An Honorary Fellow of The University of Wales Trinity Saint David from America has held her official UK book launch on the Lampeter campus.

Pamela Petro decided to return to Lampeter to launch her new book ‘The Long Field – A Memoir, Wales, and the Presence of Absence’. Pam is a Lampeter campus graduate, having come to Wales over 30 years ago to study Word and Image theory on an MA programme at St David’s University College—now the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Pam is also an honorary fellow of the University and also brings a group of US students annually to Wales, whilst co-directing the Dylan Thomas Summer School.

The book burrows deep into the Welsh countryside to tell how this small country became a big part of an American writer’s life. This is what Pam wrote about her first encounter with the Welsh landscape:

The first time in Lampeter that I walked past the edge of town, where the double yellow “no parking” lines ended and sheep pastures began, I found myself nodding, as if I were in agreement with the landscape. Its lucidity cut like a scalpel through mental images of all the other places I’d lived: New Jersey, Rhode Island, Washington DC, Cape Cod, France. It sliced through their forests and highways and towns and cities and clutter, peeling them away, down to the mental bedrock beneath—a primary place of understanding where memory and concept conjoined. And that place looked like Wales. Why, I can’t tell you. It just did.

I’ve never been the same since.

Coming back to Lampeter to launch her book means the world to Pam. She adds,

“This is the reading I’ve been waiting for! It means everything to me to have come to Lampeter as an American student in 1983, and to be coming back now after having written about those student days in The Long Field. Although I teach on campus at the Dylan Thomas Summer School every May, today’s launch is a personal milestone for me: Lampeter is my Welsh hometown.”

Kath Griffiths, International Regional Manager, North America and Outward Mobility said,

“We are delighted to welcome Pam back to Lampeter to launch “The Long Field”. During the welcome events to International students, I often say to students that they will forever have two homes, where they are from and Wales.

“Pam I’m pleased to say will always have Wales in her heart and each year we are delighted she come back to direct the Dylan Thomas Summer School.

“I met Pam at a book fair with Menna Elfyn in Boston, it was a cold March evening and as we shared a slice of cheesecake and Pam told me of her early days in Lampeter I knew there was a special connection with Wales.”

The book is available to purchase in book shops now, or you can purchase the book here

University of Wales Trinity Saint David