“English is not my native tongue, it’s not for many, many more creative practitioners today. So how do we navigate an English-dominated world with our writing explorations?”

 Sree Sen, New Irish Communities facilitator

                                                                                

Welcome to New Irish Communities

New Irish Communities was established in 2015 by the Irish Writers Centre and is funded by Dublin City Council. The mission of the group is to create access for non-native English speakers to write creatively in English.

In 2023 we reevaluated our decade-old New Irish Communities programme with the aim of diversifying the backgrounds and genres represented by our facilitators. We hope the programme will continue to be a valuable space where writers can make connections and create new work together over time. New Irish Communities is ideal for beginner and emerging writers. 

New Irish Communities 2024

Sign up to any New Irish Communities 2024 session by following the links below:

Session 1 Facilitated by Mark Granier

Date: Saturday 20 April, 2024

Time: 11.00am-1.00pm

Location: Irish Writers Centre

irishwriterscentre.ie

Session 2 Facilitated by Rafael Mendes

Date: Saturday 27 April, 2024

Time: 11.00am-1.00pm

Location: Irish Writers Centre

irishwriterscentre.ie

Session 3 Facilitated by Jean O’Brien

Date: Saturday 11 May, 2024

Time: 11.00am-1.00pm

Location: Irish Writers Centre

irishwriterscentre.ie

Session 4 Facilitated by Sree Sen

Date: Saturday 18 May, 2024

Time: 11.00am-1.00pm

Location: Irish Writers Centre

irishwriterscentre.ie

Session 5 Facilitated by Amy Abdullah Barry

Date: Saturday 25 May, 2024

Time: 11.00am-1.00pm

Location: Irish Writers Centre

irishwriterscentre.ie

Session 6 Facilitated by Cauvery Madhavan

Date: Saturday 8 June, 2024

Time: 11.00am-1.00pm

Location: Irish Writers Centre

irishwriterscentre.ie

Session 7 Facilitated by Nithy Kasa

Date: Saturday 15 June, 2024

Time: 11.00am-1.00pm

Location: Irish Writers Centre

irishwriterscentre.ie

Session 8 Facilitated by Fíona Bolger (Online)

Date: Saturday 22 June, 2024

Time: 11.00am-1.00pm

Location: Online

irishwriterscentre.ie

How does New Irish Communities work?

What do these workshop sessions look like?

In-person curated workshop programme: From Saturday 20 April 2024 from 11am – 1pm we are running weekly writing sessions in the Irish Writers Centre building on Parnell Square (Dublin) which are facilitated by experienced writers and poets working in different genres and forms.

Online workshop: While the majority of sessions take place in person at the Irish Writers Centre, some may take place online to enable broader access to the sessions.

Please note, it is not necessary to have attended any previous New Irish Communities sessions to join in, but it is necessary to sign up.

 

What do we do in these workshop sessions?

Each session lasts two hours and will consist of the following:

• Creative writing exercises

• Close readings

• Group discussion

• Critique and feedback of work

• Recommended reading

Each session functions as a stand-alone workshop, so it is not necessary to have attended any previous New Irish Communities sessions so drop in at any point.

New Irish Communities is kindly supported by Dublin City Council.

A Little Bit of History About New Irish Communities

New Irish Communities (NIC) was founded in 2013 with the aim of providing a creative writing space for all those for whom English was not their first language. It is our longest running programme, underpinning our commitment to diversity and inclusion values. A decade ago, Ireland was a very different place, and it was much harder for those we were trying to welcome to participate in creative writing.  The limitations of living in direct provision, or lack of access to transport, or language difficulties inhibited participation. Nevertheless, we established a small but loyal following from regular participants, with some going on to publish, win places on prestigious writing programmes, and to read publicly at IWC and other events.

In 2023 we relaunched New Irish Communities with a greater diversity of guest speakers and facilitators from a variety of backgrounds and working in different genres.

Previous New Irish Communities writing facilitators:

Suad Aldarra, Fiona Bolger, Jean O’Brien, Mark Granier, Nithy Kasa, Cauvery Madhaven, Melatu Uche Okorie and Sree Sen.

 

English is not my native tongue, it’s not for many, many more creative practitioners today. So how do we navigate an English-dominated world with our writing explorations?

Sree Sen, Facilitator

At the New Irish Communities, I found guidance and orientation on the ins and outs of writing: how to use the five senses in poetry, the importance of rhythm, imagery and sound. The passing down was kind and patient, respecting the differences and limitations of each participant. However, what I most cherish in the group is the sense of community, and the shared challenge of writing in another language. Each Saturday I stepped into the IWC, I felt I belonged there; that the Irish Writers Centre welcomed and sowed Irishness with its different accents, colours, and backgrounds. So, for those who come from minority groups like me, be sure that the New Irish Communities is the right place for you to become a better writer and to find peers.

Rafael Mendes, New Irish Communities writer

I think that this group is more essential than being published. It is about the atmosphere of community. The connection, the sharing, the love of the craft.

New Irish Communities Writer

It’s the first time my work has received such recognition and I am really happy: to think that six years ago I barely spoke English.

New Irish Communities Writer