Arts & Culture, Fuinneamh, News

This Hostel Life Author Melatu Uche Okorie Makes UL Return

By: Maxine Bramley

The University of Limerick welcomed back Author of This Hostel Life Melatu Uche Okorie for the How I write, Ireland series.

The Regional Writing Centre set up this in-depth interview series to invite established Irish writers to share some insight into creative writing for aspiring writers at the University.

Okorie is a newcomer to the literary scene and her debut book, published last May, tells stories of the experiences and hardships of living in Irelands Direct Provision system.

Nigerian-born Okorie lived in Direct Provision for eight and a half years with her young daughter and is the first Irish author to publish a book based within this purgatorial setting.

“You learn so much from talking to each other about what we do when we write so that’s what we are going to do here today and hopefully you will get something from it,” Co-director of the Regional Writing Centre, Lawrence Cleary said, welcoming students and staff.

In the sit-down interview conducted by Cleary, Okorie took us through her process of idea generation, building her characters and setting the scene for her highly rated first book.

The author, who describes herself as “not a natural sharer” also took us through her journey as a writer and her frustrations and setbacks and how she overcomes them.

Okorie told An Focal that she found the interview very enjoyable and said: “It’s always great to have a conversation with people who are reading your work.”

“You get questions from the audience and from people asking me questions I learn a bit more about myself, and I reflect on things that I would not have thought of before,” she added.

When asked about the future Okorie told An Focal “I have an outline for a novel there and I just need to get the time to finish up the draft.”

“I hope to get it done soon. I hope to find the time to chill out and take my time to write and just enjoy,” the author said.

The Regional Writing Centre frequently holds these interviews for staff and students, with some of the previous guests including Liz Nugent and Louise O’Neill.

To find out when the next interview is set to happen you can email the Regional Writing Centre at writingcentre@ul.ie.

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