Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) was a Welsh-born poet, beloved by readers both during and after his brief life. Born in Swansea, Dylan Thomas left school at the age of sixteen and briefly worked as a journalist before his poetry career took off. It was the publication of “Light breaks when no sun shines” in 1934 that caught the attention of the literary world, establishing Dylan Thomas as a major literary voice.
Fellow poet T.S. Eliot encouraged a young Dylan Thomas, shepherding his first work, 18 Poems, into print in late 1934. His second volume of poetry, Twenty-five Poems, appeared on 1936, all before Thomas moved to London. However, he was already developing a reputation as a heavy drinker during this time. During World War II, Dylan Thomas struggled to support his family and his drinking worsened, although he found some work writing screenplays for the British film industry. After the war he wrote numerous radio scripts for the BBC. During this time, Dylan Thomas would drink upwards of 15 or 20 pints of beer in a single day.
Beginning in 1950, Dylan Thomas undertook several reading tours in the United States, where he literary reputation and his drinking increased greatly, although there are some who claim that he over-exaggerated his drunkenness in an attempt to enhance his reputation as a raconteur. In early October 1953, in New York City, Dylan Thomas fell into a coma as the result of his drinking and died, cementing his reputation as a brilliant poet who died too soon.