Simon Bowden, Press Officer for the Ver Poets has sent us this information for an event coming up on 16th Ocotber (just too late for us to get it in issue 128 unfortunately). Not folk music-related possibly, but a bit of cross-over stuff here and there doesn’t hurt.
(He is also organising an evening of folks songs, music and poetry at the Maltings Arts Theatre at 7.30 pm on Saturday November 1st: We will post details of this event up once they are a bit more formalised)
Dylan Thomas returns – to St Albans
The rumours have started. A dead poet has been spotted late at night, stumbling through the Maltings. “Dylan Thomas is still alive,” it’s whispered. “Surely that was Elvis?” comes the reply. But the witness knows what they saw.
Dylan Thomas was born 100 years ago – and died prematurely in New York in 1953. He’s remembered for a small body of masterpieces – notably Under Milk Wood , A Child’s Christmas in Wales, and miraculous poems like Fern Hill, Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night and The Force that through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower.
His boozing and womanising on tour in the United States made him something of a legend – a caricature of the doomed poet, wrestling with the curse of celebrity and the desperate need to make a few bucks. To many he was a romantic figure like Keats, his splendid enthusiasm and vitality refusing to grow old gracefully in the grey, post-war world.
Flawed and occasionally ridiculous though he was, he inspired a generation of poets and writers, among them, of course, Bob Dylan who took his name. Later his poetry went out of fashion as the pendulum swung back towards the laconic truths of Larkin. The idea of the poet as a bard – a person with a Vision – came to seem old fashioned, overly grandiose.
But his fizzing words, like the lager, touched parts that ordinary modern verse fails to reach. His legacy lives on. On Thursday October 16 the chairman of the Ver Poets Society, Terry Jones, will give a talk on the dead poet in St Albans library at 7.30 pm. People are invited to come along – and just listen or read a favourite poem. A recording of Dylan’s own voice will be played.
And with the event happening just days from the poet’s 100th birthday on October 27th, if the moon is right, if the atmosphere is right, the druids at Ver Poets believe it’s possible that the man’s ghost will walk again between the bookshelves of the library in the Maltings. Come along and see for yourself if they’re right.
Thursday October 16, 7.30 pm at St Albans Library in the Maltings Shopping Centre
Dylan Thomas Evening
Entry: £4 includes refreshments.
Contact: Simon Bowden
Press officer, Ver Poets, 07812 172824