International Dylan Thomas Day – May 14, 2023

International Dylan Thomas Day is observed internationally on May 14 yearly. Dylan Thomas is a Welsh poet known for his lyrical and emotive poems as well as his stormy personal life. “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” and the drama “Under Milk Wood” are two of his most well-known works. On the anniversary of the first reading of “Under Milk Wood,” the holiday is observed. Literature Wales is in charge of organizing the event, which is financed by the Welsh government after consultation with the Thomas family, the Dylan Thomas estate, and other stakeholders.

History of International Dylan Thomas Day

Dylan Marlais Thomas, a Welsh poet, and writer, was born in the Welsh city of Swansea in 1914. Thomas dropped out of school in 1931 to work as a reporter for the “South Wales Daily Post,” but he quit under duress 18 months later. Many of his works were published while he was still in high school. The release of “Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines” drew the literary world’s attention in 1934. During his lifetime, Thomas became known as a renowned poet, even though he struggled to make a livelihood as a writer. He began reading on stage and the radio. His B.B.C. radio broadcasts in the late 1940s brought him to the notice of the general people, and the B.B.C. frequently employed him as an approachable voice of the literary scene.

Thomas visited the United States for the first time in the 1950s. His performances there gained him considerable notoriety, but his unpredictable behavior increased. His experience in the United States solidified his reputation, and he went on to record masterpieces like “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” on vinyl. Thomas grew critically ill and went into a coma during his fourth trip to New York in 1953. On November 9, 1953, he passed away.

Although Thomas only wrote in English, he is considered one of the most influential Welsh poets of the 20th century. He is known for his unique, rhythmic, and inventive word and imagery combinations in pieces like “Do not go gently into that good night” and “And death shall have no dominion.” Dylan Thomas was very popular throughout his life and remained so after his death in New York City at the age of 39.

International Dylan Thomas Day timeline

1933
“The New English Weekly”

Dylan Thomas's "And Death Shall Have No Dominion" gets published in “New English Weekly,” marking his first international publication.

1934
First Poetry Book Publication

In December 1934, Dylan's first full book of poems, gets published.

2004
Dylan Thomas Prize

‘The Dylan Thomas Prize’ is established and is given to the best published English writer under the age of 30.

2005
Dylan Thomas Screenplay Awards

The Dylan Thomas Screenplay Award is created.

2015
Dylan Thomas Day

Dylan Thomas Day, begins in 2015, to honor and promote awareness of Thomas' work in Wales and around the world.

International Dylan Thomas Day FAQs

Where is Dylan Thomas' grave?

Laugharne, United Kingdom’s Saint Martin’s Church.

What is Dylan Thomas' poetry style?

Dylan Thomas’ style is a hazy lyrical language that he uses to depict both exceptional and mundane events.

Who is Dylan Thomas's wife?

Caitlin Thomas was a novelist and the wife of Dylan Thomas, a poet, and writer.

International Dylan Thomas Day Activities

  1. Research Dylan Thomas's work

    Look into the work of Dylan Thomas in celebration of this holiday. You have access to a wide range of resources, including Thomas' books and recordings, as well as audio and video snippets of Dylan Thomas himself.

  2. Watch the adaptation of “Under Milk Wood”

    Another way to celebrate this special holiday is to gather around with your friends and family, to watch the film adaptation of Thomas' poetry, “Under Milk Wood.” You can turn movie night into a game night by comparing the plot to the poem.

  3. Visit the 92Y Poetry Center

    To get the full effect of Dylan Thomas Day, visit the 92Y Poetry Center, where “Under Milk Wood” was first performed on this date in 1953. You can also visit an online exhibit about Thomas at the 92Y Poetry Center.

5 Interesting Facts About Dylan Thomas

  1. Poetry plagiarism

    Thomas's first published poem “His Requiem” was plagiarized.

  2. Poet Birthday Mates

    Thomas shares his birthday with Sylvia Plath, another prominent 20th-century poet.

  3. The Romantic Isle

    Dylan put his poetry "The Romantic Isle" was broadcasted by B.B.C. in 1933.

  4. Dylan and royalty

    Dylan performed in the Wigmore Hall in front of Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth, and Princess Margaret.

  5. The Beatles feature

    At John Lennon's request, Dylan's photograph was featured on the cover of The Beatles' 1967 album “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Why We Love International Dylan Thomas Day

  1. Poetry promotes imaginative thinking

    Poetry is a means of expressing oneself. Reading poetry inspires us to connect and find meaning in our experiences while writing allows us to express our feelings and views about a subject.

  2. Poetry instructs us on how to live

    Poetry is essential because it aids us in comprehending and appreciating the world around us. Poetry casts a slant on reality, allowing the truth to creep up on you. Poetry instructs us on how to live.

  3. It honors Dylan Thomas's Legacy

    Every year, we commemorate Dylan Thomas' legacy and accomplishments on International Dylan Thomas Day. His writing has stood the test of time and is as pertinent today as it was sixty-five years ago in our tumultuous times.

International Dylan Thomas Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 14Sunday
2024May 14Tuesday
2025May 14Wednesday
2026May 14Thursday
2027May 14Friday

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