World’s first giant knitted poem – a Dylan Thomas hack

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The Poetry Society rolled out its giant centenary poem at the British Library, London, on 7 October. Revealed in its full glory, the eye-popping, 13 x 9 metre, hand-knitted version of Dylan Thomas’s ‘In my Craft or Sullen Art’ stopped passers-by in their tracks and quickly drew an admiring crowd. This included knitters and crocheters who had helped to make the piece (and for whom it was the first opportunity to see it fully assembled), as well as the national press.

The poem is the work of more than one thousand knitters and crocheters worldwide, who furiously clicked needles and hooks throughout September, to turn the individual letters of Thomas’s poem into colourful 12-inch squares.

Judith Palmer, Director of the Poetry Society, commented: “We wanted to celebrate the Society’s centenary with a fun, grand-scale project in which many people could participate, that was about ‘poetry’ but also summoned up the idea of ‘society’, to reflect all the thousands of people who’ve kept the Society going since 1909. The time, commitment and creative skills that people have given to this enterprise has been overwhelming.”

The giant knitted poem was displayed at the Southbank Centre, London, to help celebrate National Poetry Day Live, and will be on show in Swansea, Thomas’s home town, at the end of October. Thereafter it will tour to Manchester and beyond – watch this space for details.

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