Dylan Thomas – The Broadcasts

Dylan Thomas – The Broadcasts, edited and introduced by Ralph Maud (London: Dent, 1991)

Dylan was fascinated by radio from a young age: as a teenager he formed the Warmley Broadcasting Corporation with his friend Daniel Jones, which relayed programmes from an upstairs room in the Jones household. His first BBC broadcast, ‘Life and the Modern Poet’, was delivered on 21 April 1937 when he was just 22 years old.

Following this, Dylan did a considerable amount of work as a professional broadcaster for the BBC, giving an approximate total of 145 separate engagements between 1943 – 1953.  The subject matter ranged from his childhood memories to discussions of other writers.

He worked with a variety of producers and performers, including John Arlott (best known now as a cricket commentator), Louis Macneice, Aneirin Talfan Davies, Douglas Cleverdon and Roy Campbell. All confirm that Dylan took this work incredibly seriously, and his talents were much sought after. As Arlott confirmed in a 1973 BBC programme, ‘The Dylan Thomas File’, “In all the time I worked with him he never let me down in any way at all. I can only say that he worked for some five years for me, and I believe did some two thirds of all his broadcasts for me. He was never late; he was never drunk; and he never did a bad job.”

The broadcasts reproduced in this book (each with a short introduction by Ralph Maud) are as follows:

  • Reminiscences of Childhood (1943) version 1
  • Quite Early One Morning (1944)
  • Reminiscences of Childhood (1945) version 2
  • Memories of Christmas (1945)
  • Welsh Poetry (1946)
  • On Reading Poetry Aloud (1946)
  • Poets on Poetry (1946)
  • Poems of Wonder (1946)
  • The Londoner (1946)
  • Wilfred Owen (1946)
  • Margate – Past and Present (1946)
  • How to Begin a Story (1946)
  • What Has Happened to English Poetry? (1946)
  • Holiday Memory (1946)
  • Walter de la Mare as a Prose Writer (1946)
  • The Crumbs of One Man’s Year (1946)
  • Sir Philip Sidney (1947)
  • The Poet and his Critic (1947)
  • Return Journey (1947)
  • A Dearth of Comic Writers (1948)
  • The English Festival of Spoken Poetry (1948)
  • Living in Wales (1949)
  • Edward Thomas (1949)
  • On Reading Aloud One’s Own Poems (1949)
  • Swansea and the Arts (1949)
  • Three Poems (1950)
  • Poetic Licence (1950)
  • Persian Oil (1951)
  • The Festival Exhibition (1951)
  • Edgar Lee Masters (1952)
  • Home Town – Swansea (1953)
  • The International Eisteddfod (1953)
  • A Visit to America (1953)
  • Laugharne (1953)

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