Launch of The Groundsmen at The Irish Writers Centre, Dublin

Irish Writers Centre

Readings from The Groundsmen interspersed with fireside chat in the company of Sean Campbell of Epoque Press, Safe Ireland and guests in The Irish writers Centre, Dublin. The author spoke of the challenging subject matter of her novel and the need to reach a wider audience in order to elicit social change. The narrative voice, interpreting imagery, Greek dynasties and savage social realism were all discussed but it was the compelling lyricism of the written words which captivated listeners.

The Groundsmen by Lynn Buckle published by Epoque Press

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UK closes my childhood library

I am gutted to discover that my childhood library in Long Ashton, near Bristol, is to close it’s doors forever as part of a cost-cutting exercise by North Somerset County Council. This is the place where my love of reading began, where fact-finding was an enchantment and books my passion. It furnished my voracious appetite for stories and  built the foundations for my future career as an author. My current local library in Co Kildare, Ireland is a thriving hub of learning and has seen the successful launch of many professional writers. It is valued and maintained as an essential resource for readers, artists, writers, computer programmers, children, adults, teens, learners, students, toddlers and lists too long to include about the social and economic benefits of a free library service. UK library closures are not, I would argue, a matter of prioritizing services within an ever-shrinking budget. It is a matter of much wider political significance. One must question a society which allows an ever-shrinking budget in an already inequitable society. Long Ashton is of mixed socio-economic demographics but it is fair to say that a very large proportion of the home-owners there are ABC1s who could no doubt self-fund and volunteer to set up their own community library to replace the one which is to be lost – an expressed intention in the council’s decision-making. Not every area can afford this or has the social capital quotient. What then? Put simply, the social divide widens, more austerity follows, until eventually a critical mass is reached and enough people are deprived enough to revolt.

Dangerous stuff, closing libraries.

Lynn Buckle is author of The Groundsmen published by @Epoque_Press and Luisne an Chleite, a Kildare Collective published by @Kildarelibrary also sponsored by @Creativeirl 

@ClerkLAPC @Bristol Live @NorthSomersetC @LibrariesWest

Luisne an Chleite

A Kildare collective by Wordsmiths Writers Group was launched at Kildare Readers Festival in Riverbank Arts Centre on 13th October. This beautifully illustrated selection of poetry and prose in Irish, English and Welsh is testament to the rich talent to be found in County Kildare and the valuable role libraries play in nurturing writers, artists and the Irish language.

front-cover-anthology.jpg   Rear cover anthology - Copy

ISBN 978-0-9561244-8-7
Published by Kildare County Council Library and Arts Service 2018

 

On the Benefits of Joining a Writing Group;

       ‘Shop fronts collapsing…man covering body with newspaper,’

Jesus. Kept awake. By accounts of bombings and heart-rending stories and shorts on the topic of Hindustanii temples while eating porridge with a grandma in a rucksack. That’s both in the rucksack, if you’re wondering about my grammar, but no one does in the back room of a library of a Saturday morning or if they do they’ll have told you ten thousand times already and know you’ll enjoy ignoring them in the presence of your own budding genius. Put simply it’s a place to experiment and to find what works, which usually occurs the moment you start reading and realise what useless verbiage you came up with in your sitting room while pretending to watch the news.

And what did you write that for?’ asks man to the left.

And you’re back there, in English class, 1974. Man-to-the-left lifts the question and re questions himself with an answer about Leonard Cohen and we’re going. Along. On his train of thought and it’s just a thought but did you hear the one about The Inspector? Insider information and our writing group’s instigator, agitator, common-denominator regales us with stories and the telling has no ending or beginning but is filling us with confidence of a morning and that’s how it works. Quite simple really. Begotten. You should try it. So A N Other writes a poem about yer woman’s delivery of her delivery. Of sadness. It’s poignant but we don’t say it. Can’t. But the words do and we are double-whammied until I read my swear-load of bile’s bile and the world is a God-awful place. Saints sing across tables instead and we see the value of beauty and Celtic myth as someone speaks of dew and times and scribes and natures way of healing and She does all this in this smallest place of hunger. In the library. There’s a place for every wordsmith.

‘Revenue gave me tax-exempt status.’

‘Bullshit.’

Writing continues.

 

 

 

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Tom Carlisle’s review of The Groundsmen

‘Lynn Buckle’s debut novel is a work of extraordinary power, but it’s also a deeply troubling book: a story that makes you question the moral duty of fiction, and the expectations we have of novels…..The Groundsmen is the work of a very good writer, and I think it has potential to be seen as an important book...’

To read Tom Carlisle’s full review of The Groundsmen click The Independent Literary Fiction blog

 

’round borders

I circle Venn’s three rings

shout through ugly gaps,

overlaps of arches and their ogees.

Diagrams of difference

stoke them in their narratives.

Thin slits

let slip

commonalities.

If I let them.

 

Written in response to the 2018 Northern Ireland John Hewitt International Summer School on the theme of Facing Change: shifting borders and allegiances.

Attendance kindly sponsored by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs.

On attending the John Hewitt International Summer School 2018

I drive into Northern Ireland for the very first time. Approaching Armagh city I am greeted by the iconography and names of violence; Craigavon, Portadown, union jacks, flag-holders on houses, and pipe bands on the high street, canons in Georgian squares of serious architecture, canons of entrenchment. A poppy wreath. Frightening blatant displays. This is what I bring with me from Ireland, from England, from my perspectives.
But epiphanies happen on these roads in northern counties. I drive back through their iconographies and names. And they become something different, just some symbols of identity; Craigavon, Portadown, union jacks, flag-holders on houses, and pipe bands on the high street, canons in Georgian squares of serious architecture. A poppy wreath. An Indian take-away, a Bank of Ireland ten pound note, a lorry driver delivering oil on the corner and bad singing from a busker on the make. Catholic churches, American marriages to cousins from Poland and my uncle is Romanian but don’t tell anyone I’m a smoker because I gave it up. I am everyone, I am ordinary, just like us.
Finding similarities. It is where we start.

 

https://www.johnhewittsociety.org/

https://twitter.com/The_JHS

 

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