Dylan Thomas International Summer School

‘The Spirit of Place’: Tuesday 31 May – Friday 10 June 2016

A ten day residential summer school for international students organised by poet Menna Elfyn, focussing on the extraordinary landscape of Wales as a catalyst for creative writing. Internationally renowned writers will run writing workshops and master classes in Lampeter and there will be lectures and visits to culturally significant locations.

‌Reflecting its stunning location in rural west Wales, the Dylan Thomas International Summer School this year focuses on ‘the spirit of place’. Your writings will be inspired, not only by the beauty of the Welsh countryside, but also by frequent group excursions to the sea and mountains, as well as to castles, cromlechs, and cathedrals.

Guided by Jeanette Winterson’s dictum that ‘Writing is where the wild places are,’ creative writing workshops will encourage you to open up to and explore ‘wild places’ within and without. The focus will be on the ways we make our lives out of our environments, remembered or half-forgotten, mythologised or actual. In readings and through the stimulus of prompts, we will consider real and imaginary places, mull over the opposition of home and travel, and meditate on the intersection of place and the self. Workshops will follow a cross-disciplinary approach employing poetry and prose, aided by presentations on art and music.

Wales is a small country within the United Kingdom, with its own ancient language and its own history, with a sophisticated literature stretching unbroken from the 6th century and rich cultural traditions that have survived despite the arrival and literary power of English - to which they have also contributed in the writings of poets such as Dylan Thomas.

While all course materials and readings will be in English, you will learn how the musicality and poetic tradition of Welsh has shaped much writing in English. Readings by Wales’ finest novelists, poets, creative nonfiction and screen writers, plus visits by artists and musicians, will further introduce you to Welsh history and culture.

  • £1,550 per person (inclusive of En-suite accommodation / meals / airport pick up & return and all excursions)
  • Students may choose whether or not they wish to take the program for credit: a 30 credit module at the DTISSs = 3 graduate credits (with additional final project), 3 undergraduate credits.  

For more information please contact

Ms Joanne Price, Cultural Studies, UWTSD Lampeter
Email: joanne.price@uwtsd.ac.uk  

*** The attached provisional itinerary will provide interested parties with the shape and scope of the 2016 Summer School. It will be replaced by the full brochure once the details have been finalised**** 


Download Dylan Thomas Application Form 2016


Non-visa nationals’ (that includes US passport-holders) do not normally need to pre-apply for a visa from the US in order to study at a Summer School, though they must request immigration permission under a short-term study visa when they enter the UK.

In order to do so they must inform immigration when they arrive at the border that they are in the UK to study on a short course/summer school (which is of less than 6 months). They will need evidence of their offer so that they have the details to hand on arrival as well as documents showing that they meet the rules for the short-term study visa.

Details of these rules are given at:


Different rules may arise if any of the students are not US passport-holders, plan to do other things while they are in the UK, or already hold some kind of valid UK visa.

Feedback from previous year's summer school (participants from Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York)

Lampeter was such a magical place that no matter where you went on the grounds you were inspired. I learned so much from the exercises and prompts that have improved my writing skills and made my work more creative. It was an amazing feeling being around people that were extremely imaginative with their writing. (Breanne Post: student)

It was a tremendous experience, learning about Dylan Thomas while surrounded by the roads he walked and the hills he gazed on. I'll always treasure the readings we attended, meeting the National Poet of Wales, and reading our own work in Dylan's house.(Alicia Zadrozny: student)

We had a fantastic time in Wales. The graciousness of the Welsh, the exceptional writers and teachers at UWTSD, the generosity and rigor of the program; the two weeks were challenging, fun, and, most of all, inspiring. (Jeff Bens: Chair, English: Director, Undergraduate Creative Writing Program)

Sites to be visited (provisional): 

Dylan Thomas's Boathouse, Laugharne

Gregynog Hall  

National Woollen Museum Wales

National Botanic Garden of Wales

New Quay

Pentre Ifan Pembrokeshire 

Shirley Jones, Red Hen Press

Snowdonia National Park

St David’s Cathedral

Welsh Quilt Centre

Professor Menna Elfyn (Director, Creative Writing, UWTSD)

Pamela Petro (MFA Creative Writing Faculty, Lesley University, Massachusetts)

For an introduction to the Literature and Arts world in Wales please visit:

New Welsh Review  

Poetry Wales

Planet Magazine: The Welsh Internationalist

Wales Arts Review

The Lampeter Review