Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

Guest Irish Writers

Each residency, prominent Irish writers are invited to join us.  In the afternoon, they give master classes to our group.  In the evening, they give a public reading.  These evening readings give students a chance to hear top Irish writers as well as an opportunity to meet locals who enjoy writing.  Poetry Ireland has offered generous help in co-sponsoring these weeklong series of public readings.

Here’s a list of Irish writers who have joined us so far:

Dermot Bolger, was born in Finglas, North Dublin, and still makes his home in Dublin.  His most recent novel is The Family on Paradise Pier (Penguin, 2006).  Previous novels include The Valpariso Voyage (2001), Temptation (2000), The Journey Home (1990), and Night Shift (1982).  He founded Raven Arts Press and was editor there from 1979-92.  Bolger has also written several plays, film scripts, and books of poetry (including Taking my Letters Back: New and Selected Poems, New Island, 1996, and The Chosen Moment, 2004).  He won the Samuel Beckett Award in 1990, the AE Memorial Award in 1996, and the Stuart Parker BBC Award in 1990.  He is a member of Asodana, the society that honors Ireland’s top artists and writers.

Harry Clifton was born in Dublin in 1952 and still lives there. He was educated at Blackrock College and University College, Dublin and has traveled extensively in Africa, Asia and Europe. The Gallery Press has published five collections of his poems: The Walls of Carthage (1977), Office of the Salt Merchant (1979), Comparative Lives (1982), The Liberal Cage (1988) and The Desert Route: Selected Poems 1973-1988 (1992), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation in London. His latest book of poems is Secular Eden: Paris Notebooks 1994-2004 (Wake Forest 2007). His chronicle of a year in the Abruzzo Mountains, On the Spine of Italy, was published in 1999, and his short stories are collected as Berkeley's Telephone and Other Fictions (2000). He has received the Patrick Kavanagh Award and has been Poet-in-Residence at The Frost Place, New Hampshire. He is a member of Aosdána

Theo Dorgan, born in Cork in 1953, and now lives in Dublin.  His nonfiction work includes Sailing for Home: A Voyage from Antigone to Kinsale (Penguin 2005).  His books of poetry include Greek (2010), Rosa Mundi (1995), and The Ordinary House of Love (1991).  He has served as director of Poetry Ireland / Éigse Éireann and has been a broadcaster on RTE radio and television.  He has edited or co-edited several important books on Irish writing, including Watching the River Flow: A Century of Irish Poetry and Irish Poetry Since Kavanagh. Dorgan is on the board of the Irish Arts Council and is a member of Asdona.

Paul Durcan was born in Dublin in 1944. Educated at University College Cork, he now lives in Dublin. In 1974, he won the Patrick Kavanagh Award and published his first book of poems, O Westport in the Light of Asia Minor. The Berlin Wall Café (1985) was a Poetry Book Society choice, and Daddy, Daddy won the Whitbread Poetry Award (1990). He is also the winner of the Irish American Cultural Institute Poetry Award (1989) and the Heinemann Award (1995). Passionate, outspoken, lyrical, and zany, he is one of Ireland’s most beloved poets. A collection of radio talks that appeared on RTE were published as Paul Durcan’s Diaries (2002). His newest collection of poems is The Laughter of Mothers (2007) and Life is a Dream (2009). He has held the Ireland Chair of Poetry and is a member of Aosdana.

Gabriel Fitzmaurice is the author of more than forty books of essays, poetry (in both English and Irish), translations, and collections of songs and ballads. His new book, Beat the Goatskin Till the Goat Cries: Notes from a Kerry Village, is an entertaining account of life in rural Ireland. A native Kerryman, he is a musician as well as an author. He frequently broadcasts on Irish radio and television on the arts. His poetry collections in English include The Wrenboy’s Carnival: Poems 1980-2000 (Merlin, 2000) and The Boghole Boys (Mercier, 2005). He has edited or co-edited several anthologies, including Irish Poetry Now: Other Voices (Merlin, 1993) and The Kerry Anthology (Mercier, 2000).

Carlo Gébler is a novelist, short story writer, memoirist, documentary filmmaker, children’s and young adult author, travel writer, and historian (among other things.) He was born to the writers Edna O’Brien and Ernest Gébler in Dublin in 1954. He presently lives near Enniskillen in Northern Ireland and is a member of Ireland’s Aosdana. He is the author of a well-received autobiography, Father and I: A Memoir (2000). His novels include The Eleventh Summer (1985); August in July (1986); Work and Play (1987); Malachy and His Family (1990); Life of a Drum (1991); The Cure (1994); How To Murder a Man (1998). A collection of short stories, W9 and Other Lives, was published in 1996. His travel books include Driving Through Cuba (1998) and The Glass Curtain: Inside an Ulster Community (1991). He has also written several books for children and a historical work, The Siege of Derry (2005). Carlo Gébler has written two plays, a libretto for opera, and has produced and directed television documentaries. He is currently writer-in-residence at HMP Maghaberry.

Anthony Glavin was born in Boston in 1946 and lives now in Dublin.  His first novel, Nighthawk Alley, appeared in 1997 from New Island Books (Dublin).  He has also published two short story collections, One for Sorrow (Poolebeg, 1980) and The Draughtsman and the Unicorn (New Island Books, 1999). He is a life-long political activist (he helped manage John F. Kerry’s campaign in the key Democratic stronghold of Broward County, Florida in 2004) and commentator  (his political columns have appeared in The Irish Times since 2003).

Eamon Grennan was born in Dublin in 1941 and educated at University College Dublin
and Harvard.  He has published seven collections of poems, including Relations: New and Selected Poems (Graywolf1998), Still Life With Waterfall (winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize for Poetry, Graywolf 2002) and The Quick of It (Graywolf 2005).  His Leopardi: Selected Poems won the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and he recently published with Rachel Kitzinger a version of Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus.  He spends part of each year in the U.S. and part in County Galway.

Hugo Hamilton was born in Dublin of Irish-German parentage. He has brought elements of his dual identity to his novels Disguise (2009), Sad Bastard (1998), Headbanger
(1996), The Love Test (1995), The Last Shot (1991), and Surrogate City (1990).  His stories were collected as Dublin Where the Palm Trees Grow (Faber & Faber, 1996).  A new novel, Tresspassing is due out in 2010.  He has also published a highly successful memoir, The Speckled People (2003), winner of the Prix Femina Etranger (France) and the Premio Giuseppe Berto (Italy) awards. Its sequel was The Sailor in the Wardrobe (2006).  He is also the author of Die Redselige Insel, which retraces the steps of Nobel prize-winner Heinrich Boll fifty years after his book Irish Journal. He has been awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. He lives in Dublin.

Claire Keegan, one of Ireland’s top young fiction writers, is the author of two collections of short stories, Antarctica (Atlantic Monthly Press) and the newly published Walk the Blue Fields (Faber and Faber). She grew up on a farm in County Wicklow, graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans, and received a Master of Arts degree in writing from the University of Wales and a Master of Philosophy degree from Trinity College, Dublin. Her work has won the Francis MacManus Award, the Martin Healy Prize, the William Trevor Prize, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and the Arts Council’s Macaulay Prize.

Vincent J. McBrierty is the author of Howth Through the Eye of the Artist.  He is an Emeritus Professor and former Professor of Polymer Physics in the Physics Department of Trinity College Dublin. His distinguished research career was followed by a period as Vice President of Research and Academic Affairs in the Sultanate of Oman, and he has written extensively on education, science and technology policy.  He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy.  An eminent scientist who patented a new laser process for making contact lenses, he also has a lively and clear style when writing about art and literature.

Deirdre Madden was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1960. She received a B.A. from Trinity College, Dublin, in1983 and then went on to get her M.A. in University of East Anglia, England, in1985. Her awards include the Hennessy literary award; the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature; and the Somerset Maugham award. Her novels include Hidden Symptoms (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1986), The Birds of the Innocent Wood (Faber and Faber, 1988) Remembering Light and Stone (Faber and Faber, 1992), Nothing Is Black (Faber and Faber, 1994), One by One in the Darkness (Faber and Faber, 1996), Authenticity (Graywolf, 2005), and Molly Fox’s Birthday (Faber and Faber, 2008).

Martin Malone is the author of three novels: Us (winner of the John B.Keane Award and shortlisted for the Irish Fiction Award 2001); After Kafra (scripted for RTE TV); and The Broken Cedar (Simon & Schuster - IMPAC longlisted and shortlisted Irish Fiction Novel of the Year). Malone is the winner of RTE's Francis ManManus Short Story Award as well as the K250 International Short Story Award. His stories have been broadcast by BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4, and RTE Radio 1.

Paula Meehan was born in 1955 in Dublin and still lives there.  Her collections of poems include The Man Who Was Marked for Winter (Gallery Press, 1991), Pillow Talk (Gallery, 1994),  Dharmakaya (Carcanet, 2002), and Painting Rain (Carcanet, 2009). Carcenet published her along with Eavan Boland and Mary O’Malley in a book called Three Irish Poets in 2003.  She has also written plays (for both adults and children) and has worked with inner city communities and prisoners.  Her work has been recognized with the Marten Toonder Pirze and the Butler Award for Poetry, and she is a member of Asdona.

Joan Newmann became a member of the famous Philip Hobsbaum Belfast Group (which included Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Bernard MacLaverty, and Derek Mahon) when it was established in 1963. After three chapbooks, her first full collection, Coming of Age appeared from Blackstaff Press in 1995, followed by Thin Ice with Abbey Press in 1998.  Prone (2007) is a book-length poem about a life-changing accident when she was young.  Belongings also appeared in 2007.  Her poems have appeared widely in journals such as Poetry (U.S.A.), Poetry Ireland Review, Dosfilos (Mexico); Newfoundland Review (Canada); and Quadrant (Australia). Joan received the second Craobh Na hÉigse Award for a lifetime upholding poetry. She is co-director of the Summer Palace Press.

Kate Newmann is the author of The Blind Woman in the Blue House (2001) and How Well Did You Love? a 2006 CD collaboration with contemporary composers.  Belongings (2007) joins book-length collections of Kate and her mother Joan Newmann.  Kate is a graduate of King’s College, Cambridge, England. As a Fellow at the Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast, she compiled the Dictionary of Ulster Biography. She was the winner of the William Allingham Poetry Award, the Swansea Award, and the Listowel Festival single poem award. She has published in journals and / or given readings in Ireland, the U.S.A., Russia, Wales, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Canada, Belgium, and elsewhere. She is co-director of the Summer Palace Press and is the recipient of an Irish Arts Council Bursary 2007.

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin was born in Cork in 1942. Her many poetry collections include The Magdalene Sermon (Dublin, The Gallery Press, 1989/Wake Forest, 1990); The Brazen Serpent (The Gallery Press, 1994/ Wake Forest,1995); The Girl Who Married the Reindeer (The Gallery Press, 2001/Wake Forest, 2002); and Selected Poems (London, Faber and Faber/The Gallery Press, 2008). She is the winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Award and has been short-listed for The Irish Times-Aer Lingus Award and the European Literature Prize. The Irish-American Cultural Institute awarded her the O’Shaughnessy Prize for Poetry in 1992. She is a member of Aosdána and lives in Dublin.

Liz Weir is a traditional Irish storyteller who lives in the Glens of Antrim in Northern Ireland. She has told her stories in major international festivals in Australia, Israel, Germany, the United States, and Cape Clear Island, Ireland. Winner of the first International Storybridge Award from the National Storytelling Network, Liz is the author of Here There and Everywhere, a collection of stories, and also a book of tales for children, Boom Chicka Boom. She performs frequently on BBC Radio and RTE television.
Macdara Woods was born in 1942 and started to publish poetry as a teenager; his work has appeared ever since in Irish and foreign poetry publications. With Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Leland Bardwell and Pearse Hutchinson, he founded and edits the literary review Cyphers. His books include Knowledge in the Blood: Selected Poems (Dedalus, 2000), The Nightingale Water (Dedalus, 2001) and Artichoke Wine (Dedalus, 2006). He has collaborated with musicians in performances and recordings in Ireland, Italy and America. He now lives mostly in Dublin and Umbria. He is a member of Aosdána.