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

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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Which way would Dylan have voted?

Dylan had a youthful interest in left wing politics and attended a rally at the old Plaza Cinema (what a place – huge! I remember watching Gandhi – the film! – there in a packed cinema) with his communist grocer friend Bert Trick (strangely our next door neighbour at Number 5 is called Robert Trick although I’m pretty sure that he is not a communist!). The story is that they got ejected.

I don’t know what Dylan would have made of modern elections but I’m sure he would have plenty of comments about candidates strutting their stuff over the past four weeks.

Published in: on 6 May, 2010 at 11:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Next big children’s author from Swansea

I came across an hilarious book today – Gastronimus and the Legend of Mr Grrrumblebum (3 x Rs!) and also learned that the author Charlie Duncan was brought up in Swansea not two miles from Number 5.

Charlie’s story is aimed at eight to eleven year olds which is great because it brought out the kid in me. (more…)

Published in: on 13 April, 2010 at 10:12 pm  Comments (4)  
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