September Summer School 2022

Bard Summer School 2022

14th to 17th September

Clare Island, Co Mayo, Ireland

About the Bard School

We are delighted to be able to hold the Bard Summer School in person after the two Covid years. While Zoom has been fantastic and enabled us to have global participation (five continents) there is no substitute for the face to face.

We have run the Bard Summer School on Clare Island since 1996. In many ways it has felt that Clare Island is the spiritual home of the Bard.

The 2022 Theme

The Theme this year is the RETURN OF THE GODDESS. In Myth we know that the Goddess people, the Tuatha de Danaan were defeated by the Sons of Mil and the Battle of Tailtiu. The newly arrived Celts punished them by sending them underground. Here they have remained, perhaps to emerge sometimes as the Little People, the often derided but much loved Leprechauns. For our friend and frequent Presenter John Moriarty, the defeat by the Celts was a Cultural Disaster. This Summer School is to reimagine their Return of these lost tribes into the overground. 

The Bard Format

The format as always is that we start with the Myths themselves and the time honoured oral tradition. In this case it will be the four Irish Goddesses that we are working with: Brigid, Danu, Macha and the Morrigan. But what is the Ireland/World into which they are to return. We will endeavour to dramatize the modern world in terms of new challenges, new battles and new threats. Some of these relate to the use and abuse of cultural myths by the powerful.

We then will be working to work through in story and myth how these Goddesses might have a role to play in a troubled modernity. The participative nature of the event is always much appreciated by participants, many of whom return year after year.

Additional Elements of the School

Other appreciated elements of the Bard School are the Welcome Supper in McCabes, the Island Night of Storytelling, Song and Dance and the final Feasta/Feast which brings the week together. Readings from a visiting Poet and from our own Karina Tynan, author of the recently published Tain: the Women’s Stories are always much appreciated inputs. If weather permits, walking the (Chartres) Labyrinth is a meditative moment on the last day. Trips round the Island for its fascinating 5000 year old History can also be arranged.

The Fee and Administrative Details

The fee for the Summer School is €300 (€75 deposit to hold a place). This includes the opening night Supper, the Feast and Tea/Coffee and scones each day. Participants can make their own accommodation arrangements. This can include staying in the Sailors Hostel with their newly upgraded rooms. Others stay in the many Island Bed and Breakfasts. Some also choose to camp on the Island Campsite. Elena Keany is available to help on any of these arrangements.

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