Dylan Thomas International Summer School returns to Lampeter.


The Dylan Thomas International Summer School returned to the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Lampeter Campus recently for the first time since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

UWTSD Lampeter Campus

The Dylan Thomas International Summer School founded by Professor Emeritus Menna Elfyn in the year of Dylan Thomas's centenary is the university’s flagship to the Western World. The programme is directed by Welsh poet Dominic Williams who has had a constant connection with the university for a quarter of a century since beginning his undergraduate Welsh Studies degree in Carmarthen in 1997; and American writer of place Pamela Petro who is a Lampeter Alumni of the MA: The Word and Visual Imagination (1984). Such is the reputation of this unique programme that since its establishment in 2014 marketing for the summer school has been minimal with a reserve list created every year. 

The Summer School is a 12-day intensive residential course focusing on the extraordinary landscape of Wales as a catalyst for creative writing based at the Lampeter campus.

The course is structured to reflect its thematic emphasis on “A Sense of Place.” It is fully accredited by the University of Wales and is open to undergraduates, graduate students, and members of the public.

The course included writing workshops taught by prose writer Pamela Petro and poet Samantha Rhydderch, along with visiting tutors Kathy Miles, Paul Henry, and Susan Richardson.

Students also went on trips to various locations including Aberglasney Gardens, Carreg Cennen Castle, Llyn y Fan Fach, Narberth Castle, Big Pit Mine and to the coastal town of New Quay, which inspired Dylan Thomas’ play Under Milk Wood. In addition to these places, students also visited Penderyn Whiskey Distillery, Arthur's Stone on Gower, Rhosilli Bay and the Rhiannon Welsh Gold Centre in Tregaron.

Whilst on the Lampeter campus, students had the opportunity to tour the Roderic Bowen Library, which contains one of the most important collections of rare books and medieval manuscripts in Britain. At night, students attended nightly readings by Wales’s finest practicing writers and poets including Menna Elfyn, Gillian Clarke, Siôn Owen, Rachel Trezise and Horatio Clare. 

New Quay

Dominic Williams, one of the course directors said:

“Like so many international programmes, the summer school was postponed during the pandemic and international travel from the US is developing very cautiously. The success of this year’s summer school not only delivered another wonderful experience for sixteen students of Creative Writing but was also a much-appreciated process of normalisation for so many of the staff welcoming our American guests. 

“Beyond the benefit, this programme offers to the international profile of the university, this year, it has also clearly marked Wales in 2022 as a safe and significant destination for cultural tourism from the USA.” 

Student Amy Rhyneer said, “Dominic Williams and Pamela Petro, the programme directors, could not be better suited for this work. Their love, insight, joy, enthusiasm, dedication, knowledge, complementary skills and general wowness took the trip right over the top, a very tall top … Everyone at the university, from the kitchen crew to the housekeeping staff to the Provost, was overwhelmingly kind AND knowledgeable AND helpful. Ever notice how rare a combination that is?” 

 Kath Griffiths, International Regional Manager (North America and Outward Mobility)

Wales Global Academy said,

“ I’d just like to say how pleased we are to welcome summer schools back on our campuses this year, to show them the wonders of Wales and particularly during our bi-century year. For more information or to bring a summer school please contact: Summer Schools at UWTSD | University of Wales Trinity Saint David.”


Further Information

Lowri Thomas, Principal Communications and PR Officer

07449 998476