Dylan Thomas: A Literary Pilgrimage Across Wales with David Atkinson

Dylan Thomas: A Literary Pilgrimage Across Wales with David Atkinson


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Like so many great writers, Dylan Thomas was a complex man who was often misunderstood. By visiting the destinations in Wales associated with his childhood and later life, we can come to understand the man behind the mythology. During our time together, we will trace a journey across Wales, from his Swansea childhood to Laugharne Castle, where he later lived.

International Dylan Thomas Day is observed each year on May 14. The date marks the anniversary of when Under Milk Wood was first to read on stage at The Poetry Center, New York, in 1953. Success came late for him with his critical plaudits constantly overshadowed by constant money worries and reports of his legendary drunkenness. But, after his death, he became a cult figure, earning inclusion on the cover of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band at the express behest of John Lennon and inspiring the lyrics of Bob Dylan.

Thomas collapsed and died in New York in November 1953 aged 39. He was on a lecture tour of America, had been mixing with the Beat poets, and Under Milk Wood had been performed for the first time earlier that year to critical acclaim. Thomas is buried in the graveyard of St Martin’s Church in Laugharne. The inscription from one of his most evocative poems, Ferne Hill. It reads: “Time held me green and dying, though I sang in my chains like the sea.”

Led by an expert on Wales, travel journalist David Atkinson, this interactive seminar will trace a journey across Wales in search of the places that inspired Thomas' firebrand verse. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased passion for wales and its literary connections.

David Atkinson is a UK-based travel writer and tourist guide. He is the author of the guidebook, Bolivia The Bradt Guide and a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines. During guidebook research in Bolivia, he enjoyed hiking forgotten trails, perfecting his Spanish, and sampling surprisingly good wines from the Tarija region.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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