Bards of Éire—2010

    Storytelling is in the water of Ireland, and no less in her land. As the Irish writer T.W. Rolleston put it: "Poetry and myth are [in Ireland] still closely wedded to the very soil of the land—a fact in which there lies ready to hand an agency for education, for inspiration... if we only had the insight to see it and the art to make use of it." Such a mythologized landscape is recognizable as (to borrow terminology from the aboriginal peoples of Australasia) the Dreamtime, with its lines of songs, embodying all at once myth, ritual, & topography.

    It is these lines of songs in Ireland that we will investigate, plumb, explore, and imaginatively render. We will aspire to become contemporary bards: steep ourselves in the roots of Irish tradition; familiarize ourselves with the lakes, hills, & boulders of the Sidhe (fairy-folk); tell heroic tales; and write fully modern poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama.

    Each student will keep a journal of notes, reflections, and creative writing. From the journal writing will stem group discussions and live storytelling. The final project will be a culminating work of creative writing, with process notes.

    The tuition of $4,250 covers round-trip airfare, all accommodations, one meal per day (breakfast), travel by van, and all course-related tours and lectures; it does not include meals after breakfast ($40–50/day), books ($50–75), laundry, or spending money.

    Dates: Depart May 17th, 2010. Return June 3rd (same year).

    Prerequisite: either INTC 315 The Mythic Imagination (which will be offered in spring '10), or INTC 242 Greek Mythology.

    Academic Requirements: active participation on the trip; a final creative writing project (to be negotiated with the instructor), plus essay-length process notes; a detailed trip journal. The journal is due upon arrival in An Daingean (A.K.A. Dingle), and the creative writing project + process notes will be due no later than June 21st.