Tag Archives: Dylan Thomas

A Welsh Celebration of the Winter Solstice

Christmas Revels in Boston, December 2015

By Susan Sit, President, WSWNE


Snow falling on the final scene at the Christmas Revels, Boston, MA.

Many WSWNE members drove to Boston in December to see the Christmas Revels, many of us for the first time. What a treat it was! The Revels at Christmastime are held at the Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, Boston. As Paddy Swanson the Artistic Director said “Its a wonder that it has taken so long to get to Wales. After all, our Musical Director is an Emlyn and I grew up a few miles away from the border of this magical country……. Our good friend Susan Cooper, (note: who had a grandmother from West Wales) author of the much-loved Revels poem “The Shortest Day”…used to to play as a child around the sea towns of North Wales… Susan helped us write a script that conjures a Wales of humor, warmth, and harmony, all set against a background of ghostly horses, shape-changers and dragons.” George Ellyn said “I went back to Wales. I plunged into the deep, deep pool of Welsh Music”

Can you just imagine what this particular Revels was like for us? Some from Wales with tears of Hiraeth in our eyes; for the fans of Welsh myth and legend watching the red dragon defeat the English white dragon; and for singers, singing along with Ar Hyd Y Nos, Cwm Rhondda, Men of Harlech, Sospan Fach and more? It truly was magical and we are so happy to have made the effort to go to Boston.

Magdalen Dowden said: What fun the interactive Christmas Revels were, in Cambridge this last December.  The stage was set in scenes mimicking the village in Dylan’s play “Under Milk Wood”.  The performances by singers, actors and dancers, both adults and children, conjured a strong feeling of hiraeth for our little group; lots of tears from those of us far away from home. The cast was coached in Welsh language and Welsh accent, even the children, and they were practically faultless. The Mari Lwyd, a white skeletal horse of South Walian tradition, was spectacular. A wonderful evening with good friends from the Welsh Society.

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

What an amazing holiday event…the range & variety of performances, theater play, story telling, song & dance and more!  Oh yes…we sang along a few times too! A wonderfully good time for all. The pub afterward added another dimension to a fun night! Don W. Sit

Susan Sit, President, WSWNE


Poet Tony Curtis, Author, Alchemy of Water Book, Portait,

A Welsh Poet and the Ghost of Dylan Thomas

Welsh Society of Western New England’s presentation: “A Welsh Poet and the Ghost of Dylan Thomas” presented by visiting Welsh poet Tony Curtis. Tony Curtis was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2001. He is Emeritus Professor of Poetry at the University of South Wales (Glamorgan). In 2014, Dylan Thomas’s centenary year, he toured a talk based on his memoir “My Life with Dylan Thomas”. Email WelshWNE@gmail.com for more information or check WelshWNE.org for details.

Poet Tony Curtis was born in Carmarthen, Wales in 1946. He studied at Swansea University and Goddard College, Vermont, and is the author of several collections of poetry, including War Voices (1995); The Arches (1998); Heaven’s Gate (2001) and Crossing Over (2007). Tony Curtis is Emeritus Professor of Poetry at the University of Glamorgan where he established the Creative Writing program in the 1980s and directed the M. Phil in Writing for many years. In 2001 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded a D. Litt in 2004. He has toured extensively giving poetry readings and lectures and won the 1993 Dylan Thomas Award and a Cholmondeley Award in 1997. He lives in Barry, Wales.

The presentation centers on Tony Curtis’ experiences and poetry writing, growing up in the shadow and the shining light of Dylan Thomas, Wales’ greatest ever writer: “Dylan was the mountain you had to climb or bypass; tunnelling through him left you in the dark.”

Join us at 2:00PM for the presentation followed by a light Welsh afternoon tea. Save the date!!

Tickets are $10 each, check payable to WSWNE, by mail from Susan Jenkins Meers, Secretary, WSWNE, 10 Geraldine Drive South, Ellington, CT 06029.
Email WelshWNE@gmail.com for more information or check WelshWNE.org for details.