Literature Wales and Welsh Government announce second International Dylan Thomas Day

Following the success of the inaugural International Dylan Thomas Day in 2015, details of the second annual celebration of Wales’ most famous literary son have been announced, with events as far afield as Perth and Patagonia.

‘Dylan Day’ is held each year on 14 May, the date Under Milk Wood was first read on stage at 92nd Street Y, The Poetry Center in New York in 1953. It is part of a three year package of funding by Welsh Government, and aims to celebrate and raise the profile of Thomas’ work in Wales and abroad through a variety of activities, including events, educational resources and social media activity.

The first International Dylan Thomas Day took place in 2015 following requests to establish a public day, after the year-long Dylan Thomas 100 Festival was met with great public enthusiasm. Building on that legacy, the day this year includes a variety of activities, some of which take direct inspiration from events in the centenary year and last year’s celebration.

Dylan Day 2016 begins in New Quay, with sand artist Marc Treanor creating a piece on the beach from 8.00 am inspired by this year’s Dylan Day logo, which is designed by north Wales artist Jonathan Edwards. This is followed by a programme of events across the world, including all of the key locations associated with the poet: New Quay, Laugharne, Swansea, London, New York and, this year, Cornwall, where a plaque will be unveiled for ‘Dylan’s Corner’ at the Ship Inn, Penzance.

The 2016 award ceremony for the prestigious International Dylan Thomas Prize, in collaboration with Swansea University, will also take place on 14 May. The event opens at 1.30 pm at the Great Hall on the stunning new Swansea University Bay Campus. The winner of the £30,000 prize for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, will be announced in the afternoon. As the Prize celebrates its 10 year anniversary, the general public will be able to purchase tickets on this memorable occasion.

There will be several online events. Thomas’ granddaughter Hannah Ellis will be launching DiscoverDylanThomas.com, the official website about Dylan Thomas on behalf of his family and estate. Another launch will take place in Swansea, of the new Return Journey walking app, developed by Adrian Metcalfe, and performed on the day by Lighthouse Theatre.

In New York, as well as a reading of the Michael Sheen-led performance of Under Milk Wood at 92nd Street Y, acclaimed rap artist Baba Brinkman will be writing and releasing an original rap inspired by the Welsh poet. This will be available online. On social media, the Under Milk Wood Twitter Exchange will take place on Friday 13 May from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm via the Dylan Thomas Centre @DTCSwansea.

Literature Wales has also announced that Dylan’s Great Poem will return in 2016. Dylan’s Great Poem invites everyone aged between 7 and 25 years old, living anywhere in the world, to submit up to four lines of poetry written in English or Welsh. Poets Rufus Mufasa and clare e. potter will create a 100 line bilingual poem from selected entries. This year, the Great Poem has linked with Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, run by the Poetry Society. Selected entrants living in Wales, and within the 11-17 age range, will be invited to a poetry writing masterclass.

Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, said: "International Dylan Thomas Day is a wonderful way to celebrate one of the greatest English-language poets of the Twentieth Century."

The Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, said: “I’m delighted that this International celebration of Dylan Thomas is gathering momentum and that the line-up for the second year looks so inspirational. Our hope is that this day will become a legacy and a focal point for the interest which was shown in Dylan Thomas and Wales during the centenary celebrations.”

Find out more on the Literature Wales website www.literaturewales.org and by following the hashtags #DylanDay and #DyddDylan on social media.

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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