Anam Cara in the News

A selection of press coverage about Anam Cara Retreat.

house frontTHE Hot Press “Best of Ireland 2013″ guide has named the Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat in West Cork one of Ireland’s “Best Alternative Stays”.

Anam Cara — which means “soul friend” in Irish — overlooks Coulagh Bay and the mountains and farmlands of the Beara Peninsula.


The Southern Star, Saturday May 28th, 2011 - By Jackie Keogh

Anam Cara Writers’ and Artists’ Retreat in Eyeries has a perfect hostess in founder Sue Booth-Forbes

In the same way that a writer faces a blank page and an artist faces a blank canvass, the Anam Cara Writers’ and Artists’ Retreat centre in Beara is what you make it.

As part of The Beara Writing Experience, Sue Booth-Forbes, the American woman who established Anam Cara in 1998, hosted the recent Bealtaine Writing Retreat.


The Irish Times - Saturday, November 12, 2011
A perfect place to write
GETTING AWAY: Whether you’re an established author, or someone who has always had a secret urge to give it a try, going on a writers’ retreat is a tried and tested way of finding inspiration, writes CAROLINE MADDEN 
Eyeries, Beara, Co. Cork 
The library at Anam Cara says it all – eight shelves are needed to house all the books that writers have worked on while staying at the west Cork retreat. Several are even dedicated to the woman who modestly calls herself a “literary midwife”, Sue Booth-Forbes.
Writers who retreat to Anam Cara will find themselves first nourished physically, with three hearty meals cooked from scratch every day. “My father was a poet and my mother took care of him. He wouldn’t have been the poet he was if he didn’t have her,” says Booth-Forbes, who was born and raised in Utah.
Then there is the place itself, with its views of the Coulagh Bay and the Beara peninsula. The house sits on five acres of land with walking paths that lead down heather-covered hillsides, through a hazel grove, past a duck pond, and then skirt along a river bank past a cascading river-island waterfall. In all there are more than 30 nooks and crannies – from hammocks to meditation huts – dotted around the grounds, where people can sit and think.


“A Place and Time to Weave New Tales – A Writer Embarks on a Search for her Muse at a Writing Retreat and Finds Friends as well as Inspiration,” Special to The Christian Science Monitor, February 26, 2003

Anam Cara , Ireland – I knew I wasn’t in Ohio anymore when I walked out the door of the airport and smelled the pungent odor of peat fires and saw cars driving on the “wrong” side of the road. I had let the familiar cornfields and mooing cows for the land of 40 shades of green and Frank McCourt. Ireland .

This was a professional trip with a personal quest. I had come to the Emerald Isle to attend a writer’s retreat, with hopes of finding my writing voice, which had been drowned out by thumping car speakers, cellphones that don’t ring but squeak awful ditties, and questions from my offspring such as, “Why did you put onions in the meat loaf?”


All Muse, All the Time – Ireland ’s Beara Peninsula , Poets & Writers, March/April 2003

Anam Cara, a year-round artist's retreat, is set amid the rolling hills of southwest Cork ’s remote Beara Peninsula . Established in 1998 by Sue Booth-Forbes , a former communications director from Boston , Anam Cara accommodates five guests at a time. For writers accustomed to an urban landscape, the retreat’s five acres surrounded by farmlands that gently slope down to Coulagh Bay , will probably seem like a work of art in and of itself.


Billy Collins As Soul Friend , Irish Magazine in 2001

What draws an assortment of poets to Ireland to study with Billy Collins? If you've been to the Beara Peninsula , you understand the allure of this mountainous region in West Cork ; if you are familiar with Billy Collins' poetry, its quirky bends and heart-stopping imagery, you would never even ask the question.

Billy Collins was attracting fans long before he was named Poet Laureate of the United States . His readings are always packed and his books have outsold all other modern poets. He is one of the reasons poetry is so hot in America right now.

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