Mel Ulm has reviewed my short story collection Nude (Salt) on his The Reading Life blog here. A snippet: "I found the stories in Nude to be beautifully written lessons in the nature of the gaze, the meaning of nudity and the lingering power of colonialism partially reinstated in an account of the relationships of men to women and artists to the women who pose nude for them."
I went to the Shine On anthology launch in Dublin last night and it was a treat - a really warm and positive launch in the opulent surroundings of The Westin Hotel. It was worth the 180 mile mad dash round trip. John Saunders of Shine and Pat Boran of Dedalus Press welcomed each writer and we were given our complimentary copy. What a gorgeous book it is, truly. And its pages are jammed with stunning work from a who's-who of Irish writers, including our soon-to-be President, Michael D. Higgins.
Some contributors gave us a reading: Tony Curtis read a gorgeous poem about Elizabeth Bishop, and Peter Sheridan read a funny non-fic piece about playing Joxer Daly in Juno and the Paycock as a 16 year old. Paula Meehan also read a beautiful, rich poem about grief called 'Diamond Faceted, His Breath'.
Neither Shine nor Dedalus expect to make money from the book - it is an exercise in raising awareness of mental health issues and services - a thing which is relevant to many writers, as Pat B pointed out. He also said - and this is what I adore about anthologies - that 'the book is a snapshot of Irish writing today'. It lets the public know what Irish writers are up to when they are squirreled away, out of view, and not on the promo trail for a book. I love that immediate access to what people are writing, it's thrilling. I was delighted to meet with lots of people I know there including Aifric MacAodha, Billy Ramsell, Paul Perry, Grace Wells, Mark Roper, Gabriel Rosenstock, Michael O'Loughlin and Gráinne Killeen who is doing the PR for the book.
It's a fabulous anthology and I have ordered one to give away here shortly. I ordered it weeks ago and it still hasn't arrived but when it does I will have a give-away. Stay tuned for that.