North West Wales

Dylan Thomas legacy discussed by Welsh poets in Canada

Image copyright A Chittock
Image caption Jemma L King praised Thomas's 'unique voice and experimental approach'

Two Welsh poets have been invited to a major Canadian poetry festival to discuss the influence of Dylan Thomas.

Ifor ap Glyn, from Caernarfon, and Jemma L King, who lives in Corris, have been asked to attend The March Hare event in Newfoundland.

It is part of the British Council's Starless and Bible Black global programme marking Thomas's centenary.

Mr ap Glyn said he would show how Thomas's work was influenced by Welsh though he spoke little of it himself.

Image copyright British Council
Image caption Ifor ap Glyn wanted to give Canada a taste of Welsh language poetry

"Dylan Thomas is a major figure in the Welsh literary landscape and indeed wherever English is spoken," said Mr ap Glyn, who won the crown for poetry at last year's National Eisteddfod.

"However people sometimes are not aware that Wales has another, older literary tradition, in the Welsh language.

"Although Dylan spoke little Welsh himself it was part of his family background and a probable influence on his metrics and his use of assonance and internal rhyme - both strong characteristics of Welsh language poetry."

The British Council Starless and Bible Black programme has give the chance to contemporary Welsh poets to perform in countries Thomas visited during his lifetime.

Ms King said: "As a poet, and a half-Welsh poet at that, I can't help but acknowledge the debt that is owed to Thomas.

"His 'devil may care' attitude might have cemented him in the minds of many as the 'class clown' of poetry, but actually, it's his unique voice and experimental approach to the page that legitimates him as a 'great'.

"I'm thrilled that we are able to communicate our collective gratitude for his artistic legacy in a whole year of Dylan Thomas celebrations."

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