Thomas Portrait At Auction/Dante Celebration Launches/Iran’s Homage To Poets – Poetry News Roundup April 14th

Today’s poetry news round-up takes a look at the last portrait of Dylan Thomas, another Dante project, and the unusual alley names in an Iranian village.

Swansea Artist Portrait of Dylan Thomas Goes up For Auction

A painting which is part of a series painted by Gordon Stuart in 1953 was created at Dylan Thomas’s home. It is one of the last paintings that was created of the Welsh poet, and when it goes up for auction at the weekend it is hoped that it will fetch as much as £15,000.

Stuart was a Canadian who was based in Swansea where he worked as a lecturer and then a painter until his death in 2015. In 1995 as part of the year of literature in Swansea he was made the artist-in-residence at the Dylan Thomas Centre, a post he held for 15 years.

Whilst he painted many portraits during his career, it is the series of portraits that he created of the Welsh poet that are considered to be his most famous. The oil paintings were done over a period of three afternoons during the late summer of 1953. Thomas died just a few weeks later at the age of just 39 having drunk 18 whiskies at a Tavern in New York.

The portrait that is up for auction is the final one of the series and one that the artist kept, it was shown in 1954 at the National Eisteddfod, and also during the centenary celebrations for the poet. The sale will be online on 17th April. One of the other portraits is currently held at The State University of New York

Stuart was responsible for creating portraits of other iconic writers including Seamus Heaney, Benjamin Zephaniah and Kingsley Amis.

In Viaggio Con Dante Launches

As part of their celebrations into the life and works of Dante Alighieri, the Italian Ministry of Culture have launched their digital campaign to help celebrate the 700th anniversary of the poet”s death.

Travelling with Dante is a visual journey through the Divine Comedy by way of libraries, archives, and state museums giving people the opportunity to see illustrations, portraits and books that are all linked to the poet. It is hoped that the campaign will become a permanent digital fixture.

Literary Street Names

A number of alleys in northwestern Iran in a village in the Hamedan province have recently all been named after masterpieces of literature from all over the world.

The project was realised by a number of literature lovers and it has given the village of Rasoul Abad a rather unique status across the region.

Names include The Shahnameh, after the poem by Ferdowsi the Persian poet, and Golestan and Boostan, a poem by another Persian poet Sadi, The Alchemist after the book by the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho and The Little Prince based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry the well-known French writer. There is even an alley name The Green Mile, inspired by the novel by Stephen King.

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