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Ferdia Mac Anna appointed DkIT's Writer in Residence

DkIT Library is proud to announce that  Ferdia Mac Anna has been appointed as our first Writer in Residence.

As Writer in Residence Ferdia will be offering support to creative writers of all types as well as working on developing his own work over the next 6 months.

The aim of this project is to promote the practice of creative writing, reading, and the wider cultural and creative development of people through writing. The project also involves St Josephs Primary School and the Arts Office of Louth Local Authorities who have generously supported the project financially.

Brian Harten, Louth County Arts Officer said, "Dundalk Town Council recognises the importance of creativity, both as an outlet for self-expression, and as a way of telling the stories which we have in abundance here in Dundalk.  A Writer in Residence is a way of unlocking this creativity and the stories which we all have, and we’re delighted to partner with DkIT in bringing this resource to both the Institute and to the wider community.”

“A Writer in Residence will encourage people to express themselves in ways other than those used in formal academic courses, or in the often dry atmosphere of workplaces.  This can have long-term benefits for adults, and will undoubtedly help children in relation to literacy and developing an interest in reading and self-expression”.

DkIT's Librarian Ann Cleary added,  ‘Having a Writer in Residence will open up and encourage the possibility of creating and writing.  It can create another space for us to inquire into and explore expression. Creative writing involves all kinds of critical skills, ranging from imagination, risk taking, empathy and problem solving as well as the pleasure of playing with words to create something meaningful. These skills are needed in all walks of life, including formal academic work.’

DkIT President Denis Cummins welcomed the appointment saying, "“The Writer in Residence will provide opportunities for our staff and students together with the wider community to explore creativity in ways that are just not possible through the more formal and structured learning process. I am particularly pleased that Ferdia Mac Anna has been selected for this role given his late father Tomás’s association with Dundalk."

The Writer in Residence will facilitate courses and workshops on creative writing, readings of work, one to one consultations and other events.  Full details of these will be available soon.  Ferdia will begin facilitating workshops and courses in the next week. So if you have an interest in creative writing, or need help in finishing work, watch this space 

Ferdia Mac Anna is a journalist, scriptwriter, novelist, television producer and director.   His novels include The Last of the High Kings, The Ship Inspector and Cartoon City.  He has edited the Penguin Book of Irish Comic Writing.  Plays include The Last of Johnny Synge and Big Mom. Screenplays include The Ghost of Graine O Malley, Hamlet and his Brothers and Romeo on his Owneo. He has also published his memoirs and story of his encounter with cancer as The last of the Bald Heads and tells the story of his time as Rocky Devalera in The Rocky Years.

A graduate of TCD and UCD he was a Writer in Residence in DCU in 2000  and in Farmleigh House in 2011 and has taught creative writing in IADT, NUI Maynooth  and the Irish Writers Centre. 

To introduce Ferdia Mac Anna’s work to people DkIT is hosting a free screening of Last of the High Kings. This film is based on Mac Anna’s coming of age novel of the same title. Mac Anna will introduce the film, speak of his hopes for his Residency and of his connection to Dundalk through his father, Tomas Mac Anna.

The screening will be held at 7 pm in the Whitaker Theatre on the 7th November and will be followed by a question and answer session with Ferdia Mac Anna and the producer of Last of the High Kings, Tim Palmer.  This event is open to everyone and free, and everyone is very welcome to attend.