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The Sacred Well: Irish Myth, Play-writing and Process by Adam Wyeth

March 28 @ 5:00 pm


March 28
5:00 pm


Hardiman Research Building Room G011


Modernist Studies Ireland



With a reading from APARTMENT BLOCK, with actress Paula McGlinchey

In this talk, Adam Wyeth will discuss some of the areas surrounding his writing process as a playwright, which have been inspired from his poetry and studying Irish myth. While his plays do not overtly deal in mythology, Wyeth will reveal how core aspects of Irish myth and Celtic art – seen as an alternative form to the classic – feed into the themes and the shapes of his plays. Arguing for a mythic imagination – which is separate from the fantasy genre in fiction – Wyeth seeks to bring back myth to its true sense, as metaphor. ‘The dungeons,’ he writes, ‘are in homes and the dragons in our hearts.’ Wyeth seeks to create a drama, which like mythology, is not aimed at proving anything but rather at modifying something, at subtly shifting the sense of ourselves, or the world, that we hold. In this sense, his plays do not aim for simplistic clarity or ‘realism’, but rather for the expression and ‘holding’ of ambiguity, mystery and ambivalence. Wyeth will end his talk with a reading from an extract of his play APARTMENT BLOCK with actress, Paula McGlinchey. The play is currently in production for its world premiere Off-Broadway, New York.


Adam Wyeth lives in Dublin where he is currently an Associate Artist of the Civic Theatre. He is the author of two critically acclaimed poetry collections with Salmon Poetry, Silent Music (2011), which was Highly Commended for the Forward Poetry Prize, and The Art of Dying (2016), an Irish Times Book of the Year. In 2013, Salmon published his essays, The Hidden World of Poetry: Unravelling Celtic Mythology in Contemporary Irish Poetry, which contains poems from Ireland’s leading poets followed by sharp essays that unpack each poem and explore its Celtic mythological references.Wyeth’s plays have been produced in Ireland, Germany and New York. His first play Hang Up, produced by Broken Crow (2013), has been staged at many festivals, including the electric Picnic, the Home Festival, Cork, and the Galway Theatre festival. In 2014, it was adapted into a film and premiered at Cork’s International Film Festival. The play was also staged in 2015 in Berlin as part of ‘An evening of Adam Wyeth’ at Theater forum Kreuzberg. Wyeth’s second play,Lifedeath, was showcased at the Triskel Arts Centre minifestival of new work in December 2013 and was named by the Irish Examiner as the play of the festival. It was presented at University College Cork’s Theatre Festival, 2014, and staged at engage Arts Festival, Bandon, 2014. His play Apartment Block was presented in New York at the Bank Street Theatre Off-Off-Broadway in 2017. A major new Off- Broadway production is currently in development for its world premiere. Wyeth runs online creative writing workshops and editing programmes at adamwyeth.com and Fishpublishing.com.