Independent Bookshop pops back up
Kennys exhibition marks 75 years; Mouse wins Caterpillar Short Story Prize; Ballroom Cafe in Kobo top 10; Sarah Moore Fitzgerald awarded Jack Harte Bursary
The Independent Bookshop, a pop-up shop set up by Ireland’s independent publishers, stocked exclusively with their own titles, and staffed by members of each publishing company, is at 47 Drury St, Dublin, and is open from 11-6pm every day until December 23rd
Following on from the success of The Independent Bookshop, instigated by a group of 12 publishers in 2014, Ireland’s independent publishers are back with their now annual seasonal initiative: a pop-up bookshop stocked exclusively with their own titles, and staffed by members of each publishing company. The bookshop is at 47 Drury St, Dublin, and is open from 11-6pm every day until December 23rd.
The 14 publishers who collaborated to put the shop together include: Liberties Press; New Island Books; Little Island; Lilliput Press; The Stinging Fly; The O’Brien Press; Roads Publishing; Irish Academic Press – Merrion Press; The Salvage Press; Swan River Press; Mercier Press; UCD Academic Press; Columba Press; and Four Courts Press.
On Wednesday, December 9th, at 6.30pm, they are celebrating with a small Christmas party, open to all book lovers.
Kennys Bookshop exhibition to mark 75 years
Kennys Bookshop & Art Gallery in Galway celebrates 75 years in business with an engaging and diverse exhibition, curated by Dean Kelly, which will celebrate the fascinating history of this family-owned firm.
The exhibition will display a range of artworks, photographs and books relating to writers such as Seamus Heaney, John McGahern, Edna O’Brien and Colm Toibín, all of whom have passed through Kennys’ doors. It will also feature many of the artists who have exhibited in Kennys including Seán Keating, Gertrude Degenhardt, George Campbell, John Behan and Kenneth Webb.
International visitors to Kennys over the years will also have a strong presence in this collection, which includes documentation of the visits of Jung Chang, Allen Ginsberg, Roald Dahl, Nadine Gordimer and many others.
The exhibition is open daily, Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm, and runs through to the new year. Admission is free and all are welcome.
Philosophical (Mouse) Tale Wins Caterpillar Short Story Prize
The winner of the inaugural Caterpillar Short Story Prize – a prize aimed at adults writing for children – is Richard J Jones, for his story, Let’s Say I Am. The story, which appears in the winter issue of the Caterpillar, meanders philosophically through the world of a child and his imaginary mouse friend, opening with “Let’s say I am a mouse. I’m not a mouse. But let’s say I am. What sort of mouse would I be?” A chase ensues, with the mouse or non-mouse flipping its bike onto a wall and scooting along the top of it. The mouse morphs into a memory, an owl, a tune, a house without a mouse …
“It’s a beautiful piece of writing,” said the Caterpillar’s editor Rebecca O’Connor, ‘very moving and insightful, and something that will reward young readers with its depth of thought and feeling.”
Jones has been writing poetry and stories for a long time but has not had any of them published, until now. He is a lecturer in English literature at the Open University and lives in Milton Keynes. As well as researching eighteenth-century literature, he teaches a course for students new to studying the arts and humanities. His regular blog, antiphysis.com, in which he muses on life and literature with his dog Daisy, has attracted a growing (though, he says, admittedly small) number of readers.
“I really do consider it a privilege to have a story published in The Caterpillar,” said Jones. “There’s something a bit irresistible about the Moth and the Caterpillar, I think. It’s as if, on discovering them, you suddenly realise that they had been missing from the world – and they shouldn’t have been!”
Jones will receive €1,000 for his winning story. If you fancy a go at writing for children, The Caterpillar Poetry Prize is currently accepting entries of poems written by adults for children aged 7-11. As with the short story prize, anyone can enter as long as the work is their own and hasn’t been published elsewhere, in print or online. You can find details at www.thecaterpillarmagazine.com.
Ann O’Loughlin riding high in Kobo charts
E L James’ Grey was Kobo’s top-selling e-book title in Britain this year, it announced yesterday, followed by Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train. Perhaps less predictably, the topselling Irish title was The Ballroom Café by Ann O’Loughlin (Black and White Publishing), which made the top 10. The novel’s subject is about forced illegal adoptions from Ireland to the US.
The rest of the top 10 included The Lie and The Accident, both by C L Taylor; My Sister’s Secret by Tracy Buchanan; Silent Scream by Angela Marsons; Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn; Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey; and The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. Sunday was the most popular day for reading, Kobo said, with August the most popular month.
O’Loughlin, a relatively unknown first-time Irish novelist who is a journalist for the Irish Examiner and lives in Co Wicklow, also came 15th in a list released by Amazon.co.uk of the top 20 bestselling ebooks of 2015 up until August.
Sarah Moore Fitzgerald awarded Jack Harte Bursary
Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, author, professor and associate vice-president at the University of Limerick, was awarded the Jack Harte Bursary at the Irish Writers Centre last week. This is the second year of the bursary, which is presented in association with Annaghmakerrig at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and offers writers a two-week fully resourced residency in spring 2016.
The award was named in Jack Harte’s honour as the unsung hero of the literary scene; he was instrumental in the establishment of the Irish Writers’ Union and, later, the Irish Writers Centre. Liz Nugent was the first recipient of the award in 2015.
Moore Fitzgerald was born in New York but grew up in Co Dublin. She specialises in psychology and effective pedagogy in higher education, and has published several non-fiction books on teaching, learning and academic writing. She has also published for younger readers and her novels include: Back to Blackbrick and The Apple Tart of Hope. She runs regular writers’ retreats for academics and students in Ireland and internationally.