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Kershner, R. B., Jr. ?Dylan (Marlais) Thomas? Dictionary of Literary Biography: British Dramatists Since World War II. Ed. Stanley Weintraub. Vol. 13. Detroit: Gale Research, 1982. Literature Resource Center. Web. 24 February 2010.
Middleton, David E. ?Dylan (Marlias) Thomas.? Dictionary of Literary Biography: British Poets, 1914-1945. Ed. Donald E. Stanford. Vol. 20. Detroit: Gale Research, 1983. Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 March 2010.
Dylan Thomas has been known for his poems, short stories, and screenplays. According to R. B. Kershner at the University of Florida, Thomas's contribution to drama was probably as an inspired performer, and entertaining public personality, and tragically, as a man doomed to act out the myth of himself.
Thomas was born in Swansea, Wales in 1914. Thomas's father D. J. Thomas was an English teacher and his mother Florence Thomas stayed home with him and older sister Nancy. Thomas went to grammar school from 1925-1931. According to David E. Middleton of North State University, ?Thomas entered into his most productive three year period of his life,? after leaving grammar school.
Thomas began working as a copywriter but then moved on to reporting for the South Wales Daily Post. Not having a care for reporting, Thomas would rather be in a pool hall or other locations with liquor available and aspiring poets. He did do some publishing throughout the year of 1933 in a newspaper, the Sunday Referee. In 1934 Thomas published his first book, '18 poems', and received the second ?Poets' Corner? Prize for his book of poems. In 1936, Thomas wrote his next book of poems titled 'Twenty-Five Poems'. The publisher was J. M. Dent who accepted the collection poems even after being turned down from other publishers due to the nature of the poems. During this year Thomas meet a woman named Caitlin MacNamara while out drinking and were later married in July 1937. During WWII, Thomas wrote The Map of Love and The World I Breathe, composed of poems and short stories about marriage, war, and becoming a father.
Thomas and Caitlin had there first child, a son, Llewelyn. In 1938 Thomas received the Blumenthal Poetry prize that brought in some money to help with the ever growing debt. Thomas found occasional work and then received job as a documentary script writer for a group of film companies frequently working under government contract. With Thomas working steadily the family had money coming in, but yet Thomas still managed to be in debt and drinking excessively. In 1943, Thomas and Caitlin had there second child, a girl, Aeronwy. Thomas came out with the volume of Deaths and Entrances in 1946 which included the poem ?Fern Hill?. He also was doing broadcasting for the BBC radio station, and read some of his own poetry on air. Thomas and Caitlin now had a third son, Colm. Thomas was presented in 1947 with the opportunity to tour in America, and awarded a grant from The Authors' Society Traveling Scholarship Fund.
The American tour was offered with payment this also gave Thomas a chance to show off his poetry to get recognized. According to Middleton, Thomas spent most of what he earned on the spot on alcohol. Around the time of the second American tour a secret amount of $800.00 was given as a gift to Caitlin to insure that the poet's wife saw at least that much of the earnings.
Thomas went on to win the Foyle's Poetry Prize for his book 'Collected Poems' in 1952. On the third tour to America, Thomas went for a meeting to go over the developing drama Under Milk Wood.
Thomas's next and last tour to America included his participation in ''Poetry and the Film'' discussion, organized by Cinema 16, on October 1953. In November a doctor was called in to give Thomas an injection of ACTH to relieve the effects of incessant drinking. Thomas returned to the hotel again after drinking that same night and said according to Middleton ?I've had eighteen straight whiskeys. I think that's the record.? According to Kershner, on November 5, a combination of ACTH injections, sedatives, assorted pills offered by friends, and alcohol left Thomas in a coma.? Four days later Thomas was dead at age 39. Thomas was buried in the churchyard in Laugharne, were a white cross marks his grave.
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Welsh poets, Dylan Thomas, Caitlin Thomas, Laugharne, Under Milk Wood, 18 Poems, Aeronwy Thomas, literature resource center, dictionary of literary biography, caitlin macnamara, stanley weintraub, r b kershner, donald e stanford, 18 poems, aspiring poets, swansea wales, gale research, ed stanley, british poets, collection poems, public personality, dylan marlais thomas, poets corner, book of poems, florence thomas, nancy thomas, sister nancy
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