“Letters to Iceland” by Selina Guinness, Rosita Boland, and Colin Graham

Delighted to see this shared project reflecting on writing, politics, travel, and history published in Another Chicago magazine this month.

Another Chicago Magazine

iceland me cloudsy Photo: S.L. Wisenberg

Preface

In 1937, W.H. Auden (b. York) and Louis MacNeice (b. Belfast), published their co-
authored Letters from Iceland, “the most unorthodox travel book ever written” (Daily
Mail). Less an account of their actual journey undertaken the previous year, than a mock-heroic model of collaborative practice, Auden describes Letters from Iceland as a ‘collage’ – ‘a form that’s large enough to swim in’. Playful in spirit and parodic in intention, these verse epistles, absurd tourist notes and personal correspondence combine to produce a non-fictional text that refracts the poets’ anxieties about the imminent collapse of Europe.

The following exchange of letters among three Irish writers and friends seeks to remodel, and reflect on, the conditions of this collaboration. These Letters to Iceland were first presented publicly at the 5th NonFictioNOW conference, held at the University of Iceland, in Rejkjavik, in June 2017.

Introduction –…

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Tibradden Open Days, 2018

TIBRADDEN HOUSE

Mutton Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

Tibradden is a family home, designed by architect Joseph Maguire, and built (primarily) in 1860.  The tour provides a history of the house within its setting, and information too about the Massy estate at Killakee (Massy Woods).

We would ask you please to visit on the appointed days only, and prior appointment is always very much appreciated. Enquiries / bookings: selina.guinness@me.com

Open Days & Tour Times for 2018 under Section 482. 

Month Dates Days Access by tour only: Tours (45 min)
January 4 – 14 incl; 21 & 28. Check 10 am – 2 pm 10.30 & 12 pm.
February 7, 21, 27. Tu/Wds 10 am – 2 pm 10.30 & 12 pm.
March Closed Closed Closed Closed
April Closed Closed Closed Closed
May 13, 20, 26, 27 Sat/Sun 2 – 6 pm 2.30 & 4.30 pm
June 20 – 28 incl. Daily 10 am – 2 pm 10.30 & 12 pm.
July Closed Closed Closed Closed
August 18 – 31 incl. Daily 2 – 6 pm 2.30 & 4.30 pm
September 1 – 7 incl; 10 – 13; 28 – 30 Check 10 am – 2 pm 10.30 & 12 pm.
October Closed Closed Closed Closed
November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Fri 10 am – 2 pm 10.30 & 12 pm
December Closed Closed Closed Closed

 Please note: there is no public access to the house or grounds except by public tour as advertised above.

Admission: €6 adult, children free.

 

 

 

Carrick Writing Workshop: Field Notes for Interiors

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Thinking in spaces and writing in places.

 

Led by writer Selina Guinness, who is a lecturer in English at IADT, Dun Laoghaire and an experienced facilitator of creative writing, this writing workshop will focus on creating a sense of space and form .

Selina’s memoir, The Crocodile by the Door, was shortlisted for the UK Costa Book Awards (2012), and the BGE Irish Book Awards (2012). She publishes creative non-fiction and reviews in The Dublin Review, The Irish Times, and elsewhere.

In this workshop, participants will consider the structural elements of a room – how doors and windows provide framing devices – alongside the less tangible elements: light, smell, and perspective – and using a series of exercises, we will write our way into and beyond the room. Come with paper and pencil, notebook and pen, as we explore how one little room can be made seem an everywhere.

Part of the Thinking Living Dwelling exhibition:  Presented at The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon, in collaboration with The Green Door Festival and Iron Mountain Literature Festival

This event is free, please book.

Box Office 071 9650828

Deirdre Madden & Rebecca Miller, Sunday 4 pm

On Sunday I’ll be chairing a reading by these two fine novelists in Smock Alley Theatre as part of the Dublin Writer’s Festival. Time Present and Time Past is Deirdre Madden’s eighth novel and it recounts how a middle-class Dublin family gets blown down the lost avenues of their past, cued by an autochrome photograph. It’s a delicately written, lucid and compelling exploration of the feints and counter-feints of consciousness. Rebecca Miller’s second novel Jacob’s Folly is narrated by a demon, reincarnated as a housefly who has tumbled out of 18th Century Paris into 21st Century Long Island. It’s a great big read, full of history and ideas and pleasure. Chalk and cheese and both recommended.

Reading Thurs 23/5/13 moved to Ballyroan Library

I’ll be reading from The Crocodile by the Door this Thursday at 2 pm in Ballyroan Library.  This reading was to have been held in Whitechurch but as roofing works there are well underway, the venue has switched to the shiny, bright, new library building behind gourmet row at Ballyroan. Free admission but the library say pre-booking is advised.  Books will be on sale and there will be a signing afterwards.

Booking details

Reading, 15/5/2013, Rathgar Bookshop

I still remember my father taking me to Dundrum Bookshop on the Main Street to cash in the book vouchers I’d won for a school prize.  I bought a collected Sylvia Plath, a collected T. S. Eliot, and two volumes of Mary Lavin’s short stories. Had I been left to my own devices, I think I might have blown the vouchers on the more ephemeral texts designed to attract the attention of a 16 year old girl.  But I still have, and read, the books he recommended I buy. 

I’m not sure if it was Liz Meldon who cashed up the vouchers on this occasion or whether her involvement in Dundrum Bookshop was a few years then in the future.  But I’d like to think it was her, for I could feel then that next Wednesday I will come full circle when I read from The Crocodile at her current premises, the Rathgar Bookshop, where she also sells plants grown at Tibradden by Oliver and Liat Schurmann. So if you fancy a glass of wine and some entertainment, and a few perennials for your garden, come along for 7.30 pm start.  

Richie O’Donnell’s Bolivian Escapade – People & Power – Al Jazeera English

Richie O’Donnell, who directed The Pipe, a documentary about the Shell-to-Sea campaign in Erris, has just produced a short documentary for Al Jazeera about the killing of three men in Bolivia in 2009.  Michael Dwyer, from Tipperary, was shot alongside two Hungarians –  Arpad Magyarosi and their friend and leader, Eduardo Rozsa Flores – by the Bolivian security forces on suspicion of a terrorist plot to kill President Evo Morales.  You can view his documentary at the link below. It’s a complex story that spans five countries: Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Ireland and Bolivia, and O’Donnell does very well to fit it all into the 25 minutes allotted here.  It’s eerie to watch the home movies and photographs of the men parading their weapons and camaraderie for friends back home, reminding me of that family portrait of Maud Gonne, John McBride and little Seaghan in their white frilly fineries posed around a table laden with guns and ammunition belts in the wake of the Boer War.

Bolivian Escapade – People & Power – Al Jazeera English.

I have an interest in the story because I knew Eduardo Rozsa Flores. I met him during the year I spent in Budapest, 1992 – 1993, when he was running a brigade of international volunteers on the Croatian side in the Balkans War.  You can read my account of the events in Bolivia, their origins and , and their chief conspirator, in ‘The Universal Soldier’, Dublin Review, 36, Autumn 2009.  There’s a link to the piece on the home page under ‘Writings’.

 

 

 

 

 

A successor to Warhol – with a pun for @pipmcgowan

While I’ve been bleating about sheep here, Colin has finished his book to accompany the major retrospective, ‘Northern Ireland – 30 Years of Photography,’ to open in the the MAC Gallery Belfast on 9th May.  The exhibition is curated by Karen Downey of Belfast Exposed and you can find more details here:

http://themaclive.com/whats-on/northern-ireland-30-years-of-photography/

The Mac is currently showing the first Andy Warhol show to visit Belfast: a homecoming then for his Campbell’s Soup Can.