I have a short essay in HEAL (Humanism Evolving through Arts and Literature) about what it’s like to have fibromyalgia. HEAL is a medical narratives journal from the Dept of Medicine at Florida State University, edited by Tana Jean Welch and Liz Ruelke.
‘Fibromyalgia is a joyless, ever-present, prismic garment, complex and invisible.’
I’ll be on RTÉ Radio 1 on The County Measure, talking about colour in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, on 5th June – Bank Holiday Monday – between 11am and 12pm IST.
The County Measure is a much-loved radio programme presented by writer and broadcaster Vincent Woods, who travels across Ireland exploring county identity in terms of culture, music, sport, tradition, environment, and politics. Thanks to the lovely Regan Hutchins for the invitation to take part.
I have a new essay ‘Cailín Deas, Cailín Dána’ published in Trasna today. The essay is about many things, including Switzerland, sibling loss, autism, giving up alcohol, Maria Edgeworth, and photographs…it’s a braided/hybrid piece, a mixumgatherum. You can read the essay here. Hope you enjoy it!
NORA was the most borrowed adult fiction book from Dublin City Libraries in 2022! Huge thanks to all who borrowed, and espesh to Jackie Lynam & Anne Marie Kelly of One Dublin One Book, all at Dublin City Library and the stellar team at New Island Books. This is all such a thrill for a normally under-the-radar writer like myself ❤️ It was a hectic two years with NORA, all very much appreciated but also exhausting so I am re-setting at the moment, editing the next one, ruminating on the one after that, and playing catch-up with my real life kids, family, cats, and home.
I was genuinely delighted to win Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards for my story This Small Giddy Life about two daughters and their wandering, wonderful mother who gets dementia. My own mother is living with this curious condition, so it is a close-to-my-heart story. You can read the story in the New Island anthology, A Little Unsteadily Into Light, available here.
Thanks so much to An Post (awards sponsors) and writing.ie (short story award sponsors), especially Vanessa O’Loughlin. Thanks to New Island books and editor Jan Carson, for commissioning the story. We had a lovely night of celebration last night at the Convention Centre in Dublin. See my insta for (not many more) pics here.
Shortlisted! My dementia story *This Small Giddy Life* from the New Island Books anthology A Little Unsteadily Into Light is up for the writing.ie Story of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards 2022. We had a lovely shortlisters’ event at the GPO last night. This story is meaningful to me as I took elements of my mother’s dementia to fictionalise. She’s still with us, and doing well, TG.
Voting is open now, see all shortlistees below: Vote here.
Thanks to editors Jan Carson & Jane Lugea and all at New Island & Vanessa of Writing.ie. This is my fifth Book Awards shortlisting, maybe this year I’ll take something home other than memories of a great, chat-filled, glammy night. The big event is the 23rd November and I can’t wait!
Fantastic launch tonight at the beautiful Royal Society of Antiquaries house on Merrion Square, Dublin, for Electronic Sheep x Nuala O’Connor ‘I am Ireland’ scarf (the Nora Barnacle scarf!). The genius designers Helen Delaney and Brenda Aherne have used the entire text of the tiny ‘Ireland’ chapter of my novel NORA for the scarf, and the results are stunning.
Thanks so much to Helen and Brenda for honouring Nora Barnacle with their beautiful work.
And huge thanks to Anne Fogarty of UCD for a wonderful, thoughtful speech. To Caoimhe Fox of New Island Books for bookselling ❤️ And to all the family, friends, and fashiony types who turned up to support this collaboration which has been JOY, from start to now.
I’m ending the Ulysses 100 year with two NORA events in New York city.
8th December, 6pm to 8pm – Screening of the film ‘The Tale Behind Ulysses’ (which I’m in) at Jefferson Courthouse Library & after-film discussion panel with Producer Jane Applegate and author Kerri Maher, whose book The Paris Bookseller is being celebrated at the same event.
9th December, 6pm to 8pm – James Joyce Society: Finding Nora event. More here.
With thanks to Culture Ireland for the financial support.