First International Dylan Thomas Day is May 14, 2015

Posted on May 11, 2015

Dylan Thomas fans will be pleased to hear that Literature Wales has declared that May 14, 2015, shall be the first annual Dylan Thomas Day. It's a day to remember the brilliant Welsh writer and poet, and drink a toast in his honor.

So why May 14th? That is the date in 1953 when Dylan's radio play Under Milk Wood was first read on stage at 92Y The Poetry Center, New York. A narrator invites the audience to listen to the innermost thoughts and dreams of the inhabitants of Llareggub, a fictional small Welsh fishing village. Dylan is the author of the poems "And Death Shall Have No Dominion" and "Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night" and In honor of the new holiday Literature Wales will be hosting writing workshops, literary tours and readings "in unusual places."

The organizers have asked poetry lovers to take a photo of video of themselves reading Dylan Thomas on the 14th and post it to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #DylanSelfie. If you are in Great Britain, you could take a walk in one of the poet's favorite haunts in Swansea, Oxford or London.

In honor of the occasion Literature Wales is publishing A Dylan Odyssey, an illustrated book which is based on the the organization's popular literary tours which visit places associated with the poet.

Young people aged 7-25 can participate online by helping Young People's Laureate Wales Martin Daws and National Poet of Wales (Bardd Plant Cymru), Aneirin Karadog write an epic 100 line poem inspired by Dylan Thomas' words. Submissions will be taken from 9am GMT (5:00 a.m. EDT) on Thursday, May 14th, through 12 noon GMT (8:00 a.m., EDT) on Tuesday, May 20th.

The poem will be edited by Martin Daws in English and by Aneirin Karadog in Welsh. It will be performed live by Daws and Karadog at the Hay Festival on Sunday 24 May at 4:00 p.m.

On a related note: you know how a country is really serious about poetry? It has more than one poet laureate.

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