Arlen House Celebrates Feminist Publishing and Writing with Joint Launch

Arlen House and Of Mouth hosts a joint Belfast launch for two new books, Washing Windows? Irish Women Write Poetry and Eavan Boland: Inside History, edited by Siobhan Campbell and Nessa O’Mahony, on Friday 19th May at 1pm in Linen Hall Library, Belfast.

Both books are tributes to the founders of feminist publishing and writing; the women who created the first opportunities for writers who are women and who changed the face of Irish literature and of Irish publishing, namely Catherine Rose, founder of Arlen House, Ireland’s first feminist press, in 1975, and Eavan Boland, who joined Arlen House in 1978 as editor.

Current editor Alan Hayes celebrates the work of 100 contemporary poets – both emerging and established – with select readings from the publication. Books will be available to purchase on the day.

The following day (Saturday 20 May at 1pm) see a seminar on “Women in Print: Writing, Publishing and Invisibility” at the Linen Hall. Kate Newmann, Damian Smyth, Siobhan Campbell and Nessa O’Mahony will consider the position of women in contemporary Irish Letters, taking questions from the floor.

Arlen House was originally founded by Rose in 1975, and that September in Galway she published her first book, The Female Experience: The Story of the Woman Movement in Ireland. In 1978, prominent poet and critic Eavan Boland also became involved as an associate editor, working on the first ever creative writing competition for women in Ireland, which was judged by Eavan, Mary Lavin and David Marcus. The resulting book, The Wall Reader, became a No. 1 bestseller in 1979.

Through critical and creative responses, Eavan Boland: Inside History takes a fresh look at Boland’s influence as a poet and critic for the twenty-first century. The essays, poems, and interviews gathered provide a new frame for critically engaging with Boland’s work, one that crosses continental and aesthetic boundaries.

Both events are free and open to everybody.

Read the introduction to Washing Windows? at Dublin Review of Books. Edna Longley’s review of Inside History is available on the Irish Times website.

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