Donegal poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin has been announced as the new Writer-in-Residence at Maynooth University Department of English.
Ní Churreáin, who is originally from Doire Chonaire outside Falcarragh, is one of two writers to take on the role this year.
She is the author of two books – the highly acclaimed Bloodroot and Town and the 2019 Culture Ambassador for Donegal.
On the new appointment, she said that her work will be focused on women’s lives: “It has been a busy year and this Maynooth residency will allow me from September to concentrate on my third book.”
“Kildare is a beautiful landscape and I have an ongoing interest in the resonances of mythological sites.
“Beginning the pre-Christian Goddess Brigid, I’ll be looking at the lives of women in both ancient Ireland and the contemporary landscape today, focusing in particular on stories of conflict, feuding and violence.
“In the wake of the #Metoo movement and the Repeal of the 8th referendum, now is a particularly important time I think to reflect on the historical silencing and erasure of women’s stories.
“At Maynooth University I’m really looking forward to working with Sue Rainsford, who is also Writer-In-Residence, and I’m excited to work with English department students. I also hope to connect with Donegal students at the university and to do what I can to champion the Irish language”.
In 2018, Ní Churreáin received the John Broderick Award from the Arts Council of Ireland in conjunction with Westmeath Arts.
In 2019 she was named Commissioned Writer at the Templebar Gallery and Studios, Dublin. Over the past year Ní Churreáin’s book tour has extended to New York, Florida, North Carolina, New Mexico and Texas. Her work has been adopted onto several university courses in America and this summer will take her to Ljubljana and Athens.
As Culture Ambassador, Ní Churreáin will be highlighting the richness of culture and talent in Donegal in advance of Culture Night on September 20th.
She said: “Without a doubt, the landscape, language and the people of Donegal have shaped my creative practice fundamentally. I’ll be doing whatever I can in the lead-up to September to celebrate the fact that this county is packed full of creativity and innovation across every art form.
“If you are looking to whet your appetite with some literature in advance of Culture Night, get yourself to a library or good bookshop and find the work of Peadar O’Donnell, Francis Harvey, Matthew Sweeny or the little-known Madge Herron. In these voices you’ll recognise the wild streak of brilliance that Donegal is known worldwide for.”