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A Tribute to Anam Cara

By Rachel Rueckert

Rachel Rueckert in Eyeries, Beara Peninsula, West Cork, Ireland

I’m not someone who is inclined to easy belief or who puts much stock into superstitions. But ask me about Anam Cara, and I can preach for hours about the magic of Ireland. I know because of what it did for my writing.

Artists and writers, from my experience, are too often people who put their creativity and talents on the backburner while jobs and family responsibilities and generic busyness rage to a full boil. Anam Cara invites creatives to come from all over the world to a place of beauty, focus, and quiet so artists can foster their own work. Because it matters. At Anam Cara, you are forced to remember that all this making, all this dreaming and creating and bold imagining, matters. You are provided with cozy accommodations, locally-grown gourmet meals, and an unrivaled environment: a view of the sea and rolling green hills from the window, benches overlooking natural waterfalls in the back yard, and dozens of world-famous trails for walking.

I had the good fortune of winning an essay contest that Sue Booth-Forbes generously sponsored through Exponent II. My stay at Anam Cara gave me the confidence and headspace I needed to make tremendous headway on a memoir. In a week, I wrote over 20,000 new words and left with my heart cracked open to more. I’d never had such a productive, inspiring breakthrough in the four years I’d been working on that story. Anam Cara was nothing short of transformative. Ever since I’ve left, I’ve been plotting my way back.

Rachel Rueckert, Segullah Staff Member


About Rachel Rueckert

Rachel Rueckert is a Utah-born, Boston-based writer and international curriculum director. She is an MFA candidate at Columbia, where she is working on her first memoir about marriage and travel.

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