Doire Press is bringing four of its recently published authors to Northern Ireland for a series of dates on its Intersections: Bodies, Belonging & Borders book tour.
The readings not only feature writers from both sides of the border, but also combine fiction and poetry. The tour is co-funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and showcases poets David Butler, Emma McKervey and Annemarie Ní Churreáin, alongside fiction writer Kelly Creighton. All four will appear in Belfast on November 17th for a joint reading, with Creighton and McKervey appearing at further readings in Coleraine and Bangor.
Novelist, poet and playwright David Butler‘s most recent novel, City of Dis (New Island), was shortlisted for the 2015 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year. In 2016 David received a Per Cent Literary Arts Commission to compose a poetry sequence for Blackrock Library. Literary prizes include the Fish International Award for the short story, the SCDA, Cork Arts Theatre and British Theatre Challenge for drama, and the Féile Filíochta, Ted McNulty and Brendan Kennelly awards for poetry. All the Barbaric Glass is David’s second poetry collection.
“On this island, as in Europe, all is changed, changed utterly. But to suppose things could never regress would be an even more dangerous failure of the imagination. That’s one reason I’m honoured to be taking part in the forthcoming Doire Press tour of the island in the company of writers from both jurisdictions. Beyond the audiences who, one would hope, might attend the tour, it’ll be an opportunity for us writers to get to know each other, to appreciate one another’s perspectives, experiences, hopes, concerns. The logic of Brexit might mean some form of economic border is inevitable; an artistic border is not.”
Kelly Creighton‘s debut novel The Bones of It (Liberties Press) was the San Diego Book Review’s 2015 Book of the Year and was nominated for the Kate O’Brien Award. She was runner-up for the McLaverty Award and shortlisted for a number of fiction and poetry prizes. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including: Litro, The Stinging Fly and Cyphers. She is founding editor of The Incubator, a journal showcasing the contemporary Irish short story. Bank Holiday Hurricane is Kelly’s debut short-story collection.
“The tour will be a homecoming for Bank Holiday Hurricane, as the majority of the stories are set in an unnamed Northern Irish town that is most definitely a weaving together of Belfast, where I was born, and Bangor, where I grew up, and a couple of other places. I’ve holidayed many times in Castlerock, and have set my next short story collection there. When I’m there, on the north coast, I always visit Coleraine, so of course that’s another place where I can’t wait to read.”
Emma McKervey won the 2015 PoetryNI/Translink Poetry Competition and in 2016 she was shortlisted for both the NI National Poetry Competition and the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards’ Poem of the Year Award. She is also a professionally-trained musician, having played cello in orchestras, saxophone in various jazz ensembles and developed sonic art performance pieces with a range of composers, collaborating with dancers and theatre practitioners on both islands. A member of Women Aloud Northern Ireland, The Rag Tree Speaks is her debut collection.
“There are borders and bodies and belonging everywhere in my poetry, my body as a mother and where I belong in society after moving from being an individual to being the unit that is a family, the borders and belonging of class, the loss of belonging and the search for new ways to recover it in the grief following the death of my mother, the bodies and belonging of love, and all the time playing with the shadowy borders of myth and religion, how, even when one has quite thoroughly rejected a system of belief, it is still insidiously there forming ideas and reactions in one’s mind.
Annemarie Ní Churreáin is a graduate of the Oscar Wilde Centre at Trinity College. She won the 2012 Agenda New Young Broadsheet Poet Award and the 1999 Listowel Writers Week Award, and came second for the 2017 Red Line Festival Poetry Award. In 2016 Ní Churreáin was awarded a Next Generation Artist Award by the Arts Council of Ireland and was the featured poet in the 2017 spring edition of The Stinging Fly. Ní Churreáin is a co-founder of Upstart — Ireland’s largest interdisciplinary arts collective. Bloodroot is her debut collection.
“For me, poetry is very much bound up with the body. Bloodroot is a meditation on the theme of origins, and the title poem references the fact that in the Spring of 1951 my grandmother Annie left Derry, to travel down into Westmeath where she gave birth at the Castlepollard Mother and Baby Home. Some months later she returned home again, back across the border, without her baby. The body and how it belongs us to history is very much at the heart of this book.”
Doire Press, based in Connemara, publishes high-quality Irish poetry and short story collections. It started officially in 2010 and has quickly established itself as one of the most notable small presses in Ireland. Its titles include Waiting for the Bullet by Madeleine D’Arcy, Winner of the 2015 Edge Hill Readers’ Prize; In a Hare’s Eye by Breda Wall Ryan, winner of the 2016 Shine/Strong Prize; Accurate Measurements by Adam White, the only Irish publication to be shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Prize for Poetry; and Galway Stories, featuring many of Ireland’s best contemporary fiction writers, including Kevin Barry, Mike McCormack, Mary Costello and Nuala Ní Chonchúir. In 2017 two out of three of the books shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Prize were Doire Press titles. Its books have also been taught on university courses in Ireland and in the States.