Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas (1914 – 1953) was a poet and writer whose works include the poems “Do not go gentle into that good night” and “And death shall have no dominion“; the ‘play for voices’ Under Milk Wood; and stories and radio broadcasts such as A Child’s Christmas in Wales and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog. He became widely popular in his lifetime and remained so after his premature death at the age of 39 in New York City. Born in Swansea he left school at sixteen and became a journalist for a short time. While living in London, Thomas met Caitlin Macnamara, whom he married in 1937. In 1938 they moved to the Welsh fishing village of Laugharne where from 1949 they settled permanently and brought up their three children. Thomas came to be appreciated as a popular poet during his lifetime, though he found earning a living as a writer difficult. His radio recordings for the BBC during the late 1940s brought him to the public’s attention, and he was frequently used by the BBC as a populist voice of the literary scene. Thomas first travelled to the United States in the 1950s. His readings there brought him a degree of fame, while his erratic behaviour and drinking worsened. During his fourth trip to New York in 1953, Thomas became gravely ill and fell into a coma, from which he never recovered. His body was returned to Wales, where he was interred at the churchyard of St Martin’s in Laugharne on 25 November 1953. Although Thomas wrote exclusively in the English language, he has been acknowledged as one of the most important Welsh poets of the 20th century. He is noted for his original, rhythmic and ingenious use of words and imagery.

Poetry collections

  • 1934 18 Poems, The Sunday Referee; Parton Bookshop
  • 1936 Twenty-Five Poems, Dent
  • 1939 The Map of Love, Dent
  • 1943 New Poems, New Directions
  • 1946 Deaths and Entrances, Dent
  • 1949 Twenty-Six Poems, Dent
  • 1952 In Country Sleep and other poems, New Directions
  • 1952 Collected Poems, 1934–1952, Dent
  • 2014 The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas: The New Centenary Edition, Weidenfeld and Nicolson

Collected prose

  • 1940 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, Dent
  • 1941 The Death of the King’s Canary (with John Davenport, posthumously published), Hutchinson
  • 1946 Selected Writings of Dylan Thomas, New Directions
  • 1953 Adventures In The Skin Trade And Other Stories (Adventures In The Skin Trade, an unfinished novel), New Directions
  • 1954 Quite Early One Morning (planned by Thomas, posthumously published by New Directions)
  • 1955 A Child’s Christmas in Wales, New Directions
  • 1955 A Prospect of the Sea and other stories and prose writings, Dent
  • 1957 Letters to Vernon Watkins, Dent
  • 1965 Rebecca’s Daughters, Triton
  • 1970 Twelve More Letters, Turret, (limited edition of 175)


  • 1942 The Conquest of a Germ
  • 1942 These are the Men
  • 1942 This is Colour
  • 1942 New Towns for Old
  • 1942 Balloon Site 586
  • 1943 Green Mountain, Black Mountain
  • 1943 Our Country
  • 1943 Is Your Ernie Really Necessary
  • 1943 Where are They Now?


  • 1954 Under Milk Wood (Radio play)
  • 1953 The Doctor and the Devils and Other Scripts


  • 1948 No Room at the Inn (with Ivan Foxwell, adapted from the 1945 play by Joan Birt)
  • 1948 The Three Weird Sisters (with Louise Birt, adapted from the novel The Case of the Weird Sisters by Charlotte Armstrong)
  • 1948 Rebecca’s Daughters (produced posthumously)
  • 1953 The Doctor and the Devils
  • 1964 The Beach at Falesa
  • 1964 Twenty Years a-Growing (unfinished)


  • 1963 Miscellany One: Poems, stories, broadcasts, Everyman Ltd, Reprint edition
  • 1971 Miscellany Two: Including A Visit to Grandpa’s and other stories and poems, Aldine, paperback / softback edition
  • 1978 Miscellany Three: Poems, Stories”, C Nicholls & Company
  • 1982 Selected Works, Guild Publishing, London
  • 1984 The Collected Stories of Dylan Thomas, New Directions Publishing
  • 1986 Collected Letters, ed. Paul Ferris, MacMillan
  • 1992 On the Air With Dylan Thomas: The Broadcasts, ed. Ralph Maud, New Directions Publishing
  • 1994 Eight Stories, W. W. Norton & Co
  • 1995 Dylan Thomas: The Complete Screenplays, ed. John Ackerman, Applause Books
  • 1997 Fern Hill: An Illustrated edition of the Dylan Thomas poem. Red Deer College Press, Canada
  • 2000 Collected Poems 1934–1953, London: Phoenix
  • 2000 Selected Poems, London: Phoenix


  • 1978 A Child’s Christmas in Wales illustrated by Edward Ardizzone, London: Dent (1996: re-published as Dolphin Paperback from Orion Children’s Books)
  • 1985 The Outing illustrated by cartoonist Paul Cox, London: Dent

Audio recordings

  • Dylan Thomas: Volume I — A Child’s Christmas in Wales and Five Poems (Caedmon TC 1002–1952)
  • Under Milk Wood (Caedmon TC 2005–1953)
  • Dylan Thomas: Volume II — Selections from the Writings of Dylan Thomas (Caedmon TC 1018–1954)
  • Dylan Thomas: Volume III — Selections from the Writings of Dylan Thomas (Caedmon TC 1043)
  • Dylan Thomas: Volume IV — Selections from the Writings of Dylan Thomas (Caedmon TC 1061)
  • Dylan Thomas: Quite early one morning and other memories (Caedmon TC 1132–1960)
  • Dylan Thomas: Under Milk Wood and other plays (Naxos Audiobooks NA288712 – 2008) (originally BBC – 1954)

Amazon Author Profile

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