Archive for the ‘Wales’ Category

“I’m not Welsh but I have a longing for and a protectiveness towards Wales…”: Fiona Sampson

Fiona Sampson: credit Ekaterina Voskresenskaya

Fiona Sampson interviewed by Interlitq: read the entire interview:

Interlitq: Could you tell us more about the time you spent in Wales. How strongly do you identify yourself with Wales and Welshness? Do you rate Dylan Thomas highly?

FS: I’m not Welsh but I have a longing for and a protectiveness towards Wales, and a continuing strong interest in Welsh arts culture. When I returned to Wales straight after finishing at Oxford, I set up an annual international poetry festival in Aberystwyth. Because the poetic traditions in Wales are long and deep-seated. I’ve talked about this elsewhere so won’t repeat myself.

It’s unfashionable to rate Dylan Thomas in British poetry right now but – ever the unfashionable – I owe my love of poetry to him. When I was in that village school in Wales, and when I was only six years old, our wonderful headmaster read us the beginning of Under Milk Wood in school assembly. It was way over our heads. I understood nothing – except that I thought it was amazing. Soon after that I started writing my own little poems in school. And apart from my teens when that English teacher knocked it out of me for about a decade, I just didn’t stop.