Award-winning poet Martin Dyar has been appointed to the creative writing programme at the University of Limerick as its Arts Council Writer in Residence.
He will join novelists Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, Joseph O’Connor, Giles Foden and Donal Ryan as a teacher on UL’s MA in Creative Writing and at UL’s Creative Writing Summer School.
Dr Dyar succeeds award-winning novelist and short-story writer Julian Gough in the post, which was previously held by poet Mary O’Malley and novelist Donal Ryan.
Formerly a fellow in Creative Writing at University of Iowa, and a writer in residence at the Washington Ireland Programme, Martin Dyar grew up in Swinford, County Mayo.
He holds an MA in English Literature from NUI Galway and a PhD in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin, where for ten years he taught in the TCD School of Medicine. He has also taught writing at Southern Illinois University and at NUI Galway.
His debut poetry collection ‘Maiden Names’, was shortlisted for both the Pigott Poetry Prize and the Shine/Strong Award. He won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2009, the Raftery Award in 2006, and the Strokestown International Poetry Award in 2001.
His work has been added to the Leaving Certificate prescribed poetry syllabus, and has been included in several high-profile anthologies.
He turned his hand to drama in 2010, writing the play ‘Tom Loves a Lord’ about the life and music of the Irish poet Thomas Moore. His current projects include a song cycle created with the composer Ryan Molloy and the soprano Francesca Placanica, which will premiere in October 2018.
Stating that he was deeply honoured and hugely excited about the appointment, Dr Dyar said he would be applying his voice to the burning questions: What is creative writing? Where does it come from? And how can we have more of it?
“I’ll be doing this as part of a culture that is famously energetic and welcoming, in a writing programme that is defined by excellence,” he added.
UL’s Frank McCourt Chair of Creative Writing Professor Joseph O’Connor thanked the Arts Council for their support of the programme.
“We are delighted and honoured to have a writer of Martin Dyar’s immense gifts as our 2018 Writer Fellow. I hope it will be a fruitful and enjoyable year for Martin, and I know his presence will help make it so for our students”.
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