It was a year of uncertainty, fraught and chaotic. Like many voluntary organisations Fermanagh Writers were caught out by the restructuring of financial institutions post-Covid, and for most of the year we found ourselves without a bank account. Theresa Kane’s one-day exhibition in Ballinamallard, Boxopera, which had originally been planned for late summer, eventually launched on the ninth of December. The exhibition that we had planned in Enniskillen Library in September has had to be postponed while the building underwent renovation. FLive, which has featured in previous Autumn issues of Corncrake, was severely curtailed this year, and Fermanagh Writers had to organize a Fermanagh Heat of the All-Ireland Poetry Slam at three days notice. Thanks to all who made that possible, and especially to Ken Ramsey who brought it all together. Having won that heat, I went on to compete in the Ulster semi-final and (without success) in the All-Ireland final, both of which were held in Londonderry.
So perhaps you will appreciate why there was no Autumn Corncrake last year, and my apologies for not letting you know sooner. Once the season had passed and our namesakes had flown to Africa, I thought it better to wait for their return in Spring before releasing the next issue.
Already there are some signs of hope. It is good to see that the Clinton Centre, long vacant is now once again a venue for Arts events. In addition to the Myriad workshops (see post below), some of our members will also be taking part in an oral storytelling course led by Liz Weir and Steven O’Hara. Reports on these and much more in the next issue. As always, both poetry and prose is welcome from both new and established writers.
The theme for the next issue: Touching Grass – how to live a real life in an increasingly virtual world.
9 January 2024
Myriad: All the Worlds Between: A collaborative poetry project bringing together poems from India, Ireland and in between.
Fermanagh Writers Participatory Workshops.
Some placer available for non-members. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org asap if you are interested.
20 & 27 January and 3 & 10 February
Four x 4 hour workshops
Fermanagh House Broadmeadow Place Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh BT74 7HR
Tea/Coffee and Scones Provided.
Please bring any additional lunch or snacks.
Facilitator: Bronagh Diamond
Workshops will involve use providing a prompt such as a piece of writing, an object or image which will spark ideas, trigger memories, and hopefully inspire new pieces of work, We will use this to inspire music and create a soundscape which will be performed. Imagery and writing will be captured and translated into a projected backdrop for the final celebration events in 2025.
We will also have ongoing events and workshops to attend including Belfast Mela.
What memories do you have of your experiences at the library? Maybe you remember the first time you visited a library, or you may have another memorable library or reading experience to share. How do libraries make you feel? Which books are some of your favourites?
The next issue of Corncrake will be in conjunction with an exhibition on this theme to be held in Enniskillen Library during September.
We invite you to submit your writing to: email@example.com by 1st September.
Each person may submit up to two pieces of writing. The writing may be in any writing form or genre (poetry, fiction, memoir etc), and must not be more than one A4 page, unless the writer agrees it with the editor. Depending on the font size you use, that is approximately 500 words or less. Writers can choose the font and font size they wish to use, providing it will fit on an A4 page. Each piece of writing will be enlarged and printed on an A3 page in poster.
Or, if you want to submit solely to Corncrake, please do so to firstname.lastname@example.org, also by 1st September.
Fermanagh Writers continue to meet weekly in Blakes of the Hollow each Tuesday evening at 7.30.
This week I visited Helen Merrigan Colfer’s Tribes and Tribulations exhibition at the Strule Arts Centre in Omagh, and I was wowed by it.
Helen’s sculptures explore the emotions and stresses modern life generates, using a combination of realistic detail and clever symbolism.
Continue reading “Tribes and Tribulations”
On the Road to Damascus, the debut novel by Anthony Viney, former member of Fermanagh Writers, sees its official launch in Enniskillen this April. It will be available in print and as an ebook on Amazon and Kindle.
Continue reading “The Road to Damascus”
Fermanagh Writers meet weekly in Blakes of the Hollow, Enniskillen
4 – weekly meeting, Blakes, 7.30pm
11 – public holiday, no meeting
18 – weekly meeting, Blakes, 2.30pm
25- The Road to Damascusbook launch (author Tony Viney), Blakes, 7.30pm
Prospective new members are always welcome.
We live in what the ancient Chinese used to call ‘interesting times’, and it’s not over yet (whatever ‘it’ might be).
Sometimes it feels like we are crawling from a car wreck, with no idea of how it happened or where we are now. All we know is that we cannot simply carry on doing what we used to do, or what we wanted, to do without further consideration.
This has happened before; it will happen again.
It is not a time for grand visions, yet every crisis is also an opportunity. In all the bewildering noise, remember the definition of information – any difference that makes a difference. It is a time to sort out what is truly important, and to start taking those steps will that will enable it to flourish. Not a return to the normality that once was, but a humble groping towards something possibly better.
So the theme of this Spring’s Corncrake is Small Beginnings. We are looking up to about 800 words of any kind of writing – whether it be poetry, flash fiction, folktale, legend, memoir or other non-fiction. Previews and reviews of recent and upcoming Arts events are also welcome, particularly those in Fermanagh and the surrounding area, as are images and links to relevant media.
Submissions to email@example.com
Deadline: March 15th
I fully intended to have the new issue out by Halloween, but last week I went down with a streaming cold that turned out to be COVID. I’m almost recovered now and catching up again.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the upcoming issue; it should be another good one. In particular, congratulations to Fermanagh Writer Robert Elliott, whose debut poetry book The Colebrooke Collection is being launched today in Lisnaskea Library at 1.00 pm and in Enniskillen Library at 3.00 pm.