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About Dylan Thomas

Welsh poet Dylan Thomas was the son of an English master at Swansea Grammar School, which he attended. Moving to London, he pursued a career as a journalist and broadcaster. His first two books of poetry, Eighteen Poems (1934) and Twenty-Five Poems (1936), drew attention to him, but it was with his 1946 collection Deaths and Entrances (1946) that he became famous. He was also known for his prose, published in The Map of Love (1939) and the book of short stories Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog (1940). Thomas' writing had a dramatic tone expressed in rhythmic free verse that touched emotionally on matters of love and death, which increased his celebrity but kept him from being regarded among the best poets of his time. His training in radio made him an effective reader of his own work, and he made many recordings of it. In Country Sleep and Other Poems (1951) was another well-received collection, but Thomas died of alcoholism two years later at the age of 39. Some of his best-known works, among them the radio play Under Milk Wood and the prose collection Adventures in the Skin Trade, were published posthumously. Various composers and recording artists have set Thomas' poems to music or used readings of his work on their recordings. Particularly notable among those who have musicalized Thomas is Robin Williamson on his 2001 album The Seed-at-Zero. ~ William Ruhlmann

Swansea, Wales
27 Oct 1914