On Thursday 11 May 2017 the latest Windows Publications book,11 anthology was launched by Liz Mc Manus, Chair of Irish Writers Centre at Johnston Central Library Cavan.
The second launch was in the Irish Writers Centre, Dublin and was a special event.
The third launch was in Galway which was a very warm occasion where James Harold launched the book in the Galway City Library.
An amazing finale came to the anthology launches of windows publications celebrating 25 years with our final launch which was held in the Seamus Heaney Centre, Bellaghy, Derry.
In a thrilling reading where eight contributors to the book met in the centre. Dan Heaney, brother of the late Seamus Heaney joined us for the event and spoke after the readings welcoming us all personally to Bellaghy and assured us that this was exactly the type of event the centre was built for, "Seamus would be delighted".
Dan was invited by Kevin McCann - whom he had met in America....the Irish diaspora is alive and well and networking on our behalf. Thank you Kevin - who is of course the filmmaker from Belturbet and son of Brendan McCann.
Noel Monahan and Heather Brett paid tribute to everyone involved. Noel managed to pay homage to Seamus Heaney with a poem, while Heather read a poem for her mother who was in the audience.
New art work from selected visual artists is on show in the events space, Johnston Library, Farnham St, Cavan until the end of June. The visual artists include: Rikki van den Berg, Michelle Boyle, James Brady, Elena Duff, Marilyn Gaffney and Fiona Seoige Joyce.
New writing includes work by: Jackie Gorman, Teresa Kane, Vinny Steed, Agneiszka Filipeck, Patricia Doole,Kevin Graham, Mairéad Donnellan, Moya Roddy, Patrick Holloway, Sighle Meehan, Brendan McCann, Antoinette Rock, Tim Quinlan, Honor Duff and Terry Hyland.
The event was hosted by Heather Brett and Noel Monahan, writers and editors with Windows Publications. "The six artists in the book are not short of amazing qualities.
The subtle miasma of fine detail going on in Marilyn Gaffney’s work as she draws us inward is nearly the opposite of the almost spiritual space and grace in the pieces belonging to Fiona Joyce.
Rikki Van den berg offers us her feelings, laying them thickly out there, as tangible as her paintstrokes in landscapes of vivid solitude.
Michelle Boyle’s work sometimes traps the onlooker with a sombre pleading, only to release them in other pieces full of a mirthful lightness.
Elena Duff is an gifted artist well known to Windows. If I had to use two word to describe her work it would be admirably innovative…a warrior, keen to push the boundaries and try the impossible and probably the previously unthought of!
And lastly James Brady…another artist we have used countless times. His wolf seems so benign that you almost want to claw the fur pelt…don’t…his fantasy art so skillful you could believe he has indeed been face to face with dragons". This event is promoted by Cavan County Council arts office.
A list of further readings from the new Anthology are included on http://www.cavanarts.ie/Default.aspx?StructureID_str=35&guid=1078
THE WINDOWS authors and artists anthology, co-edited by Cavan based poets Heather Brett and Noel Monahan, has for the past quarter century been an important outlet for emerging artists, and writers who have yet to publish a first book.
Many now established writers, such as Galway’s Alan McMonagle, Mary Madec, and Lorna Shaughnessy, had early work published in its exquisitely presented pages. This year’s edition, Windows Publications Authors & Artists Introduction Series Celebrate 25 Years, includes striking artwork, by James Brady, Michelle Boyle, Marilyn Gaffney, and Elena Duff.
Terry Hyland’s post-apocalyptic story ‘The Deluge Departs’ is set in Ireland at the end of the great flood (the one which made Noah and his Ark famous ). It is an even unhappier place than post-financial crash Ireland: “The primordial Gods of Chaos and Wild Nature thrashed about in their wilderness…looked on this emerald island and felt only anger and envy.”
Not a good situation. No doubt, had he been around at the time, Eoghan Harris would have blamed it on the public sector trade unions and Fine Gael - or some prehistoric version thereof - would have spent the next thousand years blaming the difficult situation on the recklessness of the previous administration. Patrick Holloway’s short story ‘The Queen’s Nose’ has a kick to it: “The fat man had a wife, you reckon, a secretary or primary school teacher who once loved him and thought he’d protect her. She, like everyone else, couldn’t accept what it was he’d become, even though it was what he had always been.” Holloway is a writer I think we will be hearing more from.
The poetry selection is strong; no surprise given the editors themselves are poets. Theresa Kane’s and Jackie Gorman’s poems show a promising lyricism in the Heaney/Kavanagh line. Antoinette Rock’s ‘The Man who used to be a Priest’ is syllable perfect. Rock is a poet learning her craft, and learning it fast. Cavan based poet Patricia Doole’s first published poems find a home here.
Two poets soar about the pack here, though, one is Galway based Vinny Steed. His poems have a glittering sharpness which, at its best, calls the great Wallace Stevens to mind. Take these lines from his ‘Laodicea’ “I offer my umbrella up, a trident/Glistening in salute to mountain gods who wear bulky/Clouds like burkas in the afternoon’s waning sunlight.”
The other stand out is Sighle Meehan, a poet of rare exuberance and honesty. In the fabulously titled ‘On Being Tasked To Write The End Of The World’, she writes “How can I write of Armageddon when to the South/the Gamay grapes have ripened”. ‘What I Know Is’ mercilessly presents us with Meehan's now emptied nest: “That all the shoes and clothes are mine./That the pristine rooms are silent./That the unscuffed hall is still.”
If you are a beginner writer, buy this book and send the editors some of your own writing for consideration in next year’s edition.