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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 September, 2003, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Drive to spread Dylan's words
Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas was 39 when he died in New York on 9 November 1953
The lyricism of Dylan Thomas will add a touch of poetic licence to the most unlikely locations in his home city.

Those Swansea people who may not be able to recite a line of his prose may have little excuse when everything from bin lorries to road sweepers carry some of his famous lines.

Swansea Council has selected 19 different quotes from his poems and plays for more than 400 of its vehicles as the city prepares to mark the 50th anniversary of his death.

There will also be tributes from his famous admirers including former US president Bill Clinton and Port Talbot-born screen legend Richard Burton.

It's not going to be a sombre affair. We are celebrating the poet's life and work
Festival organiser David Woolley

The council hopes it will help build a new audience for his work before the annual Dylan Thomas Festival gets underway on 27 October and ends on the anniversary of his death, 9 November.

Two flags commemorating his life will also fly at County Hall and the Guildhall.

This year's festival is being billed as biggest since its launch in 1998.

Dylan's way with words
Light breaks where no sun shines
Beginning with doom in the bulb, the spring unravels
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams will return to the city where he was a schoolboy to perform a reading of his own poetry and works by other writers.

It opens with the relaunch by EMI of the CD Under Milk Wood featuring Elton John, Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler and Swansea singer Bonnie Tyler.

Making a guest appearance at the event in the Dylan Thomas Centre will be Beatles producer Sir George Martin, who oversaw the original version.

Festival organiser David Woolley said, "We always aim to get top quality events and eminent guests.

"The festival has been growing year on year, but I think the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Dylan's death has led to us offering the best line-up so far.

"However, it's not going to be a sombre affair. We are celebrating the poet's life and work."

Mr Wolley who is based at the Dylan Thomas Centre said the city had already seen a rise in interest about the poet from across the world.

"We've had a growing number of inquiries from outside Swansea and abroad and visitor numbers at the centre have been well-up through the summer."


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