PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Four Manhattanville College creative writing students spent two weeks of their summer taking a course at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
The students were accompanied by Jeff Bens, director of Manhattanville’s undergraduate creative writing program.
The Manhattanville students were undergraduates Breanne Post and David Wisnik, and graduate students Danielle Gennaro and Alicia Zadrozny. They were joined by nine other American students participating in the course, “Dylan Thomas and a Sense of Place,” which focused on the life and work of the Welsh poet.
The students stayed at the Lampeter Campus and participated in daily workshops with Menna Elfyn, professor of Poetry at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and Pamela Petro, master of fine arts creative writing faculty at Lesley University.
“The town that we lived in was such a magical place that no matter where you went on the grounds you were inspired,” said Post. “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 traveled throughout western and southern Wales, exploring areas that impacted the life and work of Thomas. Students also attended local events, including a quilt exhibit, readings with a local group Poets and Peasants and an evening of Welsh folk song and storytelling. The group also got to spend time with Elsi Davis, mayor of Lampeter and fellow creative writing student at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
“It was a tremendous experience, learning about Dylan Thomas while surrounded by the roads he walked and the hills he gazed on," said Zadrozny. "I'll always treasure the readings we attended, meeting the National Poet of Wales, and reading our own work in Dylan's house.”