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Irish Writers in London Summer School

Image by Alex Block

James Joyce wrote, "The shortest way to Tara is via Holyhead", meaning that in order for Irish people to understand themselves and Ireland, they historically had to leave their homeland.

The Irish Writers in London Summer School was established in 1996 by Tony Murray.


The summer school provides an informal but informed setting for you to read and discuss contemporary literature. It's also an opportunity to explore the different relationships writers have with place and identity, whether born in Ireland or of Irish descent. How has the experience of migration influenced their work? How in turn has their writing helped express and mediate Irish culture and Irishness at home and abroad?

More about this course
On this course, you won't just read and discuss work by contemporary writers, you'll meet and talk with them about their work and careers. There will also be lectures, seminar discussions and optional visits to associated Irish cultural events in London.

You'll read and learn about a wide range of writing genres during the course and gain valuable insights into the different approaches involved.

During its 25-year history, the summer school has hosted over 90 different writers including Edna O'Brien, Eimear McBride, Matthew Sweeney, Emma Donoghue, Ronan Bennett, Martina Evans, Maurice Leitch, Julia O'Faolain, Shane Connaughton, Anne Devlin, Blake Morrison, Polly Devlin, John Healy and Kit de Waal.

The summer school was founded in 1996 by Tony Murray, who will also be teaching on the course again this year. He has taught English Literature and Irish Studies for many years and is also Curator of the Archive of the Irish in Britain. Tony has published widely on literary and cultural representations of migration and diaspora and his book, London Irish Fictions: Narrative, Diaspora and Identity was published by Liverpool University Press in 2012.

This course is now a part of London Metropolitan University's Global Diversities and Inequalities Research Centre.

There is no assessment for this course. The final session will include optional student readings.

Entry requirements
This is not a creative writing course, but it provides an excellent accompaniment to such courses at London Metropolitan University or elsewhere. No prior qualifications are required.


Course structure
The summer school runs for two nights a week for five-and-a-half weeks.

Each Thursday evening, an established Irish writer comes to read and speak about their work. On Tuesday evening prior to this, you'll discuss the writer’s work with fellow students and the course tutor.

This unique format provides time for you to digest and reflect on reactions to set texts before meeting the writer in question.

For full information please visit:
Irish Writers in London Summer School

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