An original Dylan Thomas Appeal Fund letter

dylan thomas fund appealOne of the original Dylan Thomas Appeal Fund letters, dated November 10, 1953.

It is signed by W.H. Auden, E.E Cummings, Arthur Miller, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, Tennesse Williams and Thornton Wilder. The letter asks for a donation to cover medical bills and funeral costs.


The letter reads as follows:

The Dylan Thomas Trust Fund
c/o Philip Wittenberg, Treasurer,
70 West 40th Street, New York, N.Y.

November 10, 1953

Dear Friend,

I am sure you have read in the press of the sudden and tragic death of the great poet Dylan Thomas. Thomas died of encephalopathy at St Vincent’s Hospital in New York on November 9th, after an illness of four days. He was only 39 years old. He was attended by one of the finest brain surgeons in New York and everything possible was done to save him.

Thomas’ death is an incalculable loss to literature. His work was growing in stature with every year. But there is also a personal tragedy – he leaves a widow without means of support and three children, which gravely concerns his friends and admirers.

As spokesmen for a committee of his friends we are making this urgent appeal to you for a contribution to the Dylan Thomas Fund, which we have hastily organized, which will be used to meet his medical bills and funeral costs and, if the response is as generous as we hope, to tide his family over the next difficult months.

Please send your check to The Dylan Thomas Fund, care of Philip Wittenberg, Treasurer, 70 West 40th Street, New York City. An accounting of disbursements from the Fund will be sent to the contributors at a later date.

W.H. Auden Marianne Moore
E.E. Cummings Wallace Stevens
Arthur Miller Tennessee Williams
Thornton Wilder