This summer, seven UB students, led by Affiliate Assistant Professor and Arts and Theater Manager Kimberley Lynne, traveled to Northern Ireland to participate in the Armagh Project, a month-long creative writing residency. The project is an immersive learning experience for budding young writers, allowing them to develop their creative writing skills while learning about the culture, history, politics and people of Northern Ireland. Students from institutions across the U.S. participated in the project as well.
During the month-long residency, the students lived in Armagh, a tiny and historic town located 80 miles north of Dublin. Not only did the students get to learn and practice their writing, but they also spent time in both Dublin and Belfast, visiting museums, theatres, libraries and other historic sites. “It was an interesting time to be there in the middle of Brexit and the conventions and all that violence in July,” said Kimberley Lynne. “We felt a little disconnected from America but the distance also gave the students amazing perspective.” The students developed plays, poems, prose, songs and journalistic pieces, and at the end of the month they all performed their pieces at the John Hewitt International Summer School Festival, an annual arts and culture event that draws writers from across Western Europe.
The UB students will showcase their creative works from Ireland again this fall during UB’s Arts & Ideas classes as well as at the Maryland Irish Festival in November.
In its fifth year, the Armagh Project immersion trip continues to be a life-changing experience for its participants, inspiring them to live the itinerant life of a writer and embrace the performance aspect of their art. For several of the students, this was their first time out of the U.S., on a plane or even in a hotel. “They all want to go back,” Lynne said. “They coined the feeling ‘PID’—Post-Ireland Depression.”
‘Til next summer…
Read more about this year’s trip on the Armagh Project 2016 blog.