Residencies

Our Current Writer in Residence 

Our current writer in residence is Mary Branley. Mary is an award winning poet, musician and writer whose poetry has been widely anthologised including Windharp Irish Poetry since 1916, (Ed Niall Mc Monigle) Penguin Ireland, Dublin, Sept 2015 and The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Vol IV), Cork University Press, 2002. Her work has been translated into both Spanish and Catalan. Recent poems have appeared in Australian on line publications Mascara Review, and Cordite Poetry Review. She received the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in 2008, numerous residencies at Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Cill Rialaig Arts Centre, Heinrich Boll Cottage.

Former Writer in Residences 

Michael P. McDonald

Michael’s first book, “All Souls”, was a New York Times bestseller, and was followed by “Easter Rising” – he is currently working on a third volume of his memoir.

While in Manorhamilton, Michael will work with a group of men from Leitrim and Fermanagh, hosted by the North Leitrim Men’s Group in Manorhamilton, with cross border visits. He will deliver a 5 week project called “We Are Strong” after the song by Manorhamilton’s favourite singer songwriter, Damien Dempsey.

Brought up in Boston and now living in Brooklyn, Michael’s roots are in Donegal and Kerry. As well as working with the Men’s Group he will be writer in residence at the Glens from mid May to mid June and will take part in events and do a reading from his own work. He will also work on his own writing. “I am excited about anchoring myself in Leitrim in May and June,” he says. “My next book is non fiction set in the traumatized urban world of poverty, violence and substance abuse which I come from in America. But I also “come from” rural Ireland, as my family is from Inishowen Donegal and Cordal, Sliabh Luachra in Kerry. For much of my adult life, the rural landscape, culture and people of Ireland have inspired my bigger-picture perspective and pay-it-forward ethos, which continues to be a source of resilience and healing for me.

Joni Crone

Joni Crone trained with Directors from Dublin’s Focus Theatre writing her first play It’s Not a Tragedy in 1986 with Raised Eyebrow Theatre Co. and in 1987 Like Hedgehogs, Very Carefully. In 1988 she wrote Anna and Her Sisters about Anna Parnell and the women of 1916; 1990s three seasons as scriptwriter with RTE’s Fair City and the children’s series The Morbegs. During her residency, she wrote the biographical play Anna Livia Lesbia which toured Ireland in the Summer of 2017.

Dermot Healy

Dermot Healy was born in Finea, County Westmeath, in 1947. His prose books include Banished Misfortune (stories), The Bend for Home (memoir), Fighting with Shadows, A Goat’s Song and Sudden Times (novels) and Long Time, No See (2011). He wrote and directed plays, including The Long Swim, On Broken Wings and Mister Staines, and wrote the screenplay for Our Boys, directed by Cathal Black.

Dermot Healy won the Hennessy Award (1974 and 1976), the Tom Gallon Award (1983), and the Encore Award (1995). In 2011, he was shortlisted for the Poetry Now Award for his 2010 poetry collection, A Fool’s Errand. Long Time, No See was selected for the International IMPAC Literary Award, the world’s most valuable literary award for a single work in the English language, by libraries in Russia and Norway. As a member of Aosdána Healy was also part of its governing body, the Toscaireacht. Dermot Healy lived in Ballyconnell, County Sligo, where he founded and edited the literary journals The Drumlin and Force 10.

Dermot Healy lived in Ballyconnell, County Sligo until his sudden death, aged 66, on 29 June 2014.

Upstart! Writing Residency

Upstart! is for up and coming young writers based in the North-West of Ireland.

Our Current Upstart! Resident

Miriam Needham

Miriam Needham is a Lecoq-trained theatre-maker from Manorhamilton. She has worked as a performer Blue Raincoat, Branar, Splodar, Emerald Isle, the Hawks’ well, and Helium Arts. She has also written and performed her own work, such as Pinhole (Moving Bodies Festival, 2016) and Love Underwater (Scene+Heard 2017). As a facilitator she has worked with Jigsaw Youth Advisory Panel, Moontour, Foróige, and Óga Yoga. She sometimes volunteers as a performer and facilitator with The Flying Seagull Project, a charity that bring play and laughter to children in refugee camps through clowning, circus, music and magic.
Apart from theatre, her other great passion is yoga and meditation – however she finds that theatre and yoga are not that far apart: both use the present moment and movement to create connection and facilitate healing.
She is fluent in Irish and also speaks French and Spanish. Her love for languages and the spoken word drove her to spend two years studying Physical Theatre at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, where she discovered the most interesting mode of communication there is: the universal language of the body!