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Saturday, 1 January, 2000, 00:10 GMT
Poet Dylan leads arts field

Dylan Thomas: Dylan Thomas: probably Wales's most famous literary export

The poet Dylan Thomas has come out top in a BBC Wales News Online poll to find out the top Welsh arts personality of the millennium.

The writer, who died in 1953 aged only 39, was a hugely influential literary figure and is arguably Wales's most prominent export in the field of literature.

He was voted top Welsh arts personality of the millennium in a poll conducted by BBC Wales News Online and Ceefax.

Top Welsh arts personalities
Dylan Thomas
Dafydd ap Gwilym
Tom Jones
William Morgan
Bryn Terfel

Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea in 1914, the son of Welsh-speaking parents. Dylan, however, was brought up speaking English and showed early signs of literary talent in that language.

He worked briefly as a junior reporter on the South Wales Evening Post in Swansea, and then moved to London in 1934, where his first volume of poetry, Eighteen Poems, was published that year.

Dylan Thomas Thomas was only 39 when he died.
His highly individual style, combining complex images with lyrical language, was acclaimed by critics and was popular with readers.

More books followed, and Thomas became a sought-after writer.

He married Caitlin Macnamara in 1937, and the couple moved back to Wales, living in various parts of south west Wales over the succeeding years.

Thomas wrote film scripts during the Second World War and he later produced his hugely popular "play for voices", Under Milk Wood, set in the fictional Welsh village of Llareggub.

Early death

He undertook several lecture tours of the United States, and during the fourth of these he collapsed in New York and died there in hospital.

The poet's regular heavy drinking was blamed as a factor for his collapse and his early death.

He was buried in his adopted home village of Laugharne in west Wales, where his wife, who died in 1994, was also interred.

Runners-up in the poll were the 14th Century Welsh-language poet Dafydd ap Gwilym, the Pontypridd-born singer Tom Jones, Bishop William Morgan, who translated the Bible into Welsh in the 16th Century, and the opera singer Bryn Terfel
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See also:
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Why did Dylan Thomas die so young?
27 Jul 98 |  Entertainment
Dylan Thomas - a talent scuppered by tragedy
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