Throughout the year, a lively programme of art exhibitions inspired by poetry and literature
In the spring of 1936, Dylan Thomas was introduced to Caitlin Macnamara in a Fitzrovia pub, The Wheatsheaf. He was 21, and an already established poet. She was nearly a year older with ambitions to be a dancer. Dylan was completely entranced by her and, just over a year later, the two were married.
Virtually penniless, the couple spent the first weeks of married life with his parents in Wales before moving to New Inn House at Blashford in Hampshire, the home of Caitlin’s mother, Yvonne Macnamara. Nora Summers, a close family friend and also Yvonne’s lover, was a trained artist and a keen photographer. Her photographs of Dylan and Caitlin offer a fascinating glimpse of their life together and her portraits of Dylan, among the poet’s favourites of himself, have come to define how we see him.
This exhibition offers an unrivalled opportunity to view the colourful early life of one of the greatest of all British poets, in the centenary year of his birth.
The book Dylan Thomas and the Bohemians, The Photographs of Nora Summers by Gabriel Summers and Leonie Summers with Jeff Towns is newly published by Parthian Press. Price £20, it is available for purchase in the Poetry Society Café, London.
Image: Dylan and Caitlin, Blashford, 1937, by Nora Summers. © Gabriel and Leonie Summers.
Mark Andrew Webber’s monoprints are his response to If I Lay on my Back I Saw Nothing but Naked Women, a pamphlet of prose poems by Jacqueline Saphra, published by Emma Press.
Webber’s prints, displayed alongside lines from one of the prose poems, are all inspired by moments in the poems, from the crafty stepmother showboating at parties (Naked 12) to the paint-snob stepfather (Naked 24). The striking silhouettes and brightly-coloured shapes complement the vivid, eerie atmosphere of Saphra’s poems, a watchful child’s perspective on the eccentric comings and goings of parents and step-parents.
To purchase any of the images in the exhibition, email the artist at: markawebber AT gmail.com
A launch of the book If I Lay on my Back I Saw Nothing but Naked Women (Emma Press, 2014) with a reading by Jacqueline Saphra, will be held at the Poetry Café, London, on Monday 24 November 2014, 6.30pm-9.30pm.
Image: Naked 9 2014 by Mark Andrew Webber. Monoprint.
Poetry Café (The Poetry Place)
22 Betterton Street
London WC2H 9BX
Email: Poetry Café
Telephone: 020 7420 9888
12 noon - 11pm Monday to Friday
7pm - 11pm Saturday
Closed on Sunday, and on occasion for private hire - please check the calendar before you visit.