Inaugural Beckett Creative Fellows announced

Posted on: 22 September 2022

The School of English at Trinity College Dublin is delighted to announce that it will be hosting Niamh Campbell and Nathan O’Donnell as the inaugural Beckett Creative Fellows this coming academic year, 2022-23.

Beckett with Billie Whitelaw

Actress Billie Whitelaw and Samuel Beckett in rehearsal. 

This scheme is a collaboration with the Samuel Beckett Research Centre at the University of Reading, which has pioneered a series of Creative Fellowships since 2017. Through the fellowships at Reading and Trinity the rich collection of archival materials mapping Beckett’s creative process are made available to writers and artists, so that Beckett’s archive becomes a practical and inspiring creative workshop. As Beckett Creative Fellows Niamh Campbell and Nathan O’Donnell will produce original creative works that draw on traces and threads of Beckett’s ideas discovered in the archive.

Niamh Campbell won the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award in 2020, and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2021. She has published two novels, This Happy (2020) and We Were Young (2022), a monograph on the writer John McGahern (Sacred Weather, 2019), and short pieces of fiction, non-fiction, academic criticism, and art writing for a number of journals in Ireland. 

Niamh Campbell’s project takes as its point of departure notions of transcendent banality, eternal return, ideological and idiomatic limitation, habit and logjam, and compulsive or onanistic personal memory - ideas drawn from the Beckettian universe and important to her own work. The project is especially interested in looking at writerly 'voice' and expressive patterning as habitual or recursive phenomena by using recording devices, voice-to-text software, and vocal performances to develop and supplement the work.

Nathan O’Donnell is a writer and artist based in Dublin. He has published fiction and non-fiction in numerous journals including The Dublin Review, gorse, The Tangerine, and 3:AM, amongst others; he is also one of the co-editors of Paper Visual Art and he writes and publishes regularly in the field of contemporary art. He had his first solo exhibition at the Illuminations Gallery, Maynooth University, in 2020; he was writer-in-residence at Maynooth University, 2020–21; and he has also been awarded artist’s commissions – for publishing-based projects – from IMMA, Ormston House, Dublin City Council, the Arts Council, and South Dublin County Council.

Nathan O’Donnell will use this fellowship to develop a project titled ‘under all weathers’, responding to the Beckett archive through a meteorological lens – gathering weather data, meteorological references, and climate metaphors, from across Beckett’s work as well as his letters and other archival sources. O’Donnell is a writer with an interest in experimental publishing; his aim, with this project, is to produce a set of text scores which will be circulated within a pamphlet-style publication.

The Beckett Creative Fellowships at Trinity are coordinated by the School of English in partnership with The Library of Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Long Room Hub, and Trinity Centre for Beckett Studies. This project is a collaboration with the Beckett Creative Fellowships organised by the Samuel Beckett Research Centre at the University of Reading:

For further information contact Dr Julie Bates, School of English, Trinity College Dublin:


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