Joseph O’Connor appointed to chair in creative writing at University of Limerick

Dublin-born author to teach students in September

  Joseph O’Connor: appointed to Frank McCourt chair in creative writing

Joseph O’Connor: appointed to Frank McCourt chair in creative writing

Thu, Feb 20, 2014, 01:00

Bestselling author Joseph O’Connor has been announced as the inaugural Frank McCourt chair in creative writing at the University of Limerick.

The Dublin-born author will officially join the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences this summer and will teach students of the new UL masters in creative writing programme set to begin this September.

The novelist, whose works include Cowboys and Indians , Star of the Sea , Redemption Falls and Ghost Light , will also present a number of public literary events in the mid-west region.

O’Connor said he was “deeply honoured” to be entrusted with this new position.

“Frank McCourt was a writer of immense gifts and extraordinary achievements. But he was a teacher first and last. He knew teaching can change lives. With my colleagues I look forward to building a first-rate creative writing department at UL and working hard for all lovers of literature and storytelling in Limerick.”

Frank McCourt

The Frank McCourt chair was established at UL as an acknowledgement of the close ties between the late Frank McCourt and the University of Limerick


Commenting on the appointment, Frank McCourt’s widow Ellen said: “I’m thrilled with the selection of Joseph O’Connor as the first recipient of the Frank McCourt chair. Joseph has the whole package: a beautiful writer, passionate teacher and a charismatic personality who will make an excellent ambassador for the university. He is also compassionate, curious, fearless and mischievous. All qualities Frank admired.”

O’Connor is a former Harman visiting professor at Baruch College, the City University of New York. He is also a former Cullman fellow at New York Public Library and was twice a writer in residence at UCD, from where he was conferred with an honorary doctorate in 2011.


UL president Prof Don Barry, said there

was tremendous excitement at the university about the appointment.

“Not only is it great news for UL but also for Limerick city which has a strong literary tradition. For UL students, particularly the future students of the new MA in creative writing, it will be a tremendous opportunity to be led by a man of Joseph’s literary stature.”