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 an advisor to the Atlas of the Irish Famine, published worldwide by University College Cork (and held on display at the White House in the USA!). For many years she was on the Board of the Blackwater Heritage 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, creating a community forest… And she also restores intangible heritage by recording folklore, giving talks in schools and creating exhibitions and displays on issues like the Irish Famine, colonialism and the return of Irish migrants and their descendants.

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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, from the London School of Economics (right). Mark 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 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 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 - join in the conversation yourself here at The Conversation.

Provisional plans are for an ensuing Writer’s Residency by Dr Amy O’ Sullivan from Macalester College, Minnapolis, USA (below, left). At Caussarieu, Amy will take a break from her lecturing post to finish her forthcoming book on approaches to tackling drug addiction.

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). She’s the daughter of musician and poet Exile Eye, aka Tim Ording. Take a moment to hear his truly amazing lyrics and music here… And see this Irish Times review of his haunting, sea-faring concept album (below, left) as part of the duo Melodica Deathship: