Black and white image of Dylan Thomas

Swansea University is based in Dylan Thomas’s hometown and is very conscious of its cultural inheritance. CREW has been leading in the study of Thomas and his influence since James A. Davies’s ground-breaking work in the 1990s to John Goodby’s innovative theoretical approaches to Thomas’s poems and annotations of his work.

CREW co-director Daniel Williams was academic advisor on a Swansea University/Richard Burton Archives collaboration with the Harry Ransom Centre, University of Austin, Texas project to digitise the Thomas papers.

Williams took part in the Harry Ransom Centre’s esteemed ‘Connecting Collections’ series with Professor Kurt Heinzelman of UT, Austin in a wide-ranging discussion of Thomas’s poetry and readings.

In 2020 CREW associates (who both completed their PhDs with us) Rhian Barfoot and Kieron Smith edited a volume in our series of monographs: New Theoretical Perspectives on Dylan Thomas (2020).

The Dylan Thomas Centenary year 2014 saw Daniel Williams commissioned by Literature Wales to create ‘Dylan Live’, a touring multi-media performance based on Williams’ research on Dylan Thomas. Creative artists developed collaborative practices and benefitted from career-enhancing new material and performances. Audiences in Wales, London and New York gained an awareness of the bilingual contexts of Thomas’ work and a new understanding of his influence on American culture. The show resulted in Wales’ national literature promotion agency developing an arts strategy that emphasised global collaborations based on creative practice. The Welsh Government featured ‘Dylan Live’ in its educational platform leading to KS3 and KS4 pupils’ knowledge of Thomas’ transatlantic impact. See: Dylan Live and Dylan Thomas educational site

In 2014 Swansea University purchased the newly uncovered 5th Notebook, edited by John Goodby and Adrian Osbourne.

In 2014 Kirsti Bohata organised a major Dylan Unchained, a major international conference in the poets’ centenary year.

Professor M. Wynn Thomas has written extensively on Dylan Thomas, most notably a chapter in his In the Shadow of the Pulpit - '"Marlais": Dylan Thomas and the "Tin Bethels"' (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2009). This traces the Unitarian roots of Thomas’s vision.

From 2000 – 2018 John Goodby led a Dylan Thomas project within CREW. Outputs from this project included the editing by Professor John Goodby of The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas: The Centenary Edition (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2014). John Goodby’s study The Poetry of Dylan Thomas: Under the Spelling Wall (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2013). The organization by Dr John Goodby, in collaboration with Dr Chris Wigginton (Trinity College, Carmarthen) of an international Dylan Thomas Conference, as part of the annual Dylan Thomas Festival hosted at the Dylan Thomas Centre by the City and County of Swansea. The publication of the groundbreaking collection of essays, Dylan Thomas, New Casebooks series, (London: Palgrave, 2001), co-edited by Professor John Goodby and Dr Chris Wigginton.Discovering Dylan: A Companion to the Collected Poems and Notebook Poems of Dylan Thomas by Professor John Goodby (2017).

Swansea University awarded an Honorary Fellowship in 2006 to the poet’s daughter, Aeronwy (1943 – 2009).