Visitors to Wales are expected in droves from around the world to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Wales' iconic poet, Dylan Thomas, who wrote Under Milk Wood and Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
As visible internationally for his poetry as for his roistering image, Thomas died in New York in 1953 at 39 after a bout of heavy drinking. Hotels, pubs, bookstores and walking-tour companies in Wales are preparing for the onslaught of pilgrims. Swansea, where he was born, and the town of Laugharne, where he is buried, can expect the biggest numbers.
Thomas wrote more than half of his collected poems while in his teens. In 1934, when he was twenty, he moved to London, won the Poet's Corner book prize and published his first book, 18 Poems, to great acclaim.
The organizers expect the Dylan 100 international program to reinforce the poet's global reputation, provide an economic boon for the region and attract celebrities. One, the organizers hope, could be former United States president Bill Clinton, a Dylan Thomas fan. Some of the celebrities, such as Wales National Poet Gillian Clarke and actor Martin Sheen, are already at work promoting the centenary around the world.
A plaque to Dylan Thomas was unveiled in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey, some 30 years after he died.
Date written/update: 2014-10-27