I have decided to build up a set of links on Small Irish Publishers, this will evolve over time and I hope to add to it. The two that come immediately to mind and that I enjoy immensely are Cló Iar-Chonnachta and the Columba Press, both of which I am adding to the Links that run down the right side column at the base of this post. I have before now alluded to our wonderful book festivals and Culture Nights, these posts can be found peppered throughout the site and include The Dún Laoighre Mountains to Sea Festival, the Dublin Book Festival, the Forge at Gort, the Cúirt International Poetry Festival , Poetry Ireland‘s wonderful sponsorship of readings at the Unitarian Church in St Stephens Green and the countless library and literacy readings that occur under the aegis of the Independent Writers’ Centres and the Irish Arts Council. It is at these wonderful and immensely important places that art occurs and the small presses advertise and sell their wares.
The books on my shelves come from there or from friends who have found them for me in small shops all over the world. I have been reading this weekend Celia de Freine ‘s Faoi Chábaisti is Ríonacha and Cathal Ó Searchaigh’s An Bealach ‘Na Bhaile, both from theCló Iar-Chonnachta Imprint. The work that such presses do in disemminating Irish Literary Work is wholly invaluable and we should support it as much as possible. The Celia de Fréine book was bought at the Dublin City Hall Book festival in 2010, I got Tatú (Arlen) there in 2009, and the Ó Searchaigh was purchased in Indreabhán in 1996 (possibly whilst staying near Spiddal for the Annual Cúirt Festival in Galway that year).
I am adding their website link here and below in the links section, the following poem is Dídean le Cathal Ó Searchaigh :
Dídean , le Cathal Ó Searchaigh.
“Tá stóirm air” , a deir tú. ” Stoirm mhillteanach.”
Míshociar, coinníonn tú ag súil an úrláir , síos
agus aníos go truacanta, do shúile impíoch.
Lasmuigh tá an oíche ag séideadh is ag siabadh
timpeall an tí, ag cleatráil ag na fuinneoga,
ag béicéil is ag bagairt trí pholl na heochrach.
“Dheanfadh sé áit a bhearnú le theacht isteach,”
a deir tú , ag daingniu an dorais le chaothair uilline.
Tagann roisteacha fearthainne ag cnagadh
an fuinneoige . De sceit, sciorann dallóg na cistine
in airde. Creathnaithe, preabann tú as do sheasamh
isteach i m’ucht, ag cuartú dídne.
Ag breith barróige ort, téann mo lamha i ngreim
i do chneas, ag teannadh is ag teannadh. Teas
is teas, scarann do bheola ag súil le póga
díreach is an stoirm ag teacht tríom ina séideoga.
Splancaim is buaileann chaor thineadh do chneas .
On this site readers will find links to The Western Writers and the National Campaign for the Arts RSS, please feel free to connect to the sites and petitions, which discuss short-termism in cultural advocacy by the Irish Government in supporting the root of Irish Arts: those that support and nurture writers in the Irish regions:
“The Arts Council of the Irish Republic has withdrawn its funding grant to the Western Writers’ Centre, Galway. The Centre also runs the annual ‘The Forge at Gort Festival’ in Gort, Co. Galway and the literary news-letter, ‘The Word Tree.’ For almost seven years it has been the only such centre West of the Shannon. We are calling upon writers and those with an interest in writing to sign this petition to have the Arts Council restore our grant.” (cf, attached Petition Link for Western Writers)