Doire Press have announced the forthcoming publication of new books from “four of Northern Irish’s best contemporary writers”.
The Connemara based publisher, with support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, will release new work from Stephanie Conn, Kelly Creighton, Rosemary Jenkinson and Emma McKervey across 2017/18. We asked each of them for their thoughts on the announcement and their new books.
Stephanie Conn: “Doire Press are well known for finding and supporting new voices. Doire published The Woman on the Other Side in 2015, which was shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Award in 2016 and I’m delighted that they we will continue our working relationship with a new collection. I very much appreciate their continued support, belief in the work, attention to detail and their personal touch.”
Stephanie’ collection Island (working title) will be published in Spring 2018, and builds upon and expands on ‘Copeland’s Daughter’ which was published by Smith/Doorstep in 2015, having won the Poetry Business Poetry Pamphlet Competition. This will be a book of island dwellers; those longing to escape or hoping to belong, those in search of answers or solitude, those who want to hide the truth and those who want to uncover it. The collection takes its inspiration from the poet’s ancestors who lived their lives, farming and fishing on Copeland Island, off the County Down coast. It was a hard, demanding life often defined by the weather and the sea. The work moves beyond the confines of this one small island; Ischia, Rough Island, Skellig Michael all feature, to a vivid present and towards a future informed by a discovered history.
Kelly Creighton‘s short story collection, Bank Holiday Hurricane, will be launched at the end of September, 2017. “A woman picks up what is left of her life after her release from prison; a young couple are about to set off for Australia when a leaving party changes everyone’s fate; lifelong friends keep deep secrets that could fracture each other’s lives; in Manchester, paths cross for two people who have not seen each other since the genocide in Rwanda. Bank Holiday Hurricane is a collection about dislocation, disenchantment and second chances, told through linked stories set in and around a Northern Irish town, and further afield.”
Rosemary Jenkinson: “Doire Press are well-known for their exciting, contemporary work, so I’m delighted that they are publishing my new collection of short stories, Catholic Boy, and promoting Northern Irish women writers.”
Emma McKervey: “I am absolutely thrilled that John and Lisa have chosen to publish my collection. I have been a fan of the Doire Press for a number of years, from the delicate emotion of Stephanie Conn’s work to the intellectual eye of Breda Wall Ryan, and it will be wonderful to be published alongside them. The ACNI support is also a fantastic honor, for which i am immensely grateful. It does all still feel quite unreal though, and I guess it will do until I have the book in my hand: that small item which writers scribble for no matter how obliquely, for no matter how long, is suddenly a tangible reality!
Doire Press was founded in the autumn of 2007 in Connemara by Lisa Frank and John Walsh, and has grown to become one of the most prominent and well-supported publishers in Ireland. Their past achievements have seen fiction writer Madeleine D’Arcy’s collection Waiting for the Bullet win the 2015 Edge Hill Readers’ prize; poet Adam White’s Accurate Measurements shortlisted for the Forward Prize in 2013; Breda Wall Ryan’s poetry collection In a Hare’s Eye winning the 2016 Shine/Strong Award; and debut poetry collections The Woman on the Other Side by Stephanie Conn and Jewtown by Simon Lewis being both shortlisted for the 2017 Shine/Strong Award.
On the back on Arlen House recently announcing Ruth Carr, Maria McManus and Maureen Boyle each having new collections out in the Autumn, it’s a wonderful and exciting time for women’s writing in Northern Ireland.