The Ireland MFA Residency is offered every other year and is designed to introduce Wesleyan’s MFA students to the literature and culture of a literary nation during a week of writing and literary enrichment at the world-renowned Dublin Writers’ Festival.
Students attend readings and historical lectures and explore this “city of words” and its seaside suburbs. Other possible events include a play at The Abbey Theatre, a day-trip to ancient Newgrange in the Boyne Valley, a visit to the shore of the Irish Sea at Sandymount, or an excursion to County Wicklow. With some additional cost, the schedule may include a train to Galway in the West, a writing workshop with Irish writers, a bus-trip to County Clare, and ferrying to the Aran Islands. The trip evolves based on conversations with interested students. Students have ample time for writing and discovering their own personal Ireland as well as taking advantage of unforeseen opportunities for inspiration.
Devon McNamara, Project Director
Estimated dates for next Ireland Residency: June 5-14, 2014
Curriculum: Students complete advance reading and submit a project proposal for the trip. After returning to the United States, students turn in a piece of writing—fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry—relating to or inspired by the Dublin experience and also submit a personal evaluation/summation of their participation in the project. Pass/fail grades are assigned. (A more detailed project description provided in the fall.)
Tuition and credits: This residency fulfills two two-hour courses (ENGL 520/525, ENGL 530/ 535, or ENGL 540/ 545, depending on the student’s genre). Tuition is the same as that of on-campus residency: 4 credits X $425 = $1700. MFA graduates, and other non-degree persons, may audit for a total of $800 (auditors are expected to attend all programming, but are free during writing sessions; they are offered advance reading, but are not required to complete it, nor are they required to submit or execute a project proposal).
Residency equivalency: Although the Ireland Residency replaces one on-campus residency, students are still encouraged (but not required) to attend the subsequent summer residency, with tuition waived, paying only for room and board; if attending the summer on-campus residency, full participation is expected.
Estimated costs beyond tuition: This amount includes flight, lodging, events, and most transit costs (e.g. ferry tickets). Meals & miscellany are not included here—estimates are $250 for meals, $100 for misc; amounts vary according to individual preferences.
Costs lower the larger the group:
4 students attending=$3200 per student
6 students attending=$3000 per student
8 students attending=$2800 per student
A passport number and a deposit of $1500 (primarily for flight booking) are due in the fall preceding the trip. If the trip is canceled, students are fully refunded; if students decide later not to take the trip, they receive only a partial refund (flights are booked for the group but remain in the name of each individual and so are transferable.)
Leader Photo © Jessie Lendennie, Salmon Poetry