June 2016 Residency


The June 2016 MFA Residency will be held in Ireland, at Trinity College Dublin, June 6th through 17th, 2016.

Irish Mentors:


Carlo Gebler, Fiction: Carlo Gebler 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 collections W.9. & Other Lives and The Wing Orderly’s Tales, and several works of non-fiction including the memoirs Father & I, Confessions of a Catastrophist and The Projectionist, the Story of Ernest Gébler 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, 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 and Belfast by Moonlight, premiered at the Belfast Festival at Queen’s in 2013. He has also written the text for several operas, wrote a weekly column for the Belfast Telegraph for several years and reviews widely.


Brian Leyden, Creative Nonfiction: Brian Leyden is an Irish novelist, short story writer, memoirist, playwright, screenwriter, librettist, and editor. Most recently he was the Age & Opportunity Bealtaine Festival 2016 National Writer in Residence. His books include the bestselling memoir, The Home Place (New Island, 2002), the novel, Death and Plenty (Brandon Books, 1996), and the short story collection, Departures (Brandon Books, 1992). He has written extensively about his home area for RTÉ's Sunday Miscellany. His radio documentary work includes No Meadows in Manhattan, Even the Walls Were Sweatin’, The Closing of the Gaiety Cinema in Carrick-on-Shannon and An Irish Station Mass. He is also co-writer of the feature film, Black Ice, which premiered at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013 and received an IFTA Best Actress nomination. He has won several awards, including the Francis McManus Short Story Award and The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon Travel and Education Award. He is a recipient of a Norman Mailer Writers Colony Scholarship (USA) and several residencies within Ireland. He has been a guest performer at the Frank O’Connor Weekend, The Green Ink Festival in London, the Ireland and its Diaspora Writers and Musicians tour of Germany and The Newport Festival in Rhode Island. He also toured with the Irish Writers Centre’s Peregrine Readings—supported by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon (2010). Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Sound and Vision Award (2014). The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon “Literary Bursary” 2014. His most recent work is Sweet Old World: New & Selected Stories (2015). Forthcoming in 2016: Essays for Dermot Healy. ’66 ( French language edition). His next work will be the novel Summer of ’63. 

Jean O'Brien, Poetry: Jean O'Brien has four collections to her name, her last being Merman in 2012 (Salmon Publishing Ire.) Her New & Selected Fish on a Bicycle is due out from Salmon in the Autumn. A prize winning poet O'Brien won the 2010/11 prestigious Arvon Internation Award judged by the British Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. She was also the winner of the Fish International Poetry Award and has been placed or shortlisted for many other awards, the most recent being the Forward Prize.

O'Brien has worked as a Writer in Residence for Co. Laois and been involved in countless readings, festivals, judging competitions, course director etc, again her latest readings were as part of the Windharp Anthology Poems Since 1916 (ed. Niall MacMonagle) where she read in the Irish Embassy in London and the Polish Embassy in Dublin.

Her work is widely published and anthologised, the latest being an Indian Anthology (Ed Pat Cotter) and Cork Literary Review Anthology. She is also involved in collaboration with the Texan Artist Dixie Friend Gay on a project called Love/Liebesgedichte. She has previously collaborated with the artist Ray Murphy on a series of painting arising from her prize winning poem Merman.

O'Brien has run many courses and workshops over the years, including working with High Security Prisoners, Traveler Groups, Community Groups, Schools, Libraries and for the past fifteen years given courses in the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin. 

Check back soon for a more complete list.