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Dylan Thomas Library

Celebrating the Lyrical Life of Dylan Thomas

Dathlu Bywyd Barddol Dylan Thomas

On 9 March 2024 a brand new exhibition, Dylan: The Lyrical Life of Dylan Thomas, will open in The Riverside: Library, Gallery & Visitor Information at Haverfordwest, to celebrate the life and work of one of Wales' best poets.

Although Dylan's life was short and full of chaos, he was a prolific writer, and this exhibition looks at his work as a poet and playwright. Among the highlights of the exhibition will be original manuscripts of his poems, drafts and notes, as well as his famous word list and a sketch of the imaginary village 'Llareggub'.

The exhibition also celebrates 70 years since the first broadcast of his 'drama for voices', Under Milk Wood, and visitors will have the opportunity to see the original script and listen to a selection of clips from the iconic BBC production starring Richard Burton.

Rhian Gibson, Director of Communications, Engagement and Partnerships at the National Library of Wales said:

We’re very pleased that this exciting collection and exhibition is being opened in Haverfordwest, it is an opportunity for people from beyond the vicinity of ​​the National Library in Aberystwyth to experience and enjoy this very important part of our collections. As a poet who is known all across the world as one of Wales' best poets, the Dylan Thomas' collection is among the treasures of the Library and Wales. We would encourage everyone to visit this special exhibition.

Mari Elin, Interpretation Officer at the National Library of Wales said:

“We are glad to bring this special exhibition to Pembrokeshire - an area that was so close to Dylan's heart. The intention of the exhibition is to look at Dylan's work and life through his own magical words, especially his poetry and the iconic play, Under Milk Wood. We hope that visitors will be delighted with this opportunity to see a unique selection of Dylan's manuscripts, as well as special works of art inspired by his work, and that they too will be inspired to create!”

As well as looking at Dylan's work, the exhibition will also show a selection of unique works of art that have been inspired by Dylan's life and words over the decades. Among these works will be pieces by Ceri Richards, Peter Evershed, Ray Howard Jones and Paul Peter Piech.

The exhibition will open with a very special event on Friday 8 March in the company of Poet Laureate Simon Armitage (at the time of writing, all tickets were fully booked). As part of the Poet Laureate Library Tour the evening will include readings by him and his guests Owen Sheers and Bethany Handley. Other events to accompany the exhibition and full details will be shared on the Riverside Library, Gallery & Visitor Information Gallery website and Facebook page.

Showing alongside the Dylan: The Lyrical Life of Dylan Thomas exhibition is the permanent exhibition Pembrokeshire: Past and Present, focusing on the history, culture and landscape of Pembrokeshire, which will display a selection of new items this season.

Both exhibitions will run until Saturday 14 September 2024.