Robert Burns Fellowship for UCD Graduate

Robert Burns Fellowship (from University of Otago, New Zealand)

Robert Burns Fellow Majella Cullinane (BA 1996) couldn’t believe it when she took the phone call informing her of her success.

“I asked if she was sure she had the right person,” Majella says.

“It’s one of New Zealand’s most renowned writing residencies so it was a real surprise.”

Born and raised in Ireland, Majella became a New Zealand resident in 2008. She completed an MLitt. in Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, in 2006, and has won several awards for her poetry. She has also held Fellowship and Writer-in-Residence positions in Ireland and Scotland. In 2011, her first poetry collection Guarding The Flame was published in Ireland by Salmon Poetry, and in 2012 she was runner-up in the Landfall essay competition.

“I have two projects I’d like to work on next year,” Majella says.

“A second poetry collection and my first novel, set around the First World War and slightly after. The novel begins in Scotland, moves to Ireland and to the battle fields of Europe and features Dunedin as well. I’ll need the whole year to work on something so ambitious. I’m really looking forward to having so much time to write,” she says.