Play Video

The Irish Writers in London Summer School’s 25th Anniversary

The virtual reception, recorded at the Irish Embassy, to commentary the anniversary.

25th Anniversary of the Irish Writers in London Summer School

The Ambassador of Ireland, Adrian O’Neill, hosted a virtual celebration at the Irish Embassy to commemorate the occasion.

Date: 09 June 2021

This year, the Irish Writers in London Summer School, which takes place annually at London Met, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. To celebrate this important anniversary, the Ambassador of Ireland, Adrian O’Neill, hosted a virtual reception at the Irish Embassy on 27 May 2021.

The reception saw London Met’s Professor Don Macraild, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, introduce the event, which was followed by readings from writers Martina Evans and Lucy Caldwell, and a screening of the documentary, The Shortest Way to Tara: 25 Years of Irish Writers in London Summer School. The reception ended with a conversation between Lucy Caldwell and the Director of the Summer School, Dr. Tony Murray.

The virtual reception in its entirety can be watched on YouTube.

First established in 1996, the Irish Writers in London Summer School provides an informal but informed setting for participants to read and discuss contemporary Irish literature. It's also an opportunity to explore the different relationships writers have with place and identity, whether born in Ireland or of Irish descent. 

During its 25-year history, the Summer School has hosted over 90 different writers including Edna O'Brien, Eimear McBride, Matthew Sweeney, Emma Donoghue, Ronan Bennett, Martina Evans, Maurice Leitch, Julia O'Faolain, Shane Connaughton, Anne Devlin, Blake Morrison, Polly Devlin, John Healy and Jess Kidd.

Due to continuing pandemic restrictions, the course will be delivered online this year. 

This year’s guest writers are: 

Kit de Waal, author of The Trick to Time, a novel about a young female Irish migrant in Birmingham which explores grief, longing and a love that lasts a lifetime.

Catherine Heaney, editor of the recent anthology of her father's work, Seamus Heaney: 100 Poems.

Lin Coghlan, who has written widely for radio, film, television and theatre, including a recent radio dramatisation of Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girls.

Peter Flanagan, a journalist at the Irish Times who has written extensively on the Covid-19 crisis and the impact of Brexit on the Irish community in Britain.

Maria C. McCarthy, a poet, writer and performer whose book  As Long as it Takes, offers a collection of interwoven tales about Irish women in England in the mid-20th century.