New Broderick Writer in Residence to be announced

A new John Broderick Writer in Residence will be announced on Wednesday.

It's the third Writer in Residence programme, enabled under the terms of the will of the late John Broderick (1924-1989). John Broderick, a controversial novelist and critic, has the distinction of having a street in his native town named in his honour. The Residency is a partnership between the Arts Council and Westmeath County Council.

The identity of the new John Broderick Writer in Residence 2021 (Award value €15,000) will be announced at a virtual launch on Wednesday, as well as the Digital Residency details.

The inaugural John Broderick Writer in Residence was awarded to Annemarie Ni Churreáin, and the second writer to be awarded the residency was Martin Dyar, both conducted a series of lively workshops and mentoring sessions, with adults and in schools, and held public sessions based on the works of John Broderick and his wide fields of interest. Both residencies have been of enormous assistance to emerging local writers and mid-career writers while also bringing an appreciation of the works of John Broderick to a new and enthusiastic audience.

In a statement, the Arts Council said: “The author bequeathed monies to the Arts Council with the intention they would be for; '...the benefit and assistance and advancement of the arts in Athlone’. The writer in residence programme will be supported to achieve the intent of the bequest. The value of the residency to the writer is €15,000 and Westmeath County Council is committed to the series in partnership with the Arts Council and we look forward to continuing our relationship on this series over the coming years.”

Arts Officer Miriam Mulrennan says of this year's residency: “We usually partner with our Library colleagues in Athlone, so that the Writer in Residence has a physical space to work in, and to have meetings and run events. This year is different, and we are excited at the innovative format our Writer is going to work in – creating an online presence for the Residency and delivering workshops and other aspects of the varied programme digitally. The last year has forced us all to move online, and John Broderick’s Residency is no different. We will also be able to cast the net wider in the County this year, with this new approach.”

The Arts Council and Westmeath Arts Office will host a virtual launch on Zoom on February 10 at 5pm at which this year’s Writer in Residence will be revealed together with details of an exciting programme of virtual events which will be open to participants from Westmeath.

If you would like to attend, contact arts@westmeathcoco.ie and they will send you the link, or go to the John Broderick website on https://johnbroderickresidency.wordpress.com

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