I was delighted to come along to Readers Day in Clones Library in Monaghan to meet so many great readers, many who were also interested in writing.
I had a wonderful conversation about my writing with Irish Times journalist Frank McNally, who later talked with Alison Jameson and Liz Nugent about their work. The wonderful Ally Bunbury told us out her Monaghan childhood, getting published and her ‘big house’ novel ‘The Inheritance’.
RTE’s Sean Rocks remembered poet Patrick Kavanagh’ with Kavanagh expert Art Agnew who also treated us to some of the poets work.
After a lovely lunch in the library Sean talked with Fermanagh born actor/writer Ciaran McMenamin about writing Skintown. The audience was riveted as Ciaran read from his first novel about the life of a young man growing up in the divided border counties.
We finished up with all of us picking a favourite book we’d recommend to our fellow readers.
Thanks to all the librarians in Clones for organising such a great event!
What a fitting place to launch former Dun Laoghaire Writer- in Residence Sarah Webb and illustrator Steve McCarthy’s fabulous new collection of rhymes but in The Lexicon Library overlooking the sea and Dun Laoghaire’s harbour and boats.
Designer Emma Byrne, artist Steve and Sarah discussed the genesis of this beautifully produced book with Elaina Ryan of Children’s Books Ireland. The art work is stunning and there are lots and new rhymes for everyone to enjoy. Definitely this is a book to treasure!
It was lovely to revisit Strokestown Park House to participate in their two day Irish Women in Literature Symposium which was opened by Councillor Orla Leden, Cathaoirleach of Roscommon and had a special focus on the forgotten women of Irish Literature
Professor Christine Kinealy of Quinnipac University gave us a fascinating account of the life of Fanny Parnell and her writing and immense contribution to Irish Nationalism.
Professor Luke Gibbons of Maynooth University, provided an absorbing insight into the world of Irish Women Writers some who hailed from Roscommon. He talked about the huge success enjoyed by the work of Charlotte O Connor Eccles, , Grace Little Rhys, and the prolific Bitha May Croker who wrote 50 novels and had ‘The Road to Mandalay’ filmed. Much of their work is unfortunately now out of print but certainly these women deserve to be remembered for their contribution to Irish literature.
Nuala O’Connor talked about her work and read from ‘Miss Emily’ and a wonderful short story that has just been published in her new collection ‘Joyride to Jupiter ‘.
On Friday Dr Margaret Corporaal, Assoc Professor of Radboud University, Holland gave us an in depth talk about the life and work of Mary Anne Sadlier , who emigrated to Canada in 1844 and with her writing came to represent the voice of the Irish Catholic Diaspora.
Strokestown Poetry presented a talented group of Roscommon Poets Reading from their work with Jessamine O’Connor finishing up a wonderful few days by reading from The Hermit Collective.
Jason King, Mary Butler, Nuala O’Connor, Orla Leden, Caroilin Callery, Christine Kinealy & Marita Conlon-McKenna