Irish people we love is a new series spotlighting Irish and Irish American people doing interesting things. For this installment, we were delighted to chat with Emma Devlin, who moved to New York from Ireland in 2008, is now a Sophomore at American University in Washington, DC, and also writes excellent food stories for the website Spoon University. Read on to learn about her move to the US, her tips on entering the writing world as a student, and her love of Tayto crisp sandwiches.
What brought you to the US?
I moved to the US about 8 years ago with my mum. We came here because my mum met my stepdad who is American and they decided that moving to the States would grant the most opportunity. We moved to NYC where I attended my public school, Institute for Collaborative Education (ICE).
What was the biggest difference you noticed?
Culture and diversity. I felt so in tune with being Irish. Everyone around me was either from a different country or religion, race, ethnicity, etc. It was a really enriching experience. But another difference I felt was hospitality that I feel you get immediately get when you go to Ireland. It’s competitive in the US and you feel it even when you’re only 12 years old.
What do you do now?
I currently attend American University where I’m studying Environmental Studies. I joined Spoon University my Freshman year and I write articles for them. I’d like to find a Irish center in DC that is similar to the New York Irish Center in Long Island City.
What do you like about it?
I love the freedom you get going to University. For Spoon University, I love that I can really learn the ins and outs of writing for a publication. It’s a great place for people who want to broadcast any creativity they feel needs to be freed from themselves.
Would you like to see Spoon University expand into Ireland?
I’d love Spoon University to expand in Ireland. I think it would be great for young Irish people to show the beauty of Irish food and traditions we have. There is also a lot of diversity popping up now with more immigration in Ireland which is also great for the food scene in Ireland.
What advice do you have for other college students who want to start writing?
I’ve always been in love with food and everything that deals with even production of food. So Spoon was a great place for me to start. The important thing is to just write whatever feels natural and exciting to you. If you’re shy like me, maybe start with a journal or blog. I recently started a blog and it’s a great learning experience to expand the ways in which you write. My blog is www.emmaksaol.com. Also I think it’s important to read. You need to read to broaden your vocabulary and also just to the varying ways you can choose to write. There are so many different writing styles out there.
What are some of your favorite Irish foods?
Anyone that knows me knows that potatoes are my all time favorite food in the world. So obviously a good Irish stew is always one of my favorites. Tayto crisp sandwiches are my all time favorite snack. I am the champion of Tayto cheese and onion crisps.
Check out some of her articles below: