America embraced Dylan and his natural gift with words like no other British poet before him. When in New York, most evenings found him in the White Horse Tavern in Greenwich Village, at the bar drink in hand, always surrounded by adoring students and fellow writers, holding forth in his inimitable style on whatever subject.
Greenwich Village after the war was the one place in America that nonconformists, individualists, bohemians, avant-gardists, experimenters, lesbian and gays could feel at home. The Village provided an escape from post-war austerity and the conservative mores of mainstream American society.
When Dylan Thomas was a young man in Swansea, America was the vibrant, modern, alluring place depicted in the movies he saw in his local cinema and in the magazines and books he read. Was the America he experienced as a visiting celebrity writer the America he had imagined? Does what happened in New York help us unravel the tangled web of Dylan’s character and shed light on that last creative burst before his untimely demise?
Watch an interview with George Capsis, a contemporary of Dylan's, talking about what drew the young poet to Greenwich Village.
George Capsis gives his account of Dylan Thomas' time at the White Horse Tavern.