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US diplomat explores Dylan's American links

A high-flying US diplomat has visited Swansea to explore Dylan Thomas' links with America.

Lewis Lukens

Lewis Lukens, the Chargé d'Affaires at the US Embassy in London, called into the city's Dylan Thomas Exhibition during a visit to Wales. 

Mr Lukens, who served as America's ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau from 2011 to 2014, was especially interested in memorabilia relating to Dylan's time in the USA.

His interest in Dylan mirrors that of former American Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, who have also spoken of their admiration for the poet.

Swansea Council runs the Dylan Thomas Exhibition at the city's Maritime Quarter.

The exhibition, which was refurbished in 2014 to mark the 100th anniversary of Dylan's birth, includes an interactive 3D timeline exploring Dylan's life and work, as well as a deconstructed shed installation that explores the methods of his composition and his creative relationships.

Jo Furber, Literature Officer at Swansea Council, showed Mr Lukens around the exhibition.

She said: "People from all over the world visit the Dylan Thomas Exhibition, which speaks volumes for his enduring global appeal.

"Many Americans make up our contingent of regular international visitors, who, like Mr Lukens, are often keen to find out more about Dylan's time in the USA.

"Dylan spent a lot of time in America in the early 1950s, so there's plenty of memorabilia at the exhibition that will meet the expectations of people looking to explore that period of his life.

"As a council, we'll continue to celebrate Dylan's work and his links with Swansea. This helps raise the profile of the city across the world, boosts tourism and encourages our young people to benefit from Dylan's legacy by helping to inspire creativity.

"Dylan's legacy is also an important element of Swansea's culture, which features, as you would expect, in our bid for UK City of Culture 2021 status."

The Dylan Thomas Exhibition has also been picked by Culture Trip, a website with six million monthly readers, as one of their favourite things to do in Wales in 2017.

With a social media following of two million followers around the world, Culture Trip shares recommendations and personalised content on cultural hotspots across the UK and overseas.

Other features of the Dylan Thomas Exhibition include an audio-visual installation, with the voices of Prince Charles and Richard Burton among those reciting lines from his work.

Interactive, touch-screen displays also focus on Dylan's technique and cast a light on the circumstances surrounding his death in New York City in 1953.

Have a look at www.dylanthomas.com for more information or call 01792 463980.


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