The company was acquired by Bass then Brains in 1999 and now Molson Coors.

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On this date…1st January 1935

Dylan’s first book 18 Poems was mentioned in the ‘Gossip of the Day’ column in the South Wales Evening Post. 

 Mr. Dylan Thomas’s verse is now published and those who want to see what the most modern of poetry is like will be able to satisfy their curiosity in the eighteen poems given in the volume. Mr. Thomas is at the spearhead of the very latest movement. I committed a faux-pas the other day when, mistakingly I referred to him as the T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pounds and Auden school. “Eliot! Pounds! Auden!” the young man said in derision. “They are numbers in the poetical world.” – Poetry moves swiftly these days.


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