WIP appoints acclaimed author as inaugural Writer in Residence to encourage creative thinking and critical analysis

We are delighted to announce that Martin Dyar has been appointed the inaugural Washington Ireland Program (WIP) writer in residence.

Over the next six months, Martin will work with WIP students and alumni/ae in developing their skills to imagine and create. Throughout this time, Martin will be speaking and reading from his work both in Ireland and the US, in a series intended to capture aspects of the themes that are central to WIP’s ethos and story.

Speaking on the appointment Bryan Patten, WIP’s Executive Director, remarked

“At WIP we are deeply committed to the idea that our future can continue to be different from our past. Shaping that future requires our island’s emerging leaders to have empathy, imagination and creativity. The appointment of Martin, among Ireland’s finest new literary voices, as writer in residence is our way of investing in that idea.”

Martin will also be conducting interviews with WIP alumni and partners. Speaking at a special summit with recipients of the All Ireland Scholarship, first engagement in the post, the poet said

“This is a wonderful honour and a wonderful prospect, the Washington Ireland Program has a vital integrity, and a fascinating history. It is also a deeply articulate community. Poetry and fiction have always had a natural role in WIP initiatives, on both sides of the Atlantic, and I see this residency in part as an opportunity to explore and promote that synergy.”

Martin Dyar grew up in Swinford, County Mayo. His debut poetry collection Maiden Names (Arlen House), described by the poet Bernard O’Donoghue as ‘a thrilling new development in Irish poetry’, was shortlisted for both the Pigott Poetry Prize and the Shine/Strong Award. He was the winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2009. He has also written a play, Tom Loves a Lord, about the Irish poet Thomas Moore. A graduate of NUI Galway, and Trinity College Dublin, where he did a PhD in English literature, he has been the recipient of two Irish Arts Council Bursary Awards for literature. In 2013/14 Martin was the Dublin UNESCO City of Literature writing fellow at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. His poem ‘Death and the Post Office’ has recently been added to the Leaving Cert prescribed poetry syllabus. His work has also been included in the anthologies Windharp: Poems of Ireland Since 1916 (Penguin, 2015); and Everything to Play For: Ninety-nine Poems About Sport (Poetry Ireland, 2015).


Martin reading his poem ‘Death and the Post Office’, from the poetry collection Maiden Names (Arlen House, 2013).