April 20-30, 2017
The “perfect writers’ retreat” in Ireland: a castle, lots of writing and plenty of time for sightseeing. That was the story of our Go and Write! retreat to Ireland.
Participants enjoyed quiet time for writing, introspection, feedback and guidance from award-winning author Dr. Gerard Collins in the ancient Clontarf Castle, the same castle where Handel laid his head after the Dublin premiere of the Messiah. The village of Clontarf was also home to Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, and Bram Stoker, who lived just down the road from the castle.
Gerard hosted a writing workshop at the castle and conducted the hour-long one-on-one sessions with participants in the castle’s former dungeon – the coolest venue for these individual meetings in the history of Go and Write, hands down.
Writers had plenty of time to venture down the rocky road to Dublin to visit the pubs and hear a live session, tour Trinity College and see the Book of Kells, and get a glimpse of the bog people and priceless treasures at the National Museum of Dublin.
In the West, we stayed at the beautiful Old Ground Hotel in Ennis, took an unforgettable boat ride on the Isle of Innisfree while the captain quoted passages from Yeats, we visited Galway on World Poetry Day where musicians busked in the cobble-stone streets and baristas gave us chocolate truffles to read pre-printed poems from local authors, and we spent an incredible afternoon at the Cliffs of Moher.
We shared evening readings and writing and feeling inspired by the sights, sounds and history of one of the truly great, ancient places on earth.