PATRICK KAVANAGH CENTRE WORKSHOP WITH MARY O’DONNELL
Monaghan poet, Mary O’Donnell, who has just published a new collection of poetry, will direct the annual Poetry Writing Workshop weekend at the Patrick Kavanagh Centre in Inniskeen on Saturday and Sunday 25th – 26th April. Mary’s seventh poetic work “Those April Fevers”, issued by Arc Publications UK, was launched in Dublin on Thursday night at the Irish Writers’ Centre.
The weekend course is for anyone who has had the urge to write poetry. It’s about exploring the ideas and impulses that make you want to write, and about putting some of your ideas into practice. It is hoped that by the end of the course all participants will leave the workshop feeling ready to write something new the following week, and to see it through various drafts until it is completed. The importance of drafting your work, and the importance of reading the work of contemporary poets will be discussed. In brief, the journey between language and feeling is what participants will share in common over the course of the weekend.
Mary O’Donnell was born in Monaghan and attended the St Louis Convent and St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. She is also a novelist and her publication last year, “Where They Lie” (New Island Books), was described by Carlo Gébler as “marvelous and troubling”. This novel takes as its subject the trauma of a Protestant family in Belfast in the wake of the disappearance of their murdered loved ones. Other works by her include the best-selling novel “The Light-Makers”, “Virgin and the Boy”, “The Elysium Testament” and the short story collection “Storm Over Belfast”.
She has won several prestigious prizes, including the Fish International Short Story Award, and the Listowel Writers’ Week Jameson Short Story Award. She was also a prizewinner in the V.S.Pritchett Short Story Competition, and the Cardiff International Poetry Competition. Other awards include the James Joyce Ireland-Australia Award (2001), as well as residencies at the Princess Grace Irish Library, Monaco (2007) and at the Irish College in Paris (2012). She was co-winner of the Irodalmi Jelen Award for Poetry in Translation (Hungary) in 2012. She is an experienced teacher of creative writing who lectures on the MFA programme at Carlow University, Pittsburgh.
The Patrick Kavanagh Centre is the venue for this weekend of creative activity. It is located in Inniskeen, which nestles among the Monaghan drumlins immortalised by Patrick Kavanagh, the village’s most illustrious son and one of Ireland’s best loved poets.