Sunday, February 3, 2013

St. Mary's College Students Visit Anam Cara

Rosemary Graham, a writer-in-residence at Anam Cara and a member of the creative writing faculty at Saint Mary's College of California, recently brought 20 students to spend a day at Anam Cara near the end of their intensive, one-month tour of Ireland. She and Fr. McElligott, also a member of St. Mary's faculty and who has conducted these tours for the past nine years, provided an incredible experience for their students as they covered the length and breadth of the country, challenging them to rethink any pre-conceived notions they may have had about Ireland -- its people, its history and politics, its place in history, its literature, its music, its culture.

During their day here, Paddy O'Conor, a Beara poet and retired English teacher and counselor, led a discussion on Beara and Cork poets and the roles that writing and creativity play in Ireland. The group got stuck in immediately to Paddy's poetry writing prompts as they explored their own reactions to what they had seen and heard in the last month, and from the few students that there was time to hear from, they produced some outstanding work.

Representatives of the group have written a daily blog detailing their journey; the following is their entry after their day with Paddy at Anam Cara:

Rosemary organized another Anam Cara connection for the group. In their final night in Dublin, they were joined by Fiona O'Rourke, who was thrilled that the students read her story, "Wrong Whiskey," which won third prize in the 2012 Fish Publishing Short Story competition and was written for the most part at Anam Cara when Fiona and Rosemary were both writers-in-residence.

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