"The Spirit of Place"
A ten day residential summer school focusing on the extraordinary landscape of Wales as a catalyst for creative writing. Students will attend daily writing workshops, travel to culturally significant locations, and listen to readings by renowned Welsh writers.
Tuesday 29 May - Friday 8 June
The Dylan Thomas Summer School is a 10-day intensive writing programme at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), in Lampeter, Wales. It was founded by Menna Elfyn in 2014 and is co-directed by Pamela Petro and Dominic Williams.
The course is structured to reflect its thematic emphasis on “A Sense of Place.” It is fully accredited by the UWTSD and is open to undergraduates, graduate students, and members of the public. Class size is usually about 15 students.
The 2017 syllabus includes eight writing workshops taught by Pamela Petro and a team of visiting tutors, including Welsh poets Kathy Miles and Samantha Rhydderch, and American short story writer Sally Shivnan. Workshops include lectures and in-class writing prompts. In 2018 we’re featuring three on-site prompts at Big Pit Mine, Carreg Cennen Castle, and Aberglasney Gardens.
Campus-based workshop prompts are drawn from assigned readings and afternoon excursions. These short trips often feature sites concerned with Dylan Thomas’ work and life. We also encourage students to draw links between observation of Wales’ landscape and post-industrial cities and their own memories of “place” as raw material for their writing.
In addition to on-site prompt locations, in 2018 we will visit the harbour town of Aberaeron, Brecon Beacons National Park, the Dylan Thomas Birthplace, Gower Peninsula, and the Dylan Thomas Boathouse in Laugharne. In Lampeter students will tour Lampeter’s Roderic Bowen Library, which contains one of the most important collections of rare books and medieval manuscripts in Britain.
In the evenings students are treat a series of nightly readings by Wales’ finest practicing writers and poets. The 2018 roster is still being formed, but will include Menna Elfyn, Kathy Miles and Mike Parker.
Toward the end of the program students will receive a 20-minute, one-on-one tutorial with Pamela Petro to discuss their work in private. Each student doing the course for credit must submit a selection of poems, short story, or essay for grading on Wednesday, 6 June.
Please note that the programme is designed so that students’ time outside workshops and seminars is equally important to time spent in the classroom. Excursions and readings by Welsh authors prompt students to create material that could never be generated in the classroom alone.
- £1,750 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.
Administration correspondence and questions should be addressed to: Joanne Price: firstname.lastname@example.org, 01570 424723
The programme will only run subject to minimum numbers being met.
*** The attached provisional itinerary will provide interested parties with the shape and scope of the 2017 Summer School. It will be replaced by the full brochure once the details have been finalised****
NOTE ON PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS
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.
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)
Roderic Bowen Library - http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/rbla/
Aberaeron - http://www.aberaeron.info
Carreg Cennen Castle - https://carregcennencastle.com
Brecon Beacons National Park - http://www.breconbeacons.org
Big Pit Mine, Blaenavon - https://museum.wales/bigpit/
Dylan Thomas Birthplace, Swansea - http://www.dylanthomasbirthplace.com
Gower Peninsula - http://www.explore-gower.co.uk
Arthur’s Stone - http://www.explore-gower.co.uk/explore/gower-history/arthur-s-stone
Rhossili Beach - https://www.visitswanseabay.com/listings/rhossili-bay-beach/
Aberglasney Gardens - http://aberglasney.org
Dylan Thomas Boathouse - http://www.dylanthomasboathouse.com
Pamela Petro is the author of three books of place-based creative nonfiction for HarperCollins UK, including Travels in an Old Tongue: Touring the World Speaking Welsh. She has also written award-winning articles and essays for The New York Times, Granta, The Paris Review, and more. She teaches Nonfiction on Lesley University’s MFA in Creative Writing Programme, is a Lecturer at Smith College, and is a Fellow of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. She is also a visual artist who has received visual arts and literary residencies from Grand Canyon National Park, The MacDowell Colony, The Black Rock Arts Foundation, and The Spring Creek Project. She received her BA from Brown University and her MA from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Pamela is currently working on a hybrid memoir / literary nonfiction book called The Long Field: Wales and the Presence of Absence.
Originally from the valleys of the South Wales Coalfield Dominic Williams is a writer and poet based in Carmarthenshire. For nearly twenty years his home has been the small fishing village of Ferryside on the Tywi estuary from where he runs his publishing house Iconau Books. Williams is a co-founder of the community interest company write4word and with his friend, Irish poet Denis Collins, established the Wales Ireland Spoken-word and Poetry Alliance (WISPA). He is the MC of West Wales’ most established monthly spoken word event, Poems and Pints at the Queens. In 2012, as coordinator of the Coracle project he was a founding partner of the inaugural Dinefwr Literature Festival and in 2006 organised and managed the week-long Welsh Writing for The World Festival in venues across New York City. He has been a board member of New Welsh Review and is currently the chair of the board of trustees of DAC, Wales' national charity for Disability Art. He has been a regular guest lecturer on the MA Creative Writing programme for the last ten years and is the Disability Adviser for the Swansea campuses of UWTSD.