June 2015 Residency

The June 2015 MFA Residency was held in Ireland, at Trinity College Dublin, June 8th through 20th, 2015.


Collin Barrett is the author of Young Skins: Stories, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Guardian First Book Award. His collection was the winner of the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, as well as the winner of the 2014 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.
Sara Baume is the winner of the 2014 Davy Byrnes Short Story Award. She gave herself two years to write her debut novel, Spill Simmer Falter Wither, but she remains torn between her fiction and her visual art.

Mary Costello is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, Academy Street, which was named the Eason Novel of the Year in 2015. She is the author of The China Factory, a collection of short stories that she discussed with students in the 2013 Irish residency.

Eilis Ni Dhuibhne is the recipient of the Irish Pen Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature in 2015. She is a contemporary acclaimed novelist inspired by folklore.
Anne Enright is the winner of the 2007 Man Booker award for The Gathering. She will be a speaking to students after touring the United States in May for her new novel, The Green Road.

James Heaney, PhD, a favorite of Carlow’s MFA graduates and students, will be guiding a literary tour of Dublin on Bloomsday in addition to lecturing on the relationship between Irish literature and politics.

Claire Keegan is the winner of the Davy Byrne Writing Award for Foster (2010), the William Trevor Prize, and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Keegan has been travelling all over the world responding to requests to read from Foster. This will be her sixth visit in Ireland with Carlow MFA students. She has also given seminars in Pittsburgh for Carlow MFA students.

Dave Lordan's latest publications are Lost Tribe of The Wicklow Mountains (Poetry, Salmon, 2014), First Book of Frags (short fiction, wurmpress 2013), and, as editor, the Young Irelanders anthology of new Irish Fiction (New Island, 2015). Dave is known for his ground-breaking work in creative writing education in collaboration with national broadcaster RTE, Mater Dei Centre of Poetry Studies, Irish Writers Centre, The Big Smoke Writing Factory and many other institutional partners. He also works in multidisciplinary collaboration, and you can check out Dave's latest poetry-film, My Mother Speaks to me of Suicide, and excerpts from his collaboration with renowned sound artist Bernard Clarke All Remaining Passengers. He is the facilitating editor of Irelands pioneering Alt.literature site, bogmanscannon.com

Manchán Magan is a writer and documentary-maker. He wrote the Magan's World travel column for Saturday's Irish Times Magazine for 6 years and currently hosts the Right Hook travel slot. His travel documentaries focusing on issues of world culture for TG4, RTE & Travel Channel were shown in 25 territories around the world. No Béarla, his documentary series about travelling around Ireland speaking only Irish sparked international debate. He has written numerous travel books in English and Irish, including, 'Angels & Rabies: a journey through the Americas' (Brandon, 2006), 'Manchán's Travels: a journey through India' (Brandon, 2007) and 'Truck Fever: a journey through Africa' (Brandon, 2008). His Irish books include Baba-ji agus TnaG (Coiscéim 2006) and Manchán ar Seachrán (Coiscéim 1998). He has written for the Guardian, LA Times and Washington Post.

His play Broken Croí/Heart Briste was nominated for 2 Irish Times Theatre Awards, the Fishamble New Writing Award and the Bewleys Café Theatre Award. It won the Stewart Parker Irish Language Award in 2010. He was commissioned to write a bilingual play for the Abbey Theatre in 2011. He lives in his oak forest in a self-made hovel in the bogs of Ireland.

Thomas McCarthy is a poet, novelist, critic and teacher. He is an important, established Irish literary figure, highly regarded by writers/scholars for his strong political themes and narrative voice.

Mark Roper is the winner of the Michael Hartnett Award for poetry in 2014 and was shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award in 2013. He will lead a special workshop for poetry students, and will also give a reading with commentary for all students.


Carlo Gébler was born in Dublin in 1954 and brought up in London. He now lives outside Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

He is the author of several novels including The Eleventh Summer, The Cure, How to Murder a Man, A Good Day for A Dog and The Dead Eight (shortlisted for the Kerry Irish Fiction Prize), the short story collection W.9. & Other Lives, and several works of non-fiction including the memoirs Father & I and Confessions of a Catastrophist and the narrative history, The Siege of Derry. He has also written travel books, novels for children and plays for both radio and the stage, including Dance of Death (1998), an adaptation of Strindberg's play cycle produced at the Tricycle Theatre, London, 10 Rounds which (short listed for the Ewart-Biggs Prize), Henry & Harriet, a site specific drama commissioned by Kabosh Theatre for the Belfast Cathedral Arts Festival, and Charles & Mary a play for BBC Radio 3 about the lives of the brother and sister who wrote the classic children's introduction to Shakespeare, Tales from Shakespeare. He has also written the libretto for several operas, a weekly column for the Belfast Telegraph for several years and reviewed widely.

Evelyn Conlon was born in County Monaghan, Ireland, educated there and briefly at University College Dublin. She travelled extensively in Australia and Asia before returning to Ireland and National University of Ireland, Maynooth, where as well as getting her degree and Diploma in Education she started its Creche in 1976. She has published three novels: Stars in the Daytime, A Glassful of Letters and Skin of Dreams, the last of which deals with the issue of Capital Punishment and led her to research on death row in the United States.

Conlon has published three collections of short stories: My Head is Opening, Taking Scarlet as a Real Colour (the title story of which was performed at Edinburgh Theatre Festival and translated into Tamil) and Telling, New and Selected Short Stories. Her latest novel Records on Globe Street, deals with the story of the 4000-plus Great Famine orphan girls who were sent from Ireland to Australia on 21 ships between 1848 and 1850; it will be launched in the NSW Houses of Parliament, Sydney, in August 2013. She is currently completing a collection of short stories.

Evelyn Conlon has also (variously) compiled and edited four books: An Cloigeann is a Luach (writings from Co. Limerick), Cutting the Night in Two (an anthology of short stories by 20th century Irish women), Annaghmakerrig (an anthology of work from residents of Annaghmakerrig Artists' Retreat in Co. Monaghan) and Later On (an anthology of fact, fiction and poetry as a memorial work thirty years after the Monaghan Bombing); the latter book has been used as the cornerstone of a series of lectures in the University of Bologna-Forli on The Language of War. Her short stories have been anthologised and translated into several languages including Italian, Tamil, French and German. She has given readings throughout the world (Britain, the USA, Australia, Japan, Indonesia among these), she has been writer-in-residence at many literary and other seasonal schools in Ireland and resident artist at Mishkanot Sha'ananim, Jerusalem. She is a regular broadcaster of her essays on National radio in Ireland and is a member of Aosdána, the organization of Irish artists.

Mary O'Donnell was born in Monaghan and later attended Maynooth University where she obtained a degree in German and Philosophy, with further postgraduate German studies. She has published six collections of poetry, two of which were nominated for an Irish Times Literature Award. 'The Place of Miracles', (new and selected poems) was published by New Island Books in 2006 and is the recent winner of the Irodalmi Jelen Poetry Award for the Hungarian edition of this book (translator Dr. Tamas Kabdebó). 'The Ark Builders' appeared from Arc Publications UK in 2009.

Her first novel 'The Light-Makers' was named the Sunday Tribune's Best New Irish Novel in 1992. Since then she has published the novels 'Virgin and the Boy' and the critically acclaimed novel 'The Elysium Testament' (Trident Press, 1999). A collection of short stories, 'Strong Pagans', appeared in 1991 and a second collection, 'Storm Over Belfast', was published in May 2008.

Poetry has appeared in Poetry International (Univ. of San Diego, CA), The Seneca Review, TriQuarterly (Northwestern University, Florida), The Lullwater Review (Emory University), Poetry Ireland Review, Irish University Review, The Irish Times, Agenda (UK), Oxford Poetry (UK), Poetry Review (UK) and other journals.

Her short fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Fiddlehead (Canada, 2013), 'Irish Short stories' (Brandon, 1998), 'Phoenix Irish Short Stories, 2000', Scealta (Telegram Books UK) and The Hennessy Book of Irish Fiction.

She has received a Hennessy Literature Award, an Allingham Award, Listowel Writers' Week Fiction Award, and was a prize-winner in the V.S.Pritchett Short Story Competition in 2000. In 2010, she was the overall winner of the FISH International Short Story Competition for her story 'The Space between Louis and Me.'

She teaches Creative Writing at National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and is a member of Aosdana, the organization of Irish artists.

Brian Leyden was born in Arigna, County Roscommon. He has published the bestselling memoir The Home Place, the short story collection Departures, and the novel Death and Plenty. He won the RTE Radio 1 Francis MacManus Award in 1988 for The Last Mining Village. He has written extensively about his home area for RTÉ's Sunday Miscellany and Documentary on One: No Meadows in Manhattan, Even the Walls Were Sweatin’, and The Closing of the Gaiety Cinema in Carrick-on-Shannon. He co-wrote the original screenplay for the feature film Black Ice, which premiered at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013 and is currently on DVD and iTunes (US).

Find out about the Residency Fees here.