I was blessed to have a country childhood. The freedom to come and go without the constant monitoring for safety. We had the run of the town and surrounding countryside. I would like to think that it's still that way now, but probably not. The Country Child.
The Aos Sí
(Sídhe), the fairy folk of Ireland are alive and well and are living beneath the sídhe,
fairy mounds dotted all around Ireland. They are reputed to be the Tuatha Dé Danann who retreated underground after defeat in battle by the Milesians.Though sometimes referred to as a beautiful race, and always ready to dance, they are also associated with carrying out a range of dastardly
deeds, particularlythe stealing of babies, and sometimes people not so young.
·Entries, in English, on any theme, in any literary form, will be accepted.
·The competition is open to anyone over 18. All entrants must have a connection with the county of Roscommon (born in, living in, currently working in, went to school in, etc).
·Typed entries (handwritten entries cannot be accepted) must be no more than 500 words. Mark the number of words in your entry on the bottom of the page. Entries over the 500 word limit will be automatically disqualified.
·Include your name, address and contact details, plus your connection to the county. Include these on a separate page, not on your entry.
·There is no entry fee. All entries must be received by 30 August, 2015.
·The competition will be adjudicated by Jessamine O Connor. The judge’s decision is final.
·Post your entry to: NEW ROSCOMMON WRITING AWARD 2015, Roscommon Arts Office, Roscommon West Business Park, Circular Road, Roscommon. You may also email your entry to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Title your email NEW ROSCOMMON WRITING AWARD 2015.
Globalisation has what it takes to destroy all but middle of the road. And, as wildlife becomes tamelife to be found only in zoos, imagination will shrivel to the shifting fads of fashion cheaply available on the high street. Increasingly the customs of the past appear eccentric and remote; disappearing with them are the minor chords of imagination.
Images from St Joseph's well near Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare.
One of my
abiding memories from a visit to the Skelligs, too many years ago now, is of
gannets moving to and fro in the air between us and the islands. Of all the
scenes I’ve ever witnessed, this was the most magical; it seemed we were
approaching an enchanted place, a rock fallen from Paradise. Apart from the
spectacular beauty of the spire-like Skellig Michael rearing heavenward out of
the ocean, the gannets, white scarves
drifting on thermals, gleaming in sunlight, looked like mythical creatures
freed from gilt cages to mesmerise any would be invaders.
shining, across the heavens is an image of divinity. To waft effortlessly is an
attribute of a creature whose divinity is so ingrained that it is taken for
across a gannet, its head disappearing into the sand, its wings broken like a
wrecked ship, yet its beak still pristine like a perfectly forged dagger, and
got a strong urge to write a poem about it. Not a very original idea: the
pointlessness of vanity when all too soon our beautiful heads disappear into
I am delighted to hear that Jane Clarke's collection The River,published by Bloodaxe Books is now available and will be launched at four different locations around Ireland in the coming weeks. Anne Enright will do the honours in Dublin, in Hodges Figgis on 24th June at 6.30 pm. Marie Heaney will launch the collection on the 26th June in Bridge Street Books, Wicklow; it will be launched on the 1st of August as part of the Boyle Arts Festival and in Charlie Byrne's Bookshop, Galway on Friday 14th August. You can learn more about Jane Clarke at her website: http://www.janeclarkepoetry.ie/