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This year's centenary of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas' birth has sparked a creative explosion and is also a chance to reassess a writer whose bohemian reputation as a drunk and a womanizer has sometimes eclipsed his work.The Dylan Thomas 100 Festival includes events across Wales – some of them in the estuary-side village of Laugharne where he and his wife Caitlin lived for 15 years – as well as in London and New York, where the poet (born Oct. 27, 1914) died at age 39 . Throughout the year, visitors to the "Pop-Up Writing Shed" are being invited to invent new words, as Thomas did, for inclusion in @dylandictionary – a new Dictionary for Dylan.Sheers says one reason for Thomas' U.S. success was his mastery of poetry as performance. "Howl" author Allen Ginsberg, one of the leading Beat poets, met Thomas in New York in 1952 . Despite the popular appeal of Thomas' poetry, it is rarely studied in British universities, Sheers said, and is studied in U.S. colleges less than it used to be.
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