Monday, 11 October 2010

Caryl Ward

While my son was at his Life Saving class at the swimming pool the other day, I went for a walk in the University grounds,and ended up by the river sitting on Caryl's bench. I like to do this once in a while to remember my friend Caryl Ward. When I first met her she said she'd chosen to come and study at Lampeter because of the Writers' Workshop. I had met her work in publications such as On My Life{Honno) and was pleased to get to know her as a friend as well as an excellent poet and short story writer. She published a small pamphlet of poems during her life time-Muddy Eyes (Red Sharks Press).

It must be eleven years since she died, five months after being diagnosed and treated for cancer. When I saw her last she was studying for an M.Phil in creative writing at the University of Glamorgan and writing a novel.

I raised the money for this bench and plaque by asking writers to contribute. Everyone was so generous. One letter with a cheque said "I never met Caryl but we shared anthology pages together."

As I sat by the river,I remembered Caryl who would have achieved so much more than a small poetry pamphlet, and magazine and anthology publications.Perhaps a publisher will sit on the bench and ask who was Caryl Ward, and publish a collection of her work.

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