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VIDEO: Poet debuts work about The Hepworth Wakefield using words of Dylan Thomas

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A poet has crafted a verse about The Hepworth, using only words from the works of Dylan Thomas.

David Annwn, 60, from Calder Grove, has written the poem, ‘Through the rotating shell’ as part of celebrations marking 100 years since Thomas’ birth in 1914.

He was asked to create a poem for the international Dylan Thomas Unchained centenary conference, which will take place in Thomas’ hometown of Swansea later this year.

And he performed his first reading at The Hepworth today.

Mr Annwn, who has been on the poetry circuit for more than three decades, wanted to produce something unique that linked Thomas’ work with the city’s cultural heritage and the work of Wakefield born sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth.

Mr Annwn said: “As an Anglo-Welsh poet, I was honoured to be asked to take part in Thomas’ centenary celebrations. It is going to be a vibrant and huge event with cultural figures from all over the world.

“I would describe myself as quite and innovative poet and I wanted to produce an adventurous and exciting piece. I have always been interested in Hepworth’s work - I think it is sheer and brilliant with such poise.

“I think it’s a real pity that Dylan Thomas didn’t write about Hepworth’s art as a lot of the imagery they use in their work is identical - the sea, the womb, faces, thread and shells - hence the name of the poem, which is a line from Thomas’ poem ‘I Dreamed My Genesis’.

“Dylan Thomas and Barbara Hepworth were actually in the same artistic circle and had many mutual acquaintances. Thomas’ childhood friend, Denis Mitchell, was actually Hepworth’s main assistant from 1949 to 1959 so their lives were in many ways inter-linked.

“So I decided to use Thomas’ words to focus on The Hepworth and Barbara’s work. Thomas himself writes ‘now make the world of me as I have made’ in his poem ‘Foster the Light’ and that’s what I’ve done. I have taken words from a number of his works and put them together to create this poem and what I have found so spectacular is how fitting his words are to describing the building and Hepworth’s art.”

Dylan Thomas was a Welsh poet and broadcaster, born on October 27, 1914. His most famous works include the poems ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ and ‘And death shall have no dominion’ as well as his Under Milk Wood play.

A documentary about the run up to his death in November 1953, entitled ‘Dylan Thomas: A Poet in New York’ will be shown on BBC2 at 9pm on Sunday.

Mr Annwn will perform ‘Through the rotating shell’ as part of the Dylan Thomas Unchained conference at Swansea University from September 3 until September 5.

He will also give a talk about Thomas’ life, focusing on an argument he had with film maker and voodoo priest Maya Deren.

 

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