Expert Workshop: Katie Donovan and how Family inspires Creativity.

Poet Katie Donovan led our most recent Expert Workshop on how family influences creativity.

No stranger to public speaking, Katie eloquently spoke about how the theme of the family has been central to the work of writers since the days of Ancient Greece.

Taking us through the works of leading Irish writers, from James Joyce’s breathless, unpunctuated narrative voice for Molly Bloom (inspired by his wife) to Eavan Boland’s beautiful poetry about her parent’s courtship, Donovan also speaks from her own experience as a published poet.

Katie Donovan and how Family inspires Creativity

Looking at creativity within families and how it is expressed, she asks what effect does having a writer in the midst of a family really have? She talks through how her own family’s stories have inspired her poems.

With references to the Wexford cousins who took opposing sides in 1798 and the three Wynne cousins who founded Avoca Woollen Mills in Wicklow, one of whom Veronica Wynne encouraged her great-aunt Phoebe Donovan as a painter; Phoebe Donovan in turn ‘brought on’ the young Katie, and encouraged her to write poetry.

Donovan describes how family has influenced her poetic vision and output.

As Joyce famously wrote:

Imagination is Memory


Poet Katie with brother Brian Donovan and Fiona Fitzsimons

Keeping it in the family: Poet Katie with brother Brian Donovan and Fiona Fitzsimons.


We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Katie Donovan for her excellent talk and invite you all to enjoy this podcast.


Discover your family history.

Hire Us