dylan_day_poster_english_final_websiteDylan Day, in full the International Dylan Thomas Day, took place for the first time this year on May 14th, “the date Under Milk Wood was first read on stage at 92Y The Poetry Center, New York in 1953,” according to the official Literature Wales website. And for those who want to recreate that original experience, there is a recording of a BBC Wales broadcast in October 2014 courtesy of the 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center, staged in New York for the Dylan Thomas centenary. “92Y is proud to mark the inaugural Dylan Day by sharing this recording once more,” the hosts declared.

The official Wales Government website announced:

Starting in 2015, and part of a three year package of funding announced by Welsh Government, Dylan Day will celebrate and raise the profile of Thomas’ work in Wales and abroad through a variety of activities, launch events, educational resources and social media activity.

Twitter activity under the #DylanDay hashtag looks considerable, with Neil Gaiman tweeting “Listen to the marvellous @michaelsheen-led UNDER MILK WOOD from the @92Y at http://www.92Y.org/dylanday . Today is UMW’s 62nd birthday.” The BBC also offered a free interactive ebook, “Dylan Thomas – The Road to Milk Wood,” including “performances by Hollywood stars, long-hidden archive clips and Dylan’s own words, telling the story of his extraordinary life and the creation of Under Milk Wood,” but unfortunately only available in the UK.

The Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea also held its own commemoration of Dylan Day. Gillian Clarke, national poet of Wales since 2008, has written a long piece in The Guardian on why Dylan Thomas deserves his own international day. Whether this will become as important an event in Welsh culture worldwide as Burns Night is for Scotland or Bloomsday is for Ireland remains to be seen, but Men of Harlech everywhere will surely be hoping.


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