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

Famine exhibition residency for Maeve

Gorta by Lilian Davidson. . . . one of the paintings in the Great Hunger Museum's exhibition.

Creative writing PhD student Maeve Bancroft has been awarded a writing residency at the West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen to coincide with a major art exhibition, Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger, on loan from the Ireland Great Hunger Museum in Quinnipiac University, Connecticut.

The Quinnipiac collection is the world’s largest Famine-related art collection and features work by some of the most eminent Irish and Irish-American artists of the past 170 years, including Daniel McDonald, Lilian Davidson, Paul Henry, Jack B Yeats, Dorothy Cross, William Crozier, Brian Maguire, Hughie O Donoghue, Alanna O'Kelly and John Behan. After showing in Dublin Castle, the exhibition moves to Skibbereen in July for four months.       

Maeve’s PhD project is an historical novel based on the flight of the Famine Irish to Grosse Ile, Canada.  As part of her residency, she will engage with the community through talks, readings and workshops. She also hopes to collaborate with other artists-in-residence. (One of the artists featured in the exhibition, Alanna O’Kelly, will develop a live, site-specific performance at Schull workhouse.)

Maeve presented a paper at Children and the Great Hunger International conference at Quinnipiac last year in which she discussed her research methods, including drawing on particular paintings and sculptures for inspiration. She quoted Stephen Marcus’s 1963 essay, Hunger and Ideology which described the Famine as the moment at which “an important truth emerges: that however mad, wild or grotesque art may seem to be, it can never touch and approach the madness of reality”.


Poetry in motion

Two poetic triumphs to report just before Christmas.  Úna Ní Cheallaigh, above left,  from last year's MACW read at the Attic Sessions Christmas reading at the Gutter Bookshop, Dublin, on December 10.  The Attic Sessions run by poet and teacher Nessa O Mahony are hour-long interviews with writers that go out on the web, direct from Nessa's lovely attic in Scholarstown,  every month.

The festive version of the event is a live reading and this year featured poets Paul BregazziDavid Butler,  Jean O’BrienBernadette O’ReillyMaeve O’SullivanPaul PerryGerard SmythAnne Tannam, Adam Wyeth, alongside Úna.  You can catch up with the Christmas reading and Nessa's monthly sessions here:  http://theatticsessions.tv/the-attic-sessions-20-a-seasonal-reading-at-the-gutter-bookshop/Nessa

Further afield, Una's classmate, Kate Brock, now based in San Francisco, has a poem "Tchotchkes," appearing in Indiana's Best Emerging Poets anthology from Z Publishing Publication date is January 24, 2018.  You can find out more about the volumes here -https://www.zpublishinghouse.com/blogs/upcoming-books/the-best-emerging-poets-series.

Congratulations to both of them.



Reykjavik, here we come!

We're delighted to report that MACW graduate, Nora Shychuk, is one of only two applicants - from a field of 700 international submissions - to win a full scholarship to attend the Iceland Writers Retreat, an annual writers' conference in Reykjavik which takes place next April -  -  http://www.icelandwritersretreat.com/about-the-retreat/.

This award gives its recipients full funding to participate in the prestigious five-day event which offers writers an immersive experience of Iceland with seminars, lectures and workshops by leading authors in several genres - faculty include Adam Gopnik, Susan Orlean, Barbara Kingsolver, Lauren Groff, Miriam Toews and Paul Murray. 

Nora graduated from the MA in 2016 and her work has already appeared in several literary journals and magazines, including The Lonely Crowd and Pact Press’ Speak and Speak Again anthology, and in Cork's From The Well Short Story anthology earlier this year.  Nora is an assistant editor for Regal House Publishing and is currently finishing up a short story collection. She lives in New York.

A feast of UCC fiction and poetry

This week sees the launch of three books featuring creative work from faculty and students at UCC.

Author William Wall - http://www.williamwall.net/,  - a doctoral student in the School of English, is the first European winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize for short fiction with his collection, The Islands. The prize, awarded earlier this year, carries a purse of $15,000 as well as publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

The School of English will host a reception to celebrate William's success on  Thursday, December 7, in the Social Area, Block B, Floor 1, O’Rahilly Building at 5.30pm.

Meanwhile on Friday,  the New Binary Press -  http://newbinarypress.com/ - will launch two publications featuring School of English and creative writing faculty. The Elysian: Creative Responses  - edited by Graham Allen and Billy Ramsell - is a volume showcasing artistic responses to Cork's urban skyline and features poetry from PhD student Kathy D'Arcy,  and short fiction from Associate Director of Creative Writing, Mary Morrissy, adjunct professor Conal Creedon and MACW alumna, Madeleine D'Arcy, as well as contributions from UCC faculty across the disciplines.

Holes Decade 1, is an experimental  long-form poem created on digital media, one line per day and ten years in the making, by Professor of English and poet, Dr Graham Allen. This is Dr Allen's third publication following The Madhouse System ( 2016) and  The One That Got Away (2014).

The double launch  of The Elsyian and Holes Decade 1 will include readings by Doireann Ni Ghriofa,  Eimear Ryan and Danielle McLaughlin. 

The event takes place at the Granary Theatre, Friday, December 8, at 8pm. (Doors open 7.30pm).  Admission is free and all are welcome.


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