Behold the bootiful new edition of Irish Country Magazine with the super-talented, super- stylish Imelda May on the cover. Inside I’ve a feature entitled ‘Be Your Own Hero’, which you can read the opening to here. The premise is that we – hello, ladies – are often the ones that hold ourselves back from going after what we want because, sadly, we lack the self-belief required to really go for it. Life, I’m sure you’ll agree, is too short and too precious for that. The article has plenty of good advice on cultivating self-belief and testimonials from women who went after what they wanted and succeeded, so if you fancy a read skip down to your newsagents tout de suite mes amis, tout de suite.
The internet and social media have been significant drivers in what some social commentator’s are calling Feminism 4.0 or feminism’s fourth wave in a Western-context. As someone who has distinct memories of being the only feminist in the village prior to the arrival of widespread internet access in Ireland, it is great to see how new media is bringing like-minded women together here and across the globe. To that end, it was lovely to be name-checked in the Sunday Times this weekend in an article on Ireland’s new breed of young feminists. Here’s to all the great women and gals in Ireland and across the world fighting for equal rights and opportunities and ‘thank you’ to all the women who fought for those rights in bygone times. We are forever in your debt.
‘A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and minds of its people’ – Mahatma Gandhi
Everyone could do with a little bit more culture in their lives. Alas, between the hectic practicalities of living and the sense that many people (unfortunately) have that a) creativity is something they relinquished in childhood and b) cultural spaces and practices are often ‘elitist’ or ‘out there’ somehow, our culture becomes something we underrate or overlook. This is a real shame, given that Irish culture -from the language to the literature to the digital arts – is as vibrant and as vital as it has ever been. If you’ve been meaning to recharge your cultural batteries, Culture Night on Friday September 19th is the perfect opportunity. Since 2006, this fantastic annual event throws open the doors to Ireland’s cultural treasure chest, inviting citizens to experience and enjoy the best culture this country has to offer. There’s so much to see and do across the length and breath of the country – including your own locality – that it makes http://www.culturenight.ie a must-see site. If you’re a literature fan and Galway-based, I’ll be taking part in an Over the Edge reading at Kenny’s Bookshop and Gallery as part of the festivities. More details of that here and be sure to sample the delights nearest you.
On a recent trip to Amsterdam, I snapped this outdoor bookshop near Mueseumplein. Ain’t it grand? I could spend hours pottering about an Irish equivalent. Keep a few bin bags to throw over the shelves in case of rain and sure, you’d be away for road. Speaking of things that are grand, the kind folk at The Bohemyth included a story of mine in their May edition. If you like photography and writing, there is much to enjoy.
The South Circular is a Dublin-based literary e-journal. Beautifully produced by a team who know their design as well as their writing (really, really well in both respects), I was delighted to be one of the authors featured in their ninth issue, which you can purchase here. Special mention has to go to Dave Comiskey who designed the cover. It’s great to see Irish publishers like The South Circular team developing new formats and new ways of reaching readers while also creating fresh spaces for writers to share their work. Bravo to all and thanks for having me.