Two declarations: I’m Irish, and I love literature.
This blog’s origins lie in a few days of a damp and dreary Irish October in 2012. Firstly I attended the launch of “Silver Threads of Hope”, the Sinéad Gleeson-edited collection of 28 short stories by Irish or Irish-based authors, which will benefit the suicide charity Console. The contents page of “Silver Threads…” contains an impressive list of writers, and many of them were packed into the upstairs room at the Lost Society near Dublin’s Grafton Street. There were so many writers there that the writers were trying to spot writers.
“Are you in the book?” someone asked me. Maybe I should’ve lied.
And then a few days later, while flicking through the list of Nobel Laureates after the Chinese writer Mo Yan was announced as the latest winner of the award, it struck me just how impressive our collective literary legacy really is. Yes, I always knew it, of course, but seeing the names of Yeats, Shaw, Beckett and Heaney on the list was still an epiphany of sorts.
Later that evening, as I tried to customise Google News to quieten its noise, I noticed several news pieces about Claire Keegan and Eavan Boland and John Montague.
I decided to try to bring things together in one place. The “Loose Leaves” column is one of the first ports of call of a Saturday, the only criticism being that the experience lasts just five minutes before I’m left yearning for the next instalment seven days later. So I thought that if I could create a site about Irish writing (and writers and readings and events) that I would be interested in visiting, then maybe a few others might be interesting in visiting it too.
Welcome to the Irish Writing Blog.
I hope you find something to bring you back.