Name: Jake Miller ’14
Hometown: Middlebury, Vermont
Experience: Theory-to-Practice Grant, ‘Exploring the Literary Politics of Ireland’ May 23 – June 3, 2013: Dublin and Belfast, Ireland
“Ireland’s literary and political histories are fascinating and to see both of those things come to life was an incredible experience. We read texts throughout the semester that described all of the places we were going to visit, but actually being in those cities and learning from the people that reside there gave me a much more real understanding of Ireland. Taking a tour of the Belfast wall, on one side with a Catholic political prisoner and on the other with a Protestant man, made me understand the extent to which conflict still plagues Ireland. It is difficult to fully fathom a place like Belfast unless you actually experience it.
“I also learned a lot of important lessons about the writing process and literature. At the Listowel Writers’ Festival, we were fortunate enough to attend lectures by Colum McCann, Colm Tóibín, and many other writers, and they talked about how they view literature and the writing process. Their thoughts were really interesting, especially after reading their work that semester. All of the discussions we attended were really inspiring and helped me grow as a writer.”