white-horse1It was 55 years ago today that Welsh poet Dylan Thomas died in New York City while on a stateside reading tour. To mark the occasion, the Welsh Assembly Government in New York has put together the Dylan Thomas Walking Tour of Greenwich Village. It’s available as an MP3 file for download, or as a text version that can be printed out.

The tour highlights 10 sites associated with Thomas in Greenwich Village, including the White Horse Tavern, a place he frequented and one of my favorite literary watering holes. The 39-year-old writer’s luck ran out after he downed a reported 18 shots of whiskey at the tavern. He collapsed later that night at the Hotel Chelsea and never recovered.

Along with learning about Thomas’ Bohemian life in the Village, his favorite haunts, and places he performed, the audio tour has lines from some of his best-loved poems. At the tour’s end, be sure to stop by the White Horse for a taste of literary history. –Shannon McKenna Schmidt