I’ve spotted a few interesting bits and pieces around the interweb over the last few days – some newsy bits, others just interesting so I thought I’d just shove em all together to share them with y’all (I work with someone from Alabama so it’s starting to rub off – HIGH FIVE!!).
First off all is the very sad news of the passing on Ken Monaghan. Ken was the last surviving nephew of James Joyce and was a true Joycean. He was a founding member of the James Joyce Centre and built it up to become internationally recognised as a centre in Dublin City for all things Joycean, it also became the home of Bloomsday in Dublin.
In recent years, despite Ken’s ill health he remained part of the Centre’s extended family and this year continued his tradition of reading from Wandering Rocks during the Bloomsday readings in Meeting House Square. He truly was a great face for the Joyce family in Dublin and I know that many people across the world remember receiving a very warm welcome from Ken during their visits to the Centre. He will be truly missed by the Joycean community and I’m surely fondly remembered. More info on Ken here and also you can sign the Centre’s online book of condolences on their Facebook page.
Next up, some news from home! Limerick is embracing this year’s Culture Night with some wonderful events. In particular, the newly and fabulously revamped Milk Market, complete with an all weather roof is hosting a Sing Out and Raise the Roof for Fun event. According to the Milk Market website, the event will involve:
“Shoppers, stall holders, passers-by and you will be encouraged to join in Limerick’s Culture Night Choir, led by musical director Liz Powell, to ‘Raise the Roof’. No previous experience is necessary, it’s all just a bit of fun!
There will be two sessions on Friday, September 24th. One at 5.00pm and one at 6.00pm.
Can’t sing? Come along anyway, you’ll enjoy the sessions…
…..and for the hungry and thirsty, Peter Ward of Country Choice is offering a hot plate of delicious food with a glass of wine for €10.”
Looks like a lot of fun and I love the fact that many venues and organisations are embracing Culture Night as a chance to get the community involved with their activities rather than just opening the venue up for free. The Night after all is really about getting the public involved with culture rather than a touristy event. I’m disappointed that I’ll be stuck in my car driving home when the event is on, but no doubt I’ll be in the market the following morning to pick up some goodies! More info on Culture Night events around Ireland here.
And finally, I just spotted this article on the Irish Times website. Ireland is a country steeped in state censorship history, but it looks like family can also play a part in censorship too. The poet Rita Ann Higgins had planned on publishing a book of poetry but had to cancel the publication and destroy the initial print run when her brother voiced upset at references to a child hood event. It seems odd that Higgins has gone to the press over this, saying “I’ve never had a cross word with Joe. The irony is that he had asked me to write something on the occasion of an honorary doctorate which he received some years ago from NUI Galway for his work in business.”
I would imagine this was something they should have discussed during the draft stages but I guess it just demonstrates how difficult it can be having a sibling as a writer. I remember attending a talk by an Irish writer who commented that her mother and family were often nervous around her as they were afraid of becoming characters in her work. I think it’s probably quite difficult to not draw on your own personal experiences when you’re writing. It’s a pity she had to lose out on so much money wasted on the initial print run, hopefully she will be able to raise the money for the edited edition.