Press Releases 2014-2015

New York Students Praise UWTSD and Wales Following Dylan Thomas Visit

06.10.2014

Four creative writing college students from New York have spoken out about their ‘magical’ visit to the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) during the summer.

Undergraduate students Breanne Post and David Wisnik, and postgraduate students Danielle Gennaro and Alicia Zadrozny, are currently studying at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. They, along with Manhattanville’s Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing Jeff Bens, spent two weeks in Wales and were based at UWTSD’s Lampeter campus.

They were joined by nine other American students participating in the UWTSD Dylan Thomas Summer School course, “Dylan Thomas and a Sense of Place,” which focused on the life and work of the Welsh poet.

The students took part in daily workshops with internationally renowned poet Professor Menna Elfyn, Creative Writing Programme Director at UWTSD, and Pamela Petro from the MFA Creative Writing Faculty at Lesley University in Massachusetts.

Breanne Post said: “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.”

The group travelled throughout south and west Wales, exploring areas that impacted the life and work of Dylan Thomas. Destinations included Fern Hill, the family home that inspired his famous poem of the same name, New Quay, and his birthplace Swansea. They also spent a day at Hay-on-Wye during the historic Hay Festival of Literature and Arts.

In addition, students attended local events, including a quilt exhibit, readings with a local group called Poets and Peasants, and an evening of Welsh folk song and storytelling. The group also spent time with Elsi Davis, Mayor of Lampeter, and fellow creative writing students at UWTSD.

Myfyrwraig o Goleg Manhattanville, Alicia Zadrozny, ar gampws Llambed PCYDDS. Alicia Zadrozny said: “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.”

Jeff Bens said: “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.”

Professor Menna Elfyn said: “The International Dylan Thomas Summer School proved to be an invigorating fortnight of introducing spirit of place to writers and emerging writers from America, and rediscovering through visits and workshops the work of Dylan Thomas and the essence of great poetry.”

The success of the 2014 Dylan Thomas Summer School has resulted in plans to run it again in 2015.

Note to Editor

  1. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University.
  2. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University.

Further Information

Steven Stokes
Principal Corporate Communications and PR Officer
07872 423788
steven.stokes@sm.uwtsd.ac.uk