“It was one of the more romantic legends in the family, the tale of how she had come to Wales for a holiday, fallen shatteringly in love with a young Welsh farmer, and never gone home again.”
– Susan Cooper, The Grey King, a book in The Dark is Rising sequence
If only life could be a little more like your favourite book, yes? I read those lines at thirteen and resolved that that was the sort of life I wanted to have – though I’ve put poetry and teaching in place of that young farmer. I can trace a lot of things back to those books and that moment: a strange fascination with sheep farming, a deep, abiding love of Arthurian tales, and above all, an utter yielding to the siren song of Wales.
Last year, I had the chance to undertake a PhD dissertation in poetry at Aberystwyth University on the west coast of Wales — and then I lost it. My dissertation supervisor accepted a prestigious position at another university and I was unable to pull resources together in time to follow her to this new location. Recently, I was given a second chance at this wonderful opportunity – another professor at Aberystwyth, a poet, saw my dissertation proposal and contacted me about working with her instead. I’ve spent the last several months trying to make that happen: I will be working with a brilliant poet on a three-year dissertation of my own design, culminating in both an academic thesis and a full manuscript of my own creative work.
I’m nearing the final stretch here – my leave date is less than three months away! And though I’ve been scrimping and saving since Aber contacted me again last October, I could still really use your help. Sepcifically? Travel costs! A four-hour drive, ten hour flight, and my very first ride on a train stand between me and taking up my studies at Aberystwyth.
My goal is to raise $1,000 to go toward travel to the UK; if I somehow exceed that goal, I’ll stash the extra money away to start a savings fund for my first trip home. If you’re able to donate and feel moved to do so, there’s a donate button at the bottom of this page that links directly to my paypal account. Good wishes and hugs are always welcome too!
I never really expected, when I spied the Aberystwyth University creative writing program table at a writers’ conference two years ago, that I could make my dream of studying in Wales a reality, but Iwanted it far too much not to try. The support of my family and friends, in whatever form it comes, means the world to me.