My first book to be published by Doire Press

My great news this week is that the literary publishing house based in Galway, Doire Press, is to publish my first collection of short stories, Ferenji, in 2016.

Doire-Press-image

DOIRE PRESS was founded in 2007 in Connemara by Lisa Frank and John Walsh, also both writers, who seek to publish new and emerging writers who give voice to what it means to be Irish in a changing Ireland.

Since then Doire Press has continued to blossom,  publishing writers as diverse as  Susan Millar DuMars, Miceál Kearney, Aileen Armstrong, Celeste Augé, Jim Mullarkey and Madeleine D’Arcy, whose collection Waiting for the Bullet won the Edge Hill Readers’ prize; and poets Kimberly Campanello, Kevin O’Shea, Paul O’Reilly, Susan Lindsay, Jo Hemmant, Dimitra Xidous and Adam White, whose book, Accurate Measurements was the only Irish publication to be shortlised for the prestigious Forward Prize in 2013.

Their anthologies include 30 under 30, chosen as a Top Ten Title of 2012 by Joseph O’Connor in The Irish Times, and Galway Stories, a collection of short stories set in neighbourhoods throughout the city and county of Galway by many of Ireland’s top writers, including Kevin Barry, Mary Costello, Mike McCormack, Nuala Ní Chonchuír, Olaf Tyaransen and Julian Gough.

deirdre-unforgiven-coverI first met John and Lisa in December of 2013, when I was assigned to write a review for Hot Press of Eamon Carr’s first published play, Deirdre Unforgiven: A Journal of Sorrows  (you can read that review here, BTW).

Eamonn’s book was beautifully produced, and featured a compelling cover with ink line drawing by John Devlin. The play itself is a fascinating exploration of the old Deirdre of the Sorrows legend. Since original drama is rarely given such handsome treatment, I looked up the Doire Press website and found more excellent new Irish writing there.

While – like every other contemporary writer of short stories and poetry – I had initially toyed with the idea of self-publishing, I made a submission of my work to Doire Press the following year when their annual open call for submissions came out, and while my 2014 proposal – a collection of stories on the theme of Irish emigrants abroad – wasn’t selected, my 2015 one – short stories set among peacekeepers, aid workers and press working in conflict and post-conflict zones – was. Happily, it will now be published as one of their 2016 titles.

The other titles writers to be published in the coming year by Doire Press are:

The Woman on the Other Side by Stephanie Conn
Jewtown by Simon Lewis
Hearing Voices / Seeing Things by William Wall
Peacekeeper by Michael J. Whelan
Proof of a Great Restlessness by Adam White

I’m very proud to be part of this great group of artists, and look forward to working with John and Lisa at Doire Press in 2016 for my debut collection of short stories, Ferenji.

So, now – back to the writing, but more anon!

Considering the times: an anniversary remembered

He pulls me out of the cabin near the beach, and tells me the tide is alive. He says that out in the blue night a million tiny vessels are flowing along the current off to somewhere else, and he wants us to go with them. I say no. The hut near the beach is all we have, where we can rest in relative safety, considering the times.
from Famine Fever, a short story

Famine-fever-illustration

In November 1995, prompted by a significant historical anniversary, I wrote a short fiction piece on a big emotional issue:  the Great Famine.  This morning, I woke up and realised that this year was another anniversary, albeit not one people have tended to note.  I’ve decided to re-post Famine Fever before the year is out, considering the times.

And
 since there are still people in crisis in our community and very close by, I thought I’d post these too:

Simon Community   Concern   ALONE    De Paul Ireland   Oxfam   Focus Ireland