Inside McGahern’s workshop
in John McGahern
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In this chapter, the author remembers the Galway of 1979, when she, a poet-in-making, was a chosen participant at the National Writers' Workshop, conducted by John McGahern. McGahern had lined up a number of distinguished visitors to the workshop. The author recalls McGahern's strong voice, his views on the practice of writing and the accompanying isolation, his sound advice, his fondness of apparently random connections and synchronicities. Finally, in a short, 'parting' piece, Melvyn Bragg brings us back to 1966, when he sought McGahern out for a BBC television interview. A friendship was formed and Bragg leaves us with vivid pictures of days and nights in London and Dublin of the 1960s, of McGahern the great conversationalist in the London pubs, the knowledgeable guide in the labyrinth of Dublin streets, a vigorous McGahern, fierce yet generous, greatly talented yet appreciative and encouraging.

John McGahern

Authority and vision

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