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Letter: Dannie Abse was a cultural attache for Welsh writers


Dannie Abse was a steady supporter of other Welsh writers; he was, in a sense, our cultural attache in what Dylan Thomas called the "capital punishment" London. Dannie and his wife, Joan, often stayed at their home in Ogmore-by-Sea, Vale of Glamorgan, and generously allowed Poetry Wales Press, later Seren Books, to set up office at the place. Dannie was president of the Welsh Academy of Writers. Through his work and right up to the final collection Speak, Old Parrot (2013), Dannie drew on his boyhood in Cardiff, the landscape of Wales and especially his fascination with the ribald medieval Welsh poet Dafydd ap Gwilym.

He was a life-long supporter of Cardiff City FC, though his early claim to have played for them at Ninian Park was later clarified: Shrewsbury Town had turned up a player short and Dannie had swapped sides. It was not in a Bluebirds shirt that he broke his leg in that match and ended his career.

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