An international day to celebrate the life and work of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, held each year on 14th May, the anniversary of the date when Under Milk Wood was first read on stage at 92Y The Poetry Center, New York in 1953.

“An international Dylan Thomas day gives us a chance each year to celebrate, wholeheartedly, the renowned bard’s achievements. Activists and campaigners are increasingly using the words from the poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, to rage, rage against the dying of their rights. Dylan Thomas wrote this emotional villanelle as he was struggling to communicate how he felt as he watched his much-loved father die. Over sixty-five years later, these perfect lines are giving future generations a ‘voice’ to pass on important messages. I want my grandfather to be recognised as the creator of those famous words and to highlight the popularity of his work across the globe.” — Hannah Ellis

Love The Words Competition

This year, young people aged 7-25, from anywhere in the world, are invited to take part in Love the Words, an online competition in celebration of International Dylan Thomas Day. Simply download the opening paragraphs from Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood, cut up the words, use them to create your own poem, take a photo of your poem, and share it with the world on Twitter. Use the hashtags #LovetheWords and #DylanDay so everyone can see your poem! And use the same hashtags to find everyone else’s, too.

The competition is open for entries from 9.00am on Wednesday 15 March until midnight on Friday 5 May. Poems may be in either English or in Welsh. A selection of entries will be chosen by Hannah Ellis, Dylan’s grand-daughter,and showcased on this website on International Dylan Thomas Day 2017, Sunday 14 May.

“When my grandfather first performed Under Milk Wood on May 14th 1953 he told the actors to, ‘Love the words, love the words’. That is exactly what I want you to do. Play with them, change their order, make them roll off your tongue, and mould them to jump off the page. Use your imagination too and get your senses working. Taste and touch the fishingboatbobbing sea, smell the silent cobblestreets and look and listen to the snouting, velvet dingles. Cut, create and,most importantly, have fun!” — Hannah Ellis

Download the Under Milk Wood opening paragraphs

Download PDF (English) – Under Milk Wood

Download PDF (Welsh) – Dan y Wenallt

For more information contact:

Tel: 07846484274

International Dylan Thomas Day 2017 Events

Dylan Day events taking place on and around May 14th.

Getting Involved

Visit the Dylan Day Facebook & Twitter pages

Download Dylan Day posters & logos

Dylan Day Downloads

Contact the Dylan Day coordinator, Mab Jones


Visit the Literature Wales website

Dylan Day Past Events Gallery

Click on images to scroll through the gallery.

Dylan Day Quotes

Click on image to enlarge