The aim of the Summer School is to explore political and cultural issues through literature and the arts, and to encourage residents of Northern Ireland to think critically about the world around them.
Through lectures, discussions and debate, the Summer School raises issues of relevance to the divided society in Northern Ireland, providing a platform for audiences to engage with speakers from different backgrounds, experiences, and points of view.
The Society encourages the use of the arts as a means to explore sensitive issues, and offers opportunities for engagement with high-profile, high-quality artists and writers; our creative writing classes develop the confidence of individuals and help aid their contributions within their own communities.
Community Bursary Scheme
The bursary scheme is a key element of the Summer School that increases access and is a core element of the Summer School. The bursary scheme creates opportunities for those who would not otherwise be able to attend the Summer School to participate in discussions and debates around building a stronger shred community in post-conflict NI.
The main beneficiaries of all bursaries are people of socio-economic disadvantage from throughout Northern Ireland. Applicants often would not otherwise be in a position to attend due to variety of reasons including financial hardship, socio-economic background, perceived societal obstacles etc.
The bursary scheme provides residential accommodation for participants to engage in a six-day opportunity for learning and sharing in a creative environment. Places are allocated following advertisement and awarded to those who demonstrate how they will use the experience of the event to benefit their local community as well as personal development. Preference is given to those who have not previously secured a bursary. This criteria tends to benefit a more diverse economically deprived demographic, e.g. this has seen an increase in a younger age profile of attendees in recent years.
All residential bursary recipients take part in a creative writing workshop, with seven workshops available to choose from. The workshops cover a wide range of genres and writing styles, including short stories, poetry, crime, children’s fiction and playwriting.
The Society successfully made available more non-residential bursaries, to give flexible options for those whose lifestyles do not allow them to reside from home for five nights (e.g. carers, those with dependents, etc).
Summer School at a Glance
Malika Booker is the founder of Malika's Poetry Kitchen, a writer’s collective for beginning and emerging poets. She has an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths University. Her pamphlet Breadfruit (flippedeye, 2007) was recommended by the Poetry Society and her poetry collection Pepper Seed (Peepal Tree Press, 2013) was longlisted for the OCM Bocas 2014 prize & shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry prize 2014. Luke Kennard is a poet, critic and novelist, publishing on prose…Find out more »
Jan Carson’s debut novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears was published by Liberties Press in 2014, followed by a short story collection, Children’s Children in 2016. A flash fiction pamphlet, Postcard Stories, was published with The Emma Press in May 2017. Her stories have appeared in journals such as Storm Cellar, Banshee and The Honest Ulsterman. In 2014 she received an Arts Council of Northern Ireland Artist’s Career Enhancement Bursary. She was shortlisted for the Sean O’Faolain short story prize in 2016…Find out more »
John Hewitt is remembered as the 'father figure' and prophetic precursor of the current generation of Ulster poets. 30 years after the death of the poet, writer and art critic, friends and contemporaries reflect on the man they knew and Hewitt’s legacy on culture, arts and heritage in Ireland. Broadcaster and former Head of RTE Radio, Adrian Moynes, will introduce a short reading of a script of a John Hewitt interview with David Hammond. The panel with include poet, Frank…Find out more »
Founded by one of the most celebrated Irish fiddle players of all time, Frankie Gavin and De Dannan bring something different and unique to their audiences. The band’s repertoire includes their trademark sets of lively, sometimes furious jigs and reels – but their choice of material, arrangements and playing style combine to set traditional Irish music in a wider musical and cultural context. This 21st century line-up infuses the band’s inherited music with a bewildering range of influences – from…Find out more »
Caroline Magennis is a Lecturer in 20th & 21st Century Literature at the University of Salford. She has held research and teaching positions at University College Dublin , University of Limerick and Queen's University Belfast where she gained her PhD in 2007. She has published widely on theoretical approaches to Contemporary Northern Irish Literature and Culture and is currently organising an international conference on the cultural legacy of the Good Friday Agreement, to be held in Manchester in April 2018.Find out more »
Pat Boran is an editor and broadcaster. He has held a number of posts as Writer-in-Residence and has published five full-length collections of poetry. With Eugene O’Connell, he is co-editor of The Deep Heart’s Core: Irish Poets Revisit a Touchstone Poem. Enda Coyle-Greene has published widely and is a frequent contributor to programmes on RTE Radio. Her debut collection, Snow Negatives (2007) won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2006. Her most recent collection is Map of the Last (2013).…Find out more »
Formerly an award-winning blogger, Lisa McInerney’s work has featured in Winter Papers, The Stinging Fly, Granta and BBC Radio 4 and in the anthologies The Long Gaze Back (New Island), Beyond The Centre (New Island) and Town and Country (Faber). Her debut novel The Glorious Heresies (John Murray) won the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize. It was shortlisted for an Irish Book Award, longlisted for the 2016 Dylan Thomas Award, and named as…Find out more »
This Masterclass takes place during the 30th John Hewitt International Summer School, in Armagh. Mark Doty is one of the leading poets of his generation and this is a fantastic opportunity for writers to benefit from his insights into the creative process. Places are strictly limited. To be considered for the Masterclass, please send three poems that you feel best represent your current artistic practice. Poems should be emailed to email@example.com by 5pm on Friday 23rd June. Further submission guidelines…Find out more »
Born in Armagh, J.B. Vallely is one of Ireland's foremost painters. With over forty solo exhibitions spanning his career to date, paintings of JB Vallely appear in the collection of galleries and universities in over thirteen countries. A keen musician, he founded the Armagh PipersClub in 1966 and is today heavily involved with Armagh Athletics Club. J.B. will be in conversation with well-known author, broadcaster, journalist, and editor Eamonn Mallie, who has always had a passionate interest in the visual…Find out more »
Toto Ellis, film maker and son of the legendary Ulster actor, James Ellis, has won acclaim for his recent short film, 'Two Angry Men', which portrays the battle of his father and playwright, Sam Thompson to stage the groundbreaking play Over The Bridge in the face of censorship in 1950s Belfast. Following a screening of the film which stars Adrian Dunbar and Conleth Hill, Toto Ellis will take part in a discussion on ‘Two Angry Men’ and on events surrounding…Find out more »