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Writers in Dialogue

Upcoming event: Helen Cullen in Dialogue with Irish Studies Würzburg (ISWÜ) and A Little Book Club on 25 June 2024, Summer Semester 2024

Helen Cullen is an Irish writer and academic living in England. She is the author of The Lost Letters of William Woolf (2018) and The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually (2021), the former garnering her a Best Newcomer nomination at the 2018 Irish Book Awards.

Upcoming event: Moya Cannon in Dialogue with Irish Studies Würzburg (ISWÜ) on 21 February 2024, Winter Semester 2023/24

Donegal-born poet Moya Cannon’s works include her Collected Poems (2021) and Ein Privates Land (2017), a bilingual selection of poems with German translations. She has received the Brendan Behan Award and the O’Shaughnessy Award and was Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies at the University of Villanova. She is a member of Aosdána, the state-supported affiliation of Irish artists.

Rape of Lucrece

The story of the rape and consequent suicide of Lucretia in the sixth century BC is said to have helped bring about the overthrow of the Roman monarchy and facilitate the transition to a republic. However, Shakespeare tells her story not primarily as a foundational political narrative. According to Dympna C. Callaghan, he endows Lucrece with a full humanity; he focusses on the violation of her personhood and grants her the power to "articulate her suffering and name the outrage committed on her person." Lucretia's startling capacity to speak out about sexual violence makes her story extremely relevant for the contemporary moment.

Students and staff of English Literature and British Cultural Studies are in dialogue with Elena Pellone and David Schalkwyk on Monday, 6 November 2023.

Elena Pellone is an actress, Shakespearean scholar and the Artistic Facilitator of the Venice Shakespeare Company and Anərkē Shakespeare. She devised and performed Shakespeare’s Rape of Lucrece for the inauguration of the Verona Shakespeare Fringe Festival in July 2021, and the Shakespeare’s Coming Home! Festival, Stratford upon Avon, in March 2022.

David Schalkwyk is Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Queen Mary University of London and Director of the Centre for Global Shakespeare. His publications on Shakespeare include Speech and Performance in Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Plays (2002), Shakespeare, Love and Service (2008) and Shakespeare, Love and Language (2019). He has also acted in Anərkē Shakespeare and Venice Shakespeare Company productions.

The event is hosted by the Chair of English Literature and British Cultural Studies.

Geetanjali Shree in Dialogue with English Literature and Cultural Studies (EngLitCult), the Indology Department and A Little Book Club at JMU Würzburg in Summer Semester 2023

Geetanjali Shree’s novel Ret Samadhi (English translation Tomb of Sand, by Daisy Rockwell) won the International Booker Prize in 2022. Shree is an Indian Hindi-language novelist. Among her several short stories and novels are Mai (shortlisted for the Crossword Book Award 2001) and The Empty Space (2006).

Deirdre Kinahan in Dialogue with Irish Studies Würzburg (ISWÜ) on 13 June 2023, Summer Semester 2023


Dublin-born playwright Deirdre Kinahan’s works include plays Rathmines Road (2018) and Bogboy (2010), for which she was awarded the First Irish NYC. She is the founder of the Tell Tales Theatre Company as well as a member of Aosdána, an association of Irish artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the arts in the country.

Patrick Freyne in Dialogue with Irish Studies Würzburg (ISWÜ) on 06 December 2022, Winter Semester 2022/23


Journalist and ex-musician Patrick Freyne is a feature writer at the Irish Times and has been named Critic of the Year at the NewsBrands Ireland Journalism Awards several times. In 2020, he published his first book OK, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea with Penguin Books.

Jan Carson in Dialogue with Irish Studies Würzburg (ISWÜ) and Schreibzentrum | Writing Center der JMU in Summer Semester 2021

East Belfast-based writer Jan Carson is the author of the EU Prize for Literature-winning novel The Fire Starters (2019), the short story collections The Last Resort (2021), Postcard Stories (2017), Postcard Stories 2 (2020), and, most recently, the novel The Raptures (2022)

Jan Carson profiled in einBLICK – Online Magazin der Universität Würzburg:

Student-authored work developed with Jan Carson in her Writing Matters short story workshop at JMU Würzburg:


Colette Bryce and Jan Carson in Dialogue with Irish Studies Würzburg (ISWÜ) on 16 April 2021, Summer Semester 2021


Colette Bryce is a poet from Derry who has received an Ewart-Biggs Award as well as the Pigott Prize for Irish poetry. Her works include the poetry collections The Full Indian Rope Trick (2004) and most recently The M Pages (2020).

Belfast-based writer and community arts facilitator Jan Carson has published three novels, most recently The Raptures (2021), as well as several collections of short stories and micro-fiction. Her literary works have earned her prizes such as the EU Prize for Literature for Ireland for The Fire Starters (2019).

Anna Winger in Dialogue with with American Studies Würzburg (AmWü), Schreibzentrum | Writing Center der JMU, and Domschule in Winter Semester 2019/2020

US-born and Berlin-based Anna Winger is the screen storytelling force behind prizewinning series such as Deutschland 83 (2015), Deutschland 86 (2018), Deutschland 89 (2020), Unorthodox (2020), and, most recently Transatlantic (2023).

Writing Matters Screening and Q&A with Creator and Writer Anna Winger at the Domschule Würzburg:

Yaa Gyasi in Dialogue with American Studies Würzburg (AmWü), Schreibzentrum | Writing Center der JMU, and Siebold Collegium in Summer Semester 2019

Ghanian-American novelist Yaa Gyasi is the author of the award-winning Homegoing (2016), the highly acclaimed Transcendent Kingdom (2020), and short fiction that has been included in The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story (2021) among other other collections.

Yaa Gyasi profiled in einBLICK – Online Magazin der Universität Würzburg:

Writer-in-Residence events with Yaa Gyasi at JMU Würzburg and Siebold Collegium:

Thomas Chatterton Williams in Dialogue with American Studies Würzburg (AmWü), Schreibzentrum | Writing Center der JMU, and Siebold Collegium in Winter Semester 2018/2019

US-born and Paris-based writer Thomas Chatterton Williams is the author of Losing My Cool (2010) and Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race (2019) in addition to his many long-form journalistic contributions to publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, and The Atlantic.

Writer-in-Residence events with Thomas Chatterton Williams at JMU Würzburg and Siebold Collegium:

Joshua Cohen in Dialogue with American Studies Würzburg AmWü on 21 October 2014, Winter Semester 2014

Joshua Cohen is the author of novels such as Witz (2010) and The Netanyahus (2021), as well as a number of essays and reviews. He has won several prizes including the Pushcart Prize and most recently the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2022.