Carrie Gates | October 20, 2017
They wrote poetry in Dublin coffee shops over plates of scones and artfully embellished cappuccinos — the curl of steam and lilt of Irish conversation rising and fading in the background.
They wrote prose on the grassy shores of Lough Pollaacapull, where the towers and crenellations of Kylemore Abbey reflect in the waters below.
They wrote in the Abbey’s common room into the wee hours of the morning, reading occasional passages to each other and offering words of encouragement while gentle rain fell on the green hills outside.
And everywhere, the 16 students in Notre Dame’s first Creative Writing Workshop in Ireland found inspiration — in the landscape, in the country’s literary history, and in each other.
“Just being in this beautiful setting really expands your horizons and allows you to draw inspiration from every direction around you,” said junior Claire Turgeon, who participated in the 2016 workshop. “I was born and raised in the Midwest, so being abroad was uncharted geographical territory, and I think that led to uncharted mental territory.”
Now in its second year, the immersive workshop includes a week at Notre Dame’s Dublin Global Gateway and two weeks at Kylemore Abbey Global Center.
In addition to daily creative writing classes, it features literary events with guest lecturers and a variety of excursions to explore the two locations and trace the paths of some of the country’s most famous authors —W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, and Oscar Wilde.