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Dylan Thomas's ‘Return Journey to Swansea’: A Collaborative Radio Poetic

Dylan Thomas's ‘Return Journey to Swansea’: A Collaborative Radio Poetic This article explores how Dylan Thomas's engagement with radio created an innovative collaborative radio poetic. Thomas contributed many broadcast essays and features to the Third Programme, the Home Service, the Welsh Home Service and the Eastern Service. Scholars have also long been aware of Thomas's important creative relationship with BBC producers such as Douglas Cleverdon (who produced Under Milk Wood). Yet there remains little analysis of his features for radio. Drawing on archival memos from the BBC's Literary Output Committee (held at the BBC's Written Archives in Caversham), this article initially considers the institutional relationship between poets and the BBC during the 1940s. Against this institutional backdrop, it then focuses on a specific 1947 BBC feature that Thomas wrote about post-blitz Swansea: ‘Return Journey to Swansea’. Examining the history and practicalities of the collaboration involved between Thomas and the producer P. H. Burton, the discussion links the feature's social commentary to the audio radio poetic collaboratively created between poet, broadcast institution, producer, and medium. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

Dylan Thomas's ‘Return Journey to Swansea’: A Collaborative Radio Poetic

Modernist Cultures , Volume 14 (1): 20 – Feb 1, 2019

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2019.0242
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article explores how Dylan Thomas's engagement with radio created an innovative collaborative radio poetic. Thomas contributed many broadcast essays and features to the Third Programme, the Home Service, the Welsh Home Service and the Eastern Service. Scholars have also long been aware of Thomas's important creative relationship with BBC producers such as Douglas Cleverdon (who produced Under Milk Wood). Yet there remains little analysis of his features for radio. Drawing on archival memos from the BBC's Literary Output Committee (held at the BBC's Written Archives in Caversham), this article initially considers the institutional relationship between poets and the BBC during the 1940s. Against this institutional backdrop, it then focuses on a specific 1947 BBC feature that Thomas wrote about post-blitz Swansea: ‘Return Journey to Swansea’. Examining the history and practicalities of the collaboration involved between Thomas and the producer P. H. Burton, the discussion links the feature's social commentary to the audio radio poetic collaboratively created between poet, broadcast institution, producer, and medium.

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Feb 1, 2019

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