Picture of Visitors to Hay on Wye during the annual Hay Festival
Visitors to Hay on Wye during the annual Hay Festival

Welsh arts & culture

We like to celebrate our love of arts and literature. Hay-on-Wye in mid Wales is home to the world’s most famous literary and arts festival. When Bill Clinton came to town, he called it ‘the Woodstock of the mind’.

The famous poet Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea in South Wales in 1914. His poems and short stories, and in particular his play Under Milk Wood, work best when read out loud. Today the Dylan Thomas Prize is awarded every two years to recognise the best published writer in English aged 39 or under from anywhere in the world. 2014 marked the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas, with year long celebrations held across the world. Dylan Day is now celebrated every 14 May.

More recent writers to come from Wales include children’s favourite Roald Dahl, who wrote Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factoryand Ken Follett who wrote The Pillars of the Earth.

2016 marks 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl – the world’s number one storyteller. Born in Cardiff of Norwegian descent, Roald Dahl was one of the most inventive, mischievous, and successful storytellers. There will be an array of events, exhibitions, happenings and grassroots activity taking place in Wales throughout 2016 to celebrate the centenary of his birth, particularly over the weekend of 17-18 September, when Cardiff will be transformed into the 'City of the Unexpected' – the biggest arts event ever to happen on the streets of Cardiff. 

Literature Wales selected two world-class poets and performers as new National Poet of Wales and Young People's LaureateIfor ap Glyn took on the role of National Poet of Wales in May 2016, championing Welsh poetry and taking it to a global stage. Sophie McKeand began her work as Young People’s Laureate in April 2016, an initiative which gives youth communities the opportunity to develop their creative voices.

The National Museum in Cardiff is the home of the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings outside Paris. Entry to see the collection, which includes Renoir’s famous Blue Lady, La Parisienne, Rodin’s The Kiss and Monet’s Waterlilies paintings, is free.

The Artes Mundi Prize is held here every two years and is one of the largest visual art prizes in the world. The international prize celebrates and recognises artists across the globe.

Find out more about our writers, museums and cultural events in the links below.