Lib Dem Wales Minister Jenny (Baroness) Randerson has paid tribute to Dylan Thomas on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
Speaking about the poet, Jenny said:
Dylan Thomas is without a doubt a Welsh Great and we have reason as a nation to celebrate his life and works. His legacy comes in two forms.
Firstly, there is his literary catalogue, from the delightful ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’, through the moving ‘Do not go Gentle’ and ‘These Five Kings’ to the unrivalled delights of ‘Fern Hill’ and, of course, the masterpiece that is ‘Under Milk Wood’.
Secondly, he has put Wales on the map as a tourist destination. Tourism is vital to the Welsh economy and is worth £2.4 billion annually to the Welsh economy. Thousands come annually to visit his home, the boathouse in Laugharne. Millions have heard of his home city, the ‘lovely ugly town’ of Swansea, through his works.
Famously, even former President Bill Clinton came on a pilgrimage to Laugharne to visit the home of his favourite writer even though, equally famously, he failed to find it.
Wales is today (27 October) celebrating the centenary of the birth of a Welsh icon, a literary giant and one who has done more to boost Wales than he would ever have imagined in his lifetime. Happy birthday, Dylan Marlais Thomas.
The Wales Office, in partnership with Swansea University, will next week (3 November) be home to the Dylan Thomas International Prize at its London office, Gwydyr House. Jenny Randerson will host the event and announce the shortlist.