Literary Programme 2017

Diary Writing Seminar: Alice Carey

Diary Writing Seminar: Alice Carey

Alice Carey

Maritime Hotel

Tue 18 July 2017



This diary-writing seminar will explore the diverse ways diaries have been kept and used by people over the centuries.  It will focus on benefits of diary keeping for its own sake and how diaries can inspire and lay the groundwork for the creation of memoir, non-fiction and fiction.

Learning from your own diaries 

We’ll discover in reading excerpts from your diaries and Alice’s own how:

·                     Diaries are mostly truthful—the real you at the moment of writing, not a remembered you.

·                     Reading the you of the past, in relationship to the you of the present, is a useful psychological tool.

·                     One’s diary writing style changes continually from childhood through phases of adulthood.

Alice will talk about her favorites diarists such as Anne Frank, Virginia Woolf, Pepys and Derek Jarman, illustrating how their writing styles varied, what topics they covered, why they are still read today and why I return to them time and again. She’ll concentrate on Irish diarists:  Mary Carbery, West Cork and Amhlaoibh O’Suillabhain 18th C. Kerry scholar, emphasizing the era in which they wrote, local history and mores as seen through their eyes.

You will be encouraged to talk about your diary writing experience as well as diaries you read.  Which writer do you wish had kept a diary?

Alice will talk about how her own diaries kept over 50 years were extremely useful when it came to writing about her childhood in Killarney and New York City. She will read excerpts from early diaries, and how they served well in writing Manhattan To West Cork, Alice’s Adventures In Ireland

Diaries for your consideration, though not required reading are:

Virginia Woolf – novelist, essayist, publisher, critic – 1882-1941 – The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Vol. 1: 1915-1919

May Sarton – novelist, poet, memoirist – 1912-1995 – The House by the Sea: A Journal

Derek Jarman – film director, gay rights activist, gardener, set designer – 1942-1994 – Modern Nature: The Journals of Derek Jarman

Mary Carbery – diarist, baroness of Castle Freke, County Cork – 1867-1949 – Mary Carbery’s West Cork Journal

Amhlaoibh (Humphery) O’ Suilleabhain – hedge school master, Irish language author, diarist – 1780-1838 – Diary of an Irish Countryman

Alice Carey started her first diary at age ten. Writing daily ever since, she has three books, several plays and numerous essays and articles to her credit. At the height of the AIDS epidemic, she volunteered for Gay Men’s Health Crisis – work that changed her life. She’s made a living as a waitress, substitute teacher, actress and model. She blogs for Huffington Post, and in 2016 she made her film debut in The Surf Report. Alice recently became a fashion commentator and model featured in the fashion blog & books Advanced Style and Advanced Style – Older & Wiser. Even though she doesn’t drive, she was a ‘face’ in a Lincoln Car ad campaign. She was brought up in New York as the only child of Kerry immigrants and now lives in West Cork with her husband. Her memoir, Manhattan To West Cork: Alice’s Adventures In Ireland, was published by Collins Press in 2016.

Alice’s photo is by Rory Sturdy