Essays

Writers’ Week Listowel 2012

Crossing over the five arch bridge, traversing the River Feale, on the 30th May we entered Listowel town for the 41st annual Writers’ Week.  It’d been a three hour drive from the Cork City, along the back roads in the north of the county, skimming past ditches of white hawthorn, fresh ferns and nettles. We […]

To Proust

“…dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake… no sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent […]

Church Going

It was my sister who pointed it out to me; on the floor of the church, underneath the pew in front of us, was the under-wire from a bra. I did not recognise it till she told me. We laughed quietly to each other, imagining the possible scenarios that would lead to a bra-wire lodged […]

What I Talk about When I talk about Marathons

Starting 2008 Cork City Marathon Finishing 2008 Cork City Marathon June 1st 2008; the finish line seems unreachable as I turn onto Carrigrohane Road. I am on mile twenty-two; the seventeen-story Cork County Hall appears ominously far off. My legs burn; my calves grow tighter. It’s the last stretch back into the city, though the […]

A Taught Creativity?

It seems there are two views on the benefit of MAs in Creative Writing – one from those who do not approve of them, saying ‘writers cannot be created’, and the other from those have graduated from Creative Writing MAs. I myself come from the latter group. In 2008, I enrolled in the Creative Writing […]

One Sole Survivor

I see in the papers a picture of a 60 year old man on a raft swept nine miles out to sea by the 2011 Japanese tsunami. Surrounding him is driftwood of people’s homes, the splinters of their lives. In the corner of the photograph a grey boat is inching towards him with rescuers on […]