Saturday 11 October 2014 – Faculty of English
2014 marks the centenary of Dylan Thomas’s birth. As such, it provides an ideal opportunity to reevaluate a body of work that has for too long precluded scholarly consensus. The sticking point has always been a biographical one. Thomas’s untimely death in New York in 1953 makes for a juicy story, yet it has created a kind of blind spot in critical as well as popular thought. The poet’s public image – a drunk, a womanizer, a Welshman – continues to influence the way his written craft is received, as though his wild behaviour should provide the first or only means of access to the poetry.
Those involved in Resounding Dylan Thomas intend to make a change. Building on the work of John Goodby’s new monograph, The Poetry of Dylan Thomas: Under the Spelling Wall (2013), this symposium will bring together a diverse group of scholars, not only to debunk the Thomas myth, but also to determine what place he has – or could have – in twenty-first century culture. The symposium will feature papers on various aspects of Thomas’s technique – his revisionary habits, his engagement with new media, his influence on recent writing – as well as a reading of his poetry.
Speakers: John Goodby, Jim Keery, Leo Mellor, Rod Mengham, Jeremy Noel-Tod, Peter Robinson, and Zoë Skoulding