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Arts & culture

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

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 under the age of 30 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 Factory, and Ken Follett who wrote The Pillars of the Earth.

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.

Our national museums will give you a showcase of our past and present culture. And best of all they are free to visit.
Dylan Thomas wrote Under Milk Wood at this boathouse in Carmarthenshire. Learn more about him and other homegrown talents.
The world's largest arts and literary event is held in Hay-on-Wye each spring. Find out more about this and our other cultural events.
The National Library of Wales is one of the greatest libraries in the world. It's home to millions of books, manuscripts, maps, pictures and music.
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