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.

“International Dylan Thomas Day gives us a chance each year to celebrate Dylan Thomas’s achievements. There is still the enthusiasm for a national day to mark my grandfather’s life and legacy and we want to keep May 14th as a prominent date on the literary calendar.

Dylan Thomas’s writing has travelled through time – it is as relevant today in our troubled times as when it was written sixty-five years ago. It continues to travel across the globe reaching new audiences everyday. His poetry lives on.

We invite you to tell us about how you are going to mark the day and encourage you, wholeheartedly, to get involved and to love the words.” — Hannah Ellis

International Dylan Thomas Day 2021 & the Covid-19 pandemic

On Friday May 14th 2021 we celebrate International Dylan Thomas Day, the seventh annual celebration of ‘Dylan Day’, a day that is now firmly established on the arts calendar. Each year we encourage arts organisations and groups to stage events, as well as encouraging Dylan Thomas fans to celebrate in their own ways, particularly on social media.

This year we are still facing very worrying and challenging times; concern about the health of our family, friends and the wider community, as well as worrying about the economic impact of the conditions we have been living under. It is very unlikely that traditional live events will take place again this year, and with that in mind, we would invite organisations and individuals to think about how they could celebrate Dylan Thomas on-line. We would encourage blogs, vlogs, videos, sound recordings, social media content, and more. Please ensure that any activities are carried out safely and adhere to government Covid guidelines.

The Dylan Day team have planned a Love the Words Poetry Share, and a Dylan Thomas Photo Share.

We’d love to make International Dylan Thomas Day this year a celebration of the creativity and imagination of the arts sector and of Dylan Thomas fans, and for us all to play a small part in boosting morale in these troubling times.

Please get in touch and let us know how you will be celebrating. You can contact us via email

Thank you for your continued support.

Hannah Ellis

International Dylan Thomas Day 2021 Events

Up to date information about Dylan Day events, self-led activities, and places you can visit on and around May 14th.

Getting Involved

Visit the Dylan Day Facebook & Twitter pages

Download posters & logo

If you are planning an event or would like more information



If you would like us to add your Dylan Day event to this page



Dylan Thomas Photo Share 2021

For 2021 we hope you’ll join in the celebration by taking part in our Dylan Thomas Photo Share. Make a photograph, short video, or artwork, inspired by the words of Dylan Thomas, and share it on social media. You can take inspiration from any of Dylan’s works, but if you would like a line to inspire you, we have chosen “How time has ticked a heaven round the stars” from Dylan’s poem The Force That Through The Green Fuse.

From March 1st please share your image or video on social media using the hashtags #DylanThomasPhotoShare and #DylanDay. We will share entries on our social media channels and on this website.

We would also be delighted if you could share your entries again on Friday May 14th using the hashtags #DylanThomasPhotoShare and #DylanDay

Download a PDF of the details.

Love the Words Poetry Share 2021

Love the Words 2021: a global poetry share!

Love the Words is an annual celebration of the power and magic of words, and is part of International Dylan Thomas Day, which takes place on May 14.

This year, Love the Words takes the form of a global haiku share, and everyone who loves words, anywhere in the world, is welcome to take part. This includes poems in other languages and by writers of all ages.

As a share event, rather than a competition, we won’t be selecting winners this year. The hope of Hannah Ellis (Dylan’s grand-daughter and creative director of the day) and Mab Jones (poet and former coordinator of the celebration) is that we all come together at this difficult time to share words, thoughts, and ideas, and give a glimpse into our separate, but still connected, worlds.

Haiku are short, 3 line poems. You may follow the traditional rules of haiku, or break them entirely. Quite often they are ‘snapshots’ of everyday places and events, but point to larger themes such as love, loss, beauty, hope, and the eternal.

To inspire you, we’ve taken a quote from Dylan’s poem The force that through the green fuse drives the flower: “How time has ticked a heaven round the stars”. Please respond to this line in your haiku, however you see fit.

We’d love you to share your haiku on social media using the hashtags #LoveTheWords and #DylanDay. We will re-share, then, for all to read. Alternatively, or in addition, you can email them to us, as Infinity Books UK will once again create a free digital booklet of your poems to release on 14 May. Make sure to use the hashtags so we can find you! We’ll aim to include and to share as many as we can.

Copyright of the poems remains with the authors, although by taking part you grant us permission to share your haiku on our social media, in the e-booklet, and in our publicity relating to Dylan Day and the competition.

When you send your poems to, please give your full name, age, country, and name of parent or guardian if under 16. But whether you email, or choose to share your poem on social media, or both, please do so by midnight 1 May if you’d like one of your poems to be included.

You are also welcome to share beyond this date, you are encouraged to share as many poems as you like, and please let’s all take part on the most important day of all: #DylanDay,14 May!

International Dylan Thomas Prize 2021

One of the highlights of International Dylan Thomas Day is the award ceremony for the Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize. This year the ceremony takes place online on Thursday May 13th.

Launched in 2006, the annual Prize is one of the most prestigious awards for young writers, aimed at encouraging raw creative talent worldwide. It celebrates and nurtures international literary excellence. The £30,000 Prize is awarded to the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under. Click here to find out more.


The International Dylan Thomas Prize has worked extensively over many years with school, college and university students. The DylanED Programme was established to ensure the development of this aspect of the Prize and to work alongside the talented writers of Swansea and Wales. Click here to find out more.

Things to do on International Dylan Thomas Day

Click here for some ideas for ways to celebrate International Dylan Thomas Day during a pandemic.

Finding out more about Dylan Thomas

Dylan Day is a time each year to remember and celebrate Dylan Thomas. You can find out more about his work, life and places in many interesting ways.

You can visit museums and exhibitions and stay in curious dwellings associated with Dylan Thomas. Find out more by going to our Places page.

If you enjoy exploring new areas there are many entertaining self guided tours where you can discover Dylan’s places from the quaint Welsh sea towns that inspired Under Milk Wood to the arty pubs in busy, bustling cities around the world. Find out more by going to our Walking Trails and apps and e-books pages.

If you want to discover, or rediscover the work of Dylan Thomas we encourage you to do so. Find out more by going to our Books and Recordings and Audio and Video pages.

If you are a teacher or educator, we have resources you are welcome to utilise. Find out more by going to our Education page.

Dylan Day Past Events Gallery

Click on images to scroll through the gallery.

Dylan Day Quotes

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