Final Reading

We did it! And we took pictures inside and outside, because we looked that good. 

Visit Inishbofin Today!

Let Annabel & Emma be your (virtual) guides to this scenic isle…

On the way to Inishbofin, stop at the scenic Clonmacnoise monastery, which overlooks the river Shannon and was founded by St. Claran in the mid-6th century.

When taking the ferry to Inishbofin, you will be greeted with the stunning sight of ancient castle ruins.

Part of your Inishbofin experience are the spectacular sunsets, which make the breathtaking scenery even more magical.

Immediately, travelers are struck by the intense green color of the natural landscape.

Because farming is a common occupation in Inishbofin, animals such as cows roam the island.

The island offers beautiful beaches, which can be seen from many of Inishbofin’s gorgeous hiking trails.

Sheep and/or goats (our group still doesn’t know the difference) roam the hills of Inishbofin providing a rustic feel to your adventure on Inishbofin.

Island Time

Danny & Jacob recapped our first day on Inishbofin!

We hiked to the beautiful beaches of Inishbofin to sea what we could see! Our writing was inspired by the vast landscapes around us, and we encountered many animal friends along the way.

One adorable canine followed BJ’s group on their trek to the beach, and joined us as we took in the view there! Quite the energetic explorer.

Many students were enchanted by the view of the beaches, and incorporated that into today’s writing. This piece by Anna describes the feeling of being on the beach with a bittersweet tone…

To Lose the Good Things Time and Time Again

“You beckoned me here, with your snout and your ears waving high, your tail wagging fast and your eyes telling me you can bring me somewhere time will last longer.

 You tell me there is an eternity in waiting.

I followed you to the tie-dye sheep and the swan; the ocean waved at me, its friendly hands outstretched. And the seaweed clobbered at my feet.

The shells I stole, the sea I took with me; afraid that it would not last. How fast it seems to go, how sad it seems to be where the ocean tides wash in my smile leaves me lost at sea.”

 …while this piece by Danny explores the feeling of being a very small creature in a very vast universe.

Infinitesimal

“It’s strange to remember that none of the landscapes that I could create in my mind’s eye could ever compare to the ones that I am seeing right now.

Yes, I can imagine an ocean so big it spans galaxies, but I will never be able to truly see it, to touch it, to let its persistent waves lap at my toes and make me realize, in one sweeping moment, that its magnitude will never be something that I can fully comprehend.

I will never be able to climb my mental mountains or explore my imaginary islands and have them make me feel the way I am feeling now, small and insignificant in the eyes of the universe, but in awe that I am a part of it, in awe that we have been spending thousands of years seeking, searching, and unlocking the secrets that this planet holds, and it’s still only the fifth largest in our solar system.

An insect scales my fingertips, which are surely insurmountable in its eyes, and I am aware of how insignificant it is in my own. It is only when it is skittering about that its tiny form just barely registers enough to enter my field of awareness, and immediately, it is at my mercy. I could watch it struggle its way across my hand, becoming a detached, amused onlooker, or I could end its life in an instant, forgetting that I ever saw it after committing the deed.

If this is how one might view a bug, how might the most powerful creatures in the universe – if they exist – look down upon us? Are they amused? Do they find us boring and tiresome? Will they wipe us out once they stop being entertained? Just as the insect scuttled across my finger, could the rock I’m sitting on be the finger of a great beast? To a creature like myself, so small and unnecessary, the otherworldly answer might just exceed my comprehension entirely.

I’ve always wondered how much space I take up, and the fact that the answer is “in the grand scheme of things, none at all,” is both so beautiful and so terrifying.

They say that something as trifling as a butterfly could cause a tornado with a mere flap of its wings,

and if that’s true,

how loudly will I have to shout until the ears of the cosmos hear my interstellar, existential scream?”

As our first day on island time, students spent time getting adjusted to their new lodgings. Shower pressures, mattresses, and hand cooked panini were among many of today’s adventures.

Beatrix, panini expert, described the experience. “It was a mess,” she recounted, “Butter did not make it better.”

However, despite the struggles that came with being in a new setting, a new friend and leader joined our group and used her wisdom to help carry us through. Alden Jones, a published and highly regarded author, is granting the Putney students her support and helping us to strengthen our writing. She raffled off her book, The Blind Masseuse, a collection of essays and stories about her time in Costa Rica, and Mackenzie was lucky enough to win it.

We’re grateful for the exciting new scenery of Inishbofin and the supportive presence of Alden. Now the Putney crew is ready for a new adventure!

Constants & Variables

Owen & Julia hit us with a quick list about what changes and what stays the same.

Throughout our first week in Ireland, we’ve seen a lot. We’ve gone from urban to rural, sunny to overcast, and just about everything in between. However, there were a few constants. To list a few…

  • Supporting each other
  • Sydney always wearing shorts regardless of weather
  • Unquenchable desire for caffeine
  • The roast of BJ Love
  • The morbid yet thrilling activities
  • Quality eatz
  • Ben’s navigational skills
  • Autumn’s fear of pigeons
  • Constantly seeing edgy Irish street fashion

But with all of these constants come a few variables such as…

  • The presence of a few special guest writers, especially Alden Jones, author of “Unaccompanied Minors” and “The Blind Masseuse”
  • Getting a taste of home with a stop at a fast-food restaurant
  • Trips to different places in Ireland: Howth, Inishbofin, Galway

Inishbofin

We’re back from the Bof with photos to prove it!

 

Last Day in Dublintown

Group dinner at 101 Talbot. Anyone up for a trip to Club Lemon?

Staircase loitering.

Decisions, decisions at Temple Bar Market. All the crepes, plz.

Temple Bar Market action. From potato pancakes to gelato and everything between.

More staircase loitering. This time at Gatsby’s mansion.

Seven Wonders of Dublin

Today, the comedic stylings of Ben & Mackenzie:

As we prepare to depart for Ishenboffon (Inishbofin), we, the blogasauri, believe this is an appropriate time to recap seven of our favorite things from our time in Dublin.

7. Dodging Traffic

From pigeons to pedestrians, Dublin’s roadways are filled to the brim with motion. It’s no surprise, then, that we have had an ample amount of near-death experiences with several transportation vehicles. Buses take corners sharply, and cabs will definitely run red lights. On the bright side, no one’s died.

Yet.

6. Bicycle Bros

You know what makes you cool? Doing wheelies. You know what’s cooler? Blaring alarms while doing wheelies. You know what’s the coolest? Blaring alarms while doing wheelies while interrupting the casual conversation and games of complete strangers! (We’re definitely not still mad…)

P.S. Bike’s are just acoustic motorcycles.

5. Puppies!!!

Puppies. Everywhere. ‘Nuff said.

4. Dead People

Do you have any bodies that need preserving? Do you wish your whole family could be buried in the same place for centuries to come? Have we got a deal for you: Irish crypts. You want a cool temperature? We got it. You want low humidity? You betcha. You want complete darkness? We got your back. Pretty great deal, huh? But wait, there’s more! These crypts are still active to this day? (No, this is not a joke.) With just five easy payments of a 16th century salary, you too can own your very own, creepy, dark, and totally not disgusting family crypt! It’s really the gift that keeps on giving!

3. Irish Eating Apples

“They literally have no flavor.” – BJ

2. Violent Bob

When I see a documentary about Irish women’s roller derby, the first thing I think before going in is: “Man, I hope they feature the loud and annoying male coach more than literally any of the actually skilled women on the teams!” (Not to be mean…but seriously, Violent Bob? Violent. Bob. That’s the guy you want to focus your movie on? That fashion? Sure…ok.)

  1. The People

All joking aside, Dublin has been a great experience. We’ve met so many kind, genuine, funny, and overall wonderful Irish people who have been legitimately willing to share both their culture and their experiences with us. It’s been a great time, and we can’t wait for Inishishinboffin. (Also the food is the bomb… thanks, Jooj!)

Photos from Howth

The gang took a day trip to Howth for some seaside writing and fish & chips. Here are a few pics to tide you over til the full(er) report…

Annabel & Téa <3 DART.

I never travel without my coffee, says Gray. I prefer a water, Julia responds.

Drafting, Howth style.

Prof. Juje teaches the most epic class she has ever taught.

The gang’s all here!!! Truly the best group ever.

 

Day Six

At the coffee shop with Nell Regan, a fellow writer! Featuring some special brioche 🙂

Taking off on the right foot (and not falling in)!

A great night listening to some Irish tunes and cheering on one of our very own as he stole the show with dance moves

Irish ocean, celtic sea, send your gaelic muse to me!

 

much love, day six bloggers Beatrix and Anna

From Jails to Rainbows!

The following post features student writing.

On this lovely Thursday in Dublin the Putney Writers went on many adventures. BJ’s group got an early start to the day and took the public bus to the Kilamainham jail. We heard many stories and learned about the rich Irish history of revolutions in connection to the Kilamainham jail. We then ventured to a beautiful park to answer a powerful prompt regarding a letter to a loved one upon one’s execution, inspired by prisoner James Fisher who wrote a heartfelt letter to his mother before his execution.

Julia’s group had the chance to explore many new worlds today. First, we took a trip down memory lane, writing “I remember” poems in Dublin’s garden of remembrance. Then, we spent some time in the world of fairies, learning all about Ireland’s history with these mythical creatures in The National Leprechaun Museum of Ireland. We ended the day trying a staple of Irish culture, Irish step dancing. Although we did not become professionals, we now know how to cut a rug the Irish way! We went to a delicious pub for dinner, feasting on everything from mussels to mac and cheese.

– Olivia & Sydney

Here are some pics from the day…

Owen, momentarily a leprechaun.

Cheers from Rachel & Danny!

Even the menus are literary.

Tram cafe, ft. Hot Wheels.

Working on our best author photo at the Garden of Remembrance.

Syd the Squid does time.

You can never trust leprechauns…or can you?

Téa: my, this is verdant! Sydney: Yes. Apropos of nothing, do you believe in ghosts, Téa?

Five, six, seven…wait, what?

Post-workshop refreshments!

Juje & Beej have never looked better. Catch you O.T. flip!