inaugural Writers’ Residencies at Caussarieu


Caussarieu celebrated its inaugural Writer’s Residency by hosting oral historian Norma Buckley (right). Norma came from rural Ireland to work for a week with Hoffman on their forthcoming book together, Thine Eyes of Mercy Towards Us - The Spirituality of an Irish Village.

At 77, Norma is a celebrated oral historian and heritage activist in North Cork, Ireland. Her community videos on landscape heritage are hosted by the National Museum of Ireland - see
She was a contributor to the Atlas of the Irish Famine, published worldwide by University College Cork (and held on display at the White House in the USA!). After a mature student diploma in Environment Studies at the National University of Ireland, Norma spent many years on the Board of the state-run Blackwater Resource Development agency in southern Ireland.

Norma has won numerous European Union grants for heritage restoration in her local community of Glenville. Her work has helped preserve the built environment - rebuilding stone walls, reopening forgotten roads and paths, renovating and protecting ancient sites of worship in the landscape, commissioning new heritage signage, and creating a community forest… She also restores intangible heritage by recording folklore, giving heritage talks in schools and creating exhibitions and displays on issues like the Irish Famine, colonialism and the return of Irish migrants and their descendants. For Norma’s latest short film, produced by her heritage colleague Tony Kennedy, see

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The next Writer’s Residency, in December 2018, will host Madeleine Achard (left), playwright and director of Embarcadere Theatre company from Leucate in Mediterranean France. Madeleine will recharge her batteries at Caussarieu over Christmas, after a successful run of her latest theatre production, Les Cles du Chateau - a processional, outdoor performance of the medieval and feminist heritage of Leucate.


In Spring 2019, Caussarieu will host Dr Mark Singleton, a Senior Research Fellow at the London School of Economics (right). Mark is a leading academic expert on the history of mind-body well-being practices and spiritual traditions involving the body. He will come to work with Hoffman on the English translation of Savoir-faire des Anciens. This new version will include extensive resources and practical advice contributed by Mark on living a permaculture lifestyle wherever you are.


Meanwhile medical scientist Dr Richard Hoffman, University of Hertfordshire (left), will be resident regularly, working on his forthcoming book More Healthy Years. Marella Hoffman’s husband and co-creator of the Caussarieu centre, he’s the author of The Mediterranean Diet - Health and Science and numerous articles in the scientific and popular press on health through diet. A former leader of cancer researcher at one of the world’s leading research institutes - the Medical Research Council at Cambridge University - his work has featured regularly in the British Medical Journal. His articles for the public, demystifying healthy eating and drinking, have attracted over half a million readers - why not join in the conversation yourself here at The Conversation ?

Provisional plans are for an ensuing Writer’s Residency by Dr Amy Sullivan from Macalester College, Minneapolis, USA (below, left). At Caussarieu, She will take a break from lecturing to finish her forthcoming book on the opioid addiction crisis. Amy is also developing an online archive of audio interviews, artifacts, and ephemera related to the history of opioid use, abuse, treatment and recovery in Minnesota.

Amy will be followed by the widely-published oral historian Nancy Mackay, editor of the Practicing Oral History series at Routledge and Reviews Editor for the American Oral History Association (above, right). A frequent visitor to Europe, Nancy’s home base is in Berkeley, California.

After Nancy, the next Writer in Residence may be the 17-year-old Dublin poet and political activist Lucy Ording (pictured, right). See a video of some of her political reporting work here.

Click on the pins to visit the Centre’s buildings and walks.