The world has lost a great man with the passing of Nigel Jenkins, poet, psychogeographer, writer of creative non-fiction and teacher extraordinaire. Wales will mourn him, Swansea University will be an emptier place without him, and I, one of Nigel’s two PhD students, will miss him greatly.
He was a man of sharp intellect and wry wit, wonderfully irreverent when it mattered, a lover of Wales – its people, politics and its two tongues. He was a gifted and supportive tutor who inspired confidence and was constantly supportive. Above all, he was a lovely man – gentle and humble.
It was strange that Nigel shared his passing with another cultural icon, Pete Seeger. Knowing Nigel, and his sometimes black humour, I think he would have liked that! They will make comfortable bedfellows.
I owe Nigel so much. He started me on my PhD journey and now I will have to continue without him. But I know he will be looking over my shoulder and saying: you are a writer.
It was just this time last year when he joined Ellie Rees (his other PhD student) and me after our MA graduation at a wine-fuelled lunch at Pant-y-Gwydr, Swansea. Does he look proud of his girls, or what? We’ll continue to try and do him proud.