Good academic standing (3.0 GPA preferred) and demonstrated interest and ability in creative writing.
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Gerard Manley Hopkins writing desk
Newman House, Dublin
The Irish Writing Program is a rigorous creative writing program requiring some talent, and especially commitment and discipline. Its goal is to help aspiring writers become better at their craft.
The program has two components: writing workshops, and an interdisciplinary Irish literature & culture course. It offers six semester hours of credit. Grades are issued by the University of Iowa on a University of Iowa transcript.
The creative writing workshop converts to 8N:192 Dublin Writing Workshop and applies to the Non-Fiction & Creative Writing area of the University of Iowa English major. The literature & drama course converts to 008:109 Literature & Culture of the 20th Century and fulfills the Transnational & Post-Colonial area of the major.
The Irish Writing Program ran from Thursday, May 30 (arrival) through Saturday, July 13, 2013 (vacate apartments and return to U.S. or independent travel in Ireland/Europe).
The workshops meet three times a week for six weeks and are taught by Irish writers. In addition to having their work critiqued in class, students will receive written analyses of class work. Emphasis is placed on how to read closely and how to get (and give) the best constructive criticism. Students' work will be sent to the Academic Director for evaluation at the time they apply to the Irish Writing Program. Students will bring work-in-progress with them and also write new material during the program.
Students write assignments of varying lengths, both short (about one page) and long (about fifteen pages). Students must follow the page-length guidelines closely. In all, students produce about one hundred pages of new work during the writing program. Workshop schedules are organized to ensure that this is an easy goal to achieve.
Because student work is at the heart of the workshop, writing assignments are obligatory. Students must deliver assignments on time. Late work is not accepted.
Photo by Jim Tade
Doorway, Kenmare, Co. Kerry
An appreciation of Irish literature and culture is inextricably bound to a familiarity with Irish history. This interdisciplinary course will examine Irish literature, drama, visual arts, cinema, music, history, and culture. It will introduce students to a variety of Irish writers, ranging from the modernist authors, Joyce and Yeats, to contemporary poetry, prose, and drama.
The 20th century saw Ireland emerge as a free State in 1922, achieve the status of Republic in 1948, and join the EEC in 1970. Partition in 1926 resulted in Northern Ireland remaining part of Britain, including within its borders a sizeable nationalist minority. These political developments with their ensuing periods of violence created different conditions for writing north and south of the border. Over the last thirty years, the modernization of the Irish economy has led to conflict between church and state over national morality, and this conflict has led to a pronounced urban/rural divide, and a general feeling among women that the state has not always operated in their best interests. These political and social changes have given rise to rich, experimental works of literature that challenge the fundamental concepts of selfhood and identity along national, gender and religious lines.
Irish theatre has emerged from specific cultural, social and political contexts since the early part of this century when the Abbey Theatre housed J.M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World and Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock. Both of these plays provided the impetus and the extraordinary dramaturgical templates for most of the Irish playwrights that followed them. Irish theatre has never evaded the politics of nation. The emergence, relative stagnation, and the most recent advances of the Southern Irish State and the tensions and politics of the Northern Irish Troubles combine to make Irish theatre dramatic practices internationally respected.
Sample reading list (from a previous program -- this will vary according to the tastes and interests of the instructors):
• John Banville. The Book of Evidence.
• Oona Frawley (ed.). New Dubliners.
• Ciaran Carson. Prose & poetry selections.
• Various writers . Poetry & conflict in Northern Ireland.
• James Joyce. Dubliners.
• William B. Yeats. Selected Poems.
• John M. Synge. The Playboy of the Western World.
• Martin McDonagh. The Beauty Queen of Leenane.
• Mark O'Rowe. Howie the Rookie.
• Frank McGuinness. Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme.
• Tom Murphy. A Whistle in the Dark.
• Brian Friel. Translations.
Classroom of James Joyce
Newman House, Dublin
Writing workshops are held three times a week. Writing workshop hours may be increased to facilitate workload. The interdisciplinary literature and culture course also meets three times a week. Classes and workshops are held Monday - Thursday (no classes are held on Fridays).
Participants are awarded U.S. letter grades on a University of Iowa transcript, and the courses may not be taken on a pass/non-pass basis. Participants receive one grade for the writing workshops, worth 3 semester hours of credit, and one grade for the Irish literature & culture module, also worth 3 s.h. Assessment for the Irish literature & culture module will consist of class participation, 2 midterm papers, and 2 final papers. Assessment for the writing workshops is continuous and consists of class participation, completion of assignments, student-teacher conferences, and effort and development during the course of the summer.
The Irish Writing Academic Director, Martin Roper, came to The University of Iowa on a Fulbright scholarship in 1994. He was a participant in the International Writing Program, the first writer-in-residence at the Center for International & Comparative Studies and received a scholarship towards an MFA in the Nonfiction Writing Program at The University of Iowa. Gone, his first novel, was published by Henry Holt in 2002. He is the founder of the Dublin Writers Workshop. He will direct the writing workshops with other established Irish writers, TBA.
The University of Iowa offers this study abroad program for six semester hours of credit. Participants are awarded U.S. letter grades, and courses may not be taken on a pass/non-pass basis. Participants receive one grade for the writing workshops, worth 3 semester hours, and one grade for the literature & culture course, also worth 3 s.h. The final grades are issued on a University of Iowa transcript and will be sent to the participant's U.S. institution in September.
Photo by Jim Tade
Harbor at Portmagee, Co. Kerry
Several tours are planned and are included in the program fee. Day tours may include: an introductory tour of the capital city focusing on important areas of cultural and historic interest, tours of the James Joyce Museum, the Joyce Tower in nearby Sandycove, and the Book of Kells at the Trinity College Library. A weekend excursion is also included in the program fee. Transportation, 2 nights lodging, entrance fees, and a group dinner are covered. In the past, the group has traveled to Western Ireland or to Belfast, Northern Ireland.
During the program, participants are allowed to travel outside of Dublin and its suburbs. However, the program strongly suggests that no more than 2-3 weekends of travel are taken. More travel may hinder a participant's work and performance in the program.
The Irish Writing Program took place from Thursday, May 30 (arrival) through Saturday, July 13, 2013 (vacate apartments and return to U.S. or independent travel in Ireland/Europe). Dates for 2014 have not been set but will be available here when decided.
Bray Head, Co. Kerry
The Irish Writing Program
The University of Iowa
Office for Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242-1802
The Irish Writing Program takes place on the University College Dublin campus in the Belfield section of Dublin, where students are housed and where the classes are taught. UCD was founded in 1854 as a place of higher learning which allowed Catholics to attend. It was originally located in the city center, but due to its popularity and rapid growth, UCD relocated to its current large campus about 2.5 miles south central Dublin. UCD is a comprehensive university and, at 25,000 students, it is Ireland's largest university. The campus is nicely landscaped and there are numerous playing fields. Notable UCD students include Gerard Manley Hopkins and James Joyce.
Dublin is a vibrant, European capital city of historical and cultural importance. From its many theaters to its beautiful parks to its friendly, cozy pubs, Dublin is an excellent place to be educated and entertained.
Grafton Street busker, Dublin
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic ocean. “Ireland” is one of two countries that are located on the Irish isle. The Republic of Ireland is the proper name for “Ireland,” an independent country that is a member of the European Union. Northern Ireland is the name of the other country on Ireland, and is a member of the United Kingdom along with Scotland, Wales, and England.
Ireland has a very rich past, and is known for its friendly population. Its contribution to literature written in English and indeed other languages is immense.
The common room
Students are housed in fully-furnished, en-suite single rooms in the UCD residence halls, sharing kitchen and living areas. The accommodations include wireless internet service and washing machines. Students are expected to keep their apartments clean and in the order they were during move-in. Any damage will be assessed at the end of the program.
Accommodations are provided for the duration of the program only. It is not possible to get into the apartments before the official start of the program. Students wishing to arrive a few days early may request recommendations for economical hotels and hostels in Dublin.
Kitchen and dining area
The exterior of Roebuck Hall
Participants will make their own travel arrangements to Dublin, taking advantage of any frequent-flyer options and/or internet specials available to them. A list of travel agencies and internet resources will be provided. The cost of travel is not included in the program fee.
Participants are expected to arrive on the morning of the start date of the program and will be met at the Dublin airport by staff from our program and from the UCD international office, who will be at the airport until noon. Students will take the Air Coach to the UCD campus and be reimbursed upon providing a receipt for the ride.
Dublin has an excellent public transportation system comprised of busses and light rail. A bus pass is included in the program fee. Dublin's modern, international airport provides a hub to all major European capitol cities.
Applicants must be 18 years of age by June 1. This program is open to both students and people who are not studying at an academic institution. Applicants will be selected based on a writing sample, a recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Applicants with a 3.0 G.P.A. or higher (on a 4.0 scale) are given preference. Applications from students who have a G.P.A. below a 3.0 may be considered for the program, but will be interviewed by the academic director by telephone prior to acceptance.
The program fee for 2013 was $5,838 for Iowa residents, $6,636 for Iowa nonresidents, and $6,836 for non-UI students.
The program fee includes all academic and administrative expenses, housing, a Dublin bus pass, onsite orientation, a welcome dinner, cultural visits, entrance fees for museums and 4 theater outings, a speaker series, a weekend excursion, and a farewell dinner.
The program fee does not include airfare, most meals, textbooks, or personal expenses.
The deadline for completed applications was March 1, 2013. Applicants must submit a writing sample between 10 and 20 pages (no more). This sample can be fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry (one poem equals one page), or a one-act play. You may also combine genres.
For example, if you have a five page short story and five poems, you may submit the story and the poems to reach the minimum of 10 pages. Please do not send more than 20 pages. Along with the writing sample, a statement of purpose essay of approximately 300 words is required.
Both the writing sample and the statement of purpose should be submitted along with the three elements of the application: the application itself, the Conditions of Participation form, and a reference.
University of Iowa degree-seeking students may apply for a Need-Based Study Abroad Grant and/or a Summer & Short-term Study Abroad Scholarship. Applications are available on the UI's Study Abroad web site.
From the Book of Kells
The James Joyce Center
Dublin Writers Museum
IES Dublin Center
The Gate Theatre
The Abbey Theatre
The Gaiety Theatre
The Samuel Beckett Theatre
National Museum of Archeology & History
National Gallery of Ireland
Dublin city web site and information gateway
The Irish Times on the web
Trinity College Dublin
CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts
Historical Walking Tours of Dublin
The 1916 Rebellion
Irish Culture & Customs
Irish Culture Guide
The Irish Language
The Irish Traditional Music Archive