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Crimes in Verse: Dylan Thomas’s Steamy Love-letters to an American Mistress Revealed

By Harriet Staff


—by the Daily Mail OF COURSE. (And not a second too late…) They’re being published too, proving once and for all that there is no escape from the eye of tabloids, EVEN IN DEATH. Poor lad.

Never before seen letters written by hellraising poet Dylan Thomas to the American journalist he had a passionate affair with are to be published for the first time.

Over the course of six letters, the Welsh writer tells Pearl Kazin ‘I kiss your heart. I kiss you everywhere’ while delighting in a secret liaison behind his wife Caitlin’s back.

Thomas’ stormy marriage never recovered from the affair, widely considered to be the most passionate and destructive of several he was known to have had before his death from complications relating to alcoholism aged 39 in 1953.

Telling Kazin that he feels so close to her ‘that the earth stops, the seas dry up’, whenever he thinks of her, the letters provide a unique insight into Thomas’ famous affair with the former deputy literary editor of Harper’s Bazaar magazine.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Thomas’ birth, the collection will be published for the first time next month in a book titled ‘A Pearl of Great Price’ by Jeff Towns.

The first letter sent by Thomas to Kazin was written in April 1950 and sent from the Savage Gentleman’s Club, then based in St James’, London.

Beginning ‘Peal, darling’, the letter ends ‘I’ll sit here drinking Punch and reading sherry until your letter comes. The world is empty this side of the damned sea. I love you, Dylan’.

His final letter, dated February 1951 and written in Iran while producing a film-script for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, is equally dramatic.

In it Thomas says: ‘I am writing this is tasty, stiff-lipped, liverish. British guesthouse in puking Abadan, on the foul blue boiling Persian buggering Gulf’.

Thomas first met Kazin in early 1950 when he visited the offices of Harpar’s Bazaar to sell an essay.

Although the affair is believed to have lasted only around a year, it is widely considered have been more passionate and destructive than his relationships with Pamela Glendower and Liz Reitell.

Wowzers. Read all about it at Daily Mail.

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Posted in Poetry News on Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 by Harriet Staff.