A Visit to America is set in New York in 1953 and follows a troubled private eye as he trails a British poet on an assignment for TIME Magazine, whom the poet is suing for libel.
The private eye’s life is in personal and professional crisis as he is dragged into the early McCarthy witchhunts through his army past coming back to haunt him. As he carries out his assignment his exposure to the poet’s world and work begin to exert an influence on the crucial moral and familial choices facing him.
Dylan Thomas died on 9th November 1953 in the Chelsea Hotel. The trial never came to court
WEP plan to shoot in New York in 2013 and a full scale transmedia strategy is in place for release in 2014 which will coincide and link up with numerous, large-scale Dylan Thomas centenary events around the world. A Visit to America promises to be THE movie event of this important literary anniversary.
CEO of WEP, Vaughan Sivell says “It’s really exciting to be working with Owen Sheers on a project that will showcase such a great Welsh writing talent and highlight Thomas’ impact in the States in a really exciting and unusual way – it feels very much in the rebellious spirit of Thomas himself.”
About the Writer:
Owen Sheers is a Welsh poet, author and scriptwriter. He has published two poetry collections, The Blue Book and Skirrid Hill which won a Somerset Maugham Award. His debut prose work The Dust Diaries, a non-fiction narrative set in Zimbabwe won the Welsh Book of the Year 2005. Owen’s first novel, Resistance has been translated into ten languages. Owen co-wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation, released in the UK in 2011. In 2009 he published the novella White Ravens, a contemporary response to the myth of Branwen Daughter of Llyr, as part of Seren’s ‘New Stories from the Mabinogion’ series.
Owen’s theatrical writing includes his libretto for Rachel Portman’s oratorio, The Water Diviner’s Tale, which premiered at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms in 2007. Unicorns, almost, a one man play about the life and work of WWII poet Keith Douglas, was developed with Old Vic, New Voices. In Easter 2011 Owen wrote the script and novelisation (The Gospel of Us) for The Passion, National Theatre of Wales’ 72 hour site-specific production in Port Talbot staring and directed by Michael Sheen, The Observer described the production as ‘the theatrical event of the decade’. Owen’s short play The Fair & Tender will be performed as part of the Bush Theatre’s 66 Books. In January 2012 Owen’s play The Two Worlds of Charlie F. was performed at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. The play is based on the experiences of injured and wounded soldiers who also performed in the production. A BBC One Imagine about the project will be broadcast in June 2012.
Owen also presents arts and literature programmes for TV and Radio. In 2009 he wrote and presented A Poet’s Guide to Britain, a 6 part series for BBC 4 about poetry and landscape. The accompanying anthology is published by Penguin.
Owen regularly teaches at Arvon centres and Ty Newydd. His professional positions have included being Writer in Residence at The Wordsworth Trust and a 2007/8 Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library. He is currently the 2012 Welsh Rugby Union Artist in Residence