Dylan's Childhood Home Set to Inspire Writers of the Future; COUPLE TO RUN SERIES OF WRITING COURSES

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), September 10, 2010 | Go to article overview

Dylan's Childhood Home Set to Inspire Writers of the Future; COUPLE TO RUN SERIES OF WRITING COURSES


Byline: ROBIN TURNER

THE birthplace and early home of Dylan Thomas is to become a centre for new and aspiring writers.

It is hoped that the house at 5, Cwmdonkin Drive in Swansea's Uplands will encourage and inspire writers of the future. A series of 10 week-long courses based at the writer's home will start with a course called "Poetry - to begin at the beginning".

The courses are being run by Swansea business couple Anne and Geoff Haden who have restored the house to its Edwardian best and offer Dylan Thomas fans the chance to stay at the inspiring house where he wrote many of his early works.

Now, in conjunction with the poet and writer Peter Thabit Jones, an expert on Thomas' work who has lectured on the writer all over the world, they hope the house will inspire a new generation of wordsmiths.

Regarded as one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, Thomas started composing poems as a child in the house, leaning against a boiler at the top of the stairs.

In his early years he left it only to explore leafy Cwmdonkin Park where he "endured, with pleasure, the first unrequited agonies of love, the first slow boiling in the belly of a bad poem".

Thomas said the view of what he called "the splendid curving shore" of Swansea Bay from the rear of the four-bedroom home inspired him to start writing.

The house has been amagnet for Thomas fans from across the world and has attracted the likes of ex-US president Jimmy Carter and Rolling Stone Mick Jagger.

It was constructed by local builderWJHarding who moved into the adjoining semidetached house at the same time as Dylan's parents, schoolteacher DJ Thomas and his wife Florrie, and their daughter Nancy.

The house cost pounds 350 and was bought with a 5%mortgage on a 99-year lease. Dylan was born in the front bedroom overlooking Cwmdonkin Park.

The courses start on Thursday, September 23 and for the first five participants to enrol there is a discounted course fee of pounds 35 instead of the normal pounds 75.

Mr Thabit Jones said yesterday: "Many people want to write and don't know where to start, so the aim of the course is to explore some aspects of writing and poetry and to help participants develop their own style.

"We want the course to be at the level of the participants who will be encouraged to develop their own work and to explore their own creativity.

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