Welcome to Creative Writing at UCC

This site is a road map to the world of creative writing at UCC.  The School of English offers creative writing at undergraduate, Masters and PhD level. See what we do – check out our blog written by students, see the major names in literature who visit our campus, and explore the numerous courses we offer that redefine and broaden what it is to be a 21st century creative writer. 

News and Events

Roddy Doyle to read at UCC

Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle will feature in the next event in our School of English reading series on Tuesday,  February 27.  Doyle will be reading from his latest novel, Smile, which came out last year and tackles the subject of abuse and its psychological aftermath in the context of a Christian Brothers school.

Smile is Doyle's 11th novel, and though much of it is set in the pub - the site of his Two Pints dialogues - the mood of the novel is sombre and the narrative approach more experimental. Smile  was voted by Irish Times readers their favourite Irish fiction of 2017 - https://www.irishtimes.com/.../something-to-smile-about-roddy-doyle-is-still-our-favo...

Reading with him will be E. M. Reapy,  - https://emreapy.wordpress.com/ - whose debut novel, Red Dirt which won her the 2017 Rooney Prize, explores the theme of emigration - the new brand of it. The novel follows three young Irish people who flee to Australia to escape the economic ruins of home and their own unhappy lives, and is set in a chaotic world of backpacker hostels, fruit farms and factories.  

The Irish Independent described the novel as "a confident and distinctive debut. . . one would have to be dead to the thrill of fiction not to be hugely excited about what its author will do next”. Red Dirt also won Newcomer of the Year at the 2016 Irish Book Awards and was shortlisted for the 2017 Kate O’Brien Award. See 

The reading takes place in the Creative Zone, Boole Library, on Tuesday, February 27 @ 6.30pm. Admission is free and all are welcome. 

Photographs courtesy of The Irish Times


New collection from Leanne O'Sullivan

Lecturer in creative writing Leanne O'Sullivan will launch her new collection of poetry, A Quarter of an Hour, at  the Cork International Poetry Festival next week.  Leanne, who has taught on the MA in Creative Writing for several years, was appointed to a lectureship last year.  

The starting point for A Quarter of an Hour, Leanne's fourth collection,  was a severe illness suffered by her husband - and our School of English colleague - Dr Andrew King - in 2013.  After weeks in a coma, he woke to discover that much of his memory had been destroyed.  Leanne's poems deal with recovery, in both senses of the word - of his memory and of his health  - often through the medium of nature.  

Leanne's publishers, Bloodaxe Books, describe this collection as celebrating "the earth’s intoxicating wildness as well as the richness and preciousness of human experience. Overall, we can rejoice in the fact that we’re here, whatever the challenges".

Leanne's book will be launched at the Goldie Chapel, Nano Nagle Place, on Tuesday, February 13, @ 8.30pm. 

Other faculty appearing at the festival, which runs from February 13 - 17, include Dr Graham Allen and UCC's inaugural John Montague Poetry Fellow, Brian Turner. For further details see - http://www.corkpoetryfest.net/



Our writers on the town!

Come and see poets and short fiction writers from UCC's MA in Creative Writing who will take part in a special showcase reading tonight, Monday, February 5, at O Bheal, Cork's premier poetry venue. http://www.obheal.ie

Presented by poet and lecturer Leanne O'Sullivan, this reading has become an annual event in the MA calendar.  This year will feature readings from Allie Vugrincic, Breda Joyce, Jasmine Throckmorton,  John Rodgers, Nora Kirkham,  Sally Yazwinski and Alison Driscoll

(Alison has just featured as poet of the week on Headstuff. See - https://www.headstuff.org/)

Tonight's event takes place at The Long Valley, Winthrop Street @ 9.30pm.








Picture this - in words

The writer Salman Rushdie and his son at work. . . one of the photographs in Judith Aronson's exhibition on display at the Boole Library,

Here's a competition of interest to UCC students of creative writing in conjunction with the exhibition "Likenessess: Portraits of Literary and Cultural Genius"  by photographer Judith Aronson, currently on display at the Boole Library.  

CK109 and MA/PhD Creative Writing students are invited to submit a poem or short prose piece (max. 1500 words) written in response to, or in conversation with, one or more of the photographs in Judith’s exhibition. Your piece may engage with Judith’s photograph(s), and/or with the work of the writer or artist depicted in the photograph.

UCC Library will award a prize of €100 euro to the winning entry, to be judged by a panel including Library and School of English staff, visiting writers, and Judith Aronson. The winning piece will be published on the UCC Library website and School of English Creative Writing website.

The exhibition, in the UCC Library exhibition area, runs from January 17 - March 30, 2018.

The deadline for entries is 5pm on April 9, 2018.

Please email your entry to Professor Lee Jenkins, Head of the School of English, at l.jenkins@ucc.ie


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