Travel Classics Writers Contests
Writers Contest Winner
Best Travel Story Wales
sponsored by Visit Wales,
American Airlines and Welsh Rarebits
for "In Search of Dylan Thomas:
Seeking the elusive poet whose words brought Wales to the world"
At Swansea's Dylan Thomas Centre, a stone's throw from the Bay of Bristol, are photos
of long lists of words Thomas compiled as he wrote. He placed scrolls of rhyming words before
himself like an artist's palette, selecting just the right shade for the meaning he wished to
Audio recordings play in corners of the center. As I listen I understand that, similar to James
Joyce, the best way to comprehend Thomas is to hear his work read aloud, ideally in his own voice.
Thomas' work has been called "thrillingly incomprehensible" but as I listen to the emotion in his
voice, I can hear what the Welsh call hiraeth, an ineffable longing, and it all starts to make
sense. Read aloud, Thomas' poetry becomes music. Which makes me think that Bob Dylan, who took his
name from the Welsh bard, is his natural heir: a musician who turns songs into poetry.
About the Author:
Michael Shapiro took the slow train to Wales in 2003 to interview renowned author Jan Morris
for his book A Sense of Place, a collection of conversations with the world's leading
travel writers. He soon returned on assignment for National Geographic Traveler, which
became a cover story on Morris' corner of Wales. Returning in June 2012 for Travel Classics
led to an assignment to write about Wales' narrow-gauge railways for American Way. He
is the only writer to have won the Travel Classics Writers Contest four times.
About the prize:
Complimentary spot in Travel Classics West 2012, plus
round trip air for two courtesy of American Airlines AAdvantage
mileage certificate for 100,000 miles, 4 nights dinner,
bed and breakfast at selected Welsh Rarebits - Hotels of Distinction,
for two people and a self-drive car for 5 days. Prize has been
arranged by Visit Wales - proud Grand sponsor of the 2012 Travel Classics Conference
Best Travel Story Arizona 2012
3-night vacation for two at the new
Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe.
Deadline: April 1, 2013. Find out
Best Travel Story Wales 2012
4-night trip for two in Wales
sponsored by Visit Wles, American Airlines and Welsh Rarebits.
Best Travel Story Vancouver 2011
5-day vacation in Kelowna, BC
sponsored by Tourism Kelowna.