Press Releases 2014-2015

Poet Menna Elfyn celebrates Dylan Thomas’ centenary with a series of prestigious commissions and events


Professor Menna Elfyn - renowned Welsh poet and Director of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Creative Writing Programme – is celebrating Dylan Thomas’ centenary by being part of a range of events commemorating the poet’s contribution to the cultural life of Wales, Britain and beyond.

Next Monday, October, 27th, one hundred years to the day that Dylan Thomas was born, a new poem written by Menna Elfyn will be presented to Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland at a prestigious dinner in Swansea.

Commissioned by the British Council, Ireland, Menna’s work – originally written in Welsh – has been translated into Irish and English and will be presented to the President of Ireland by the First Minister of Wales, Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones AM.

A respected poet in his own right, President Michael D. Higgins has published many works and Professor Menna Elfyn is looking forward to welcoming the Irish President to Wales with her Welsh / Irish / English poem.

“It’s was an honour to accept this commission and to celebrate, through words, the special literary traditions and relationships that exist between Wales and Ireland,” says Professor Menna Elfyn.

The previous night (October 26th), on the eve of Dylan Thomas’ birthday, Menna Elfyn will also be reading one of her poems at an event entitled, ‘Death and Entrances’ in London.

During an evening of poetry, art and music, nine of Britain’s best-loved poets will be performing works they’ve written specifically to celebrate Dylan’s birthday.

The poets include Menna Elfyn, Gillian Clarke, Owen Sheers, Ruth Padel, Sue Hubbard, Patrick McGuinness and Clare Pollard.  Dannie Abse's final poem, 'Soap Bubbles' which was written just weeks before the poet passed away will also be read.

Artist, Dan Llywelyn Hall has made paintings in response to the poems which will be on display during the evening, and musician, Geraint Watkins will also perform.

And following on from the success of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s inaugural Dylan Thomas International Summer School which was held at the University’s Lampeter campus in July this year, Professor Menna Elfyn is delighted that the programme is set to run again next summer.

“The Dylan Thomas International Summer School was a great success and I’m delighted that the University has decided to continue with the course and to build on the relationships fostered with colleagues from Universities in the United States.

“The Summer School proved to be an invigorating fortnight of introducing spirit of place to writers and emerging writers including many students from America, and rediscovering through visits and workshops the work of Dylan Thomas and the essence of great poetry,” continues Professor Menna Elfyn.

“South West Wales is synonymous with Dylan Thomas and being a University deeply rooted in the area, the idea of arranging a Summer School was an exciting way of marking the poet’s centenary,” she adds.  “We now look forward to developing a programme for the 2015 summer school, focusing on some of our other great Welsh writers and looking at the way the Welsh landcape has shaped our literature.”

For further information on Professor Menna Elfyn and on the Creative Writing programmes she runs at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, please go to or call 0300 500 1822.

Note to Editor

1. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University

2. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University.

3. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014.


Further Information

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