Thursday, November 29, 2007

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

The Collected Poems, By Stanley Kunitz: Norton & Co.
Kunitz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet of far-ranging style and influence, died last year aged 100. Over the years he learned to "strip the water out of my poems" and acknowledge the benefits of a simpler, more intense approach. "A poet cannot concern himself with being fair to the reader. Time will tell. All poems contain a degree of mystery, as poetry is a discovery of one's hidden self. . . . Poetry is not concerned with communication; it has roots in magic, incantation, and spell-casting."

Lies, by Enrique De Heriz: Random House
After a boating accident in a Guatemalan backwater, Isabel, a Spanish anthropologist finds that one of the victims has been misidentified as her. She is strangely reluctant to return to her grieving children and husband in Barcelona. This is a powerful, original and beautifully written book , which explores the substance of what we are. The vivid, deadpan pacing of this novel recalls the films of Pedro Almodóvar.

Silence in October, by Jens Christian Grondhal : Harcourt
Story of an art historian whose wife, Astrid, has inexplicably departed. Why did she leave? Will she return? These are the questions her husband ponders as he tracks her progress through Europe (via credit card use and bank withdrawals) to a place in Portugal that has special meaning for them. This is indeed an "October" novel, meditative and melancholic: a lucid and lyrical book from a gifted writer.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Digital Archive Service launched

How to become a Galway Public Libraries borrower

The digitization project was co-funded by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, and The Irish Times Trust.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

The English Years, by Norbert Gstrein; Hirschfelder is an Austrian writer, a Jew, who was forced to emigrate to Britain in 1938. The narrator of the story is an Austrian doctor whose estranged husband, Max, is an enthusiastic admirer of Hirschfelder. Whilst on an extended holiday in England she meets Hirschfelder's widow, Margaret, his third wife, and, in addition his two previous wives, and Clara, now senile, his lover. The pictures the three wives give of him do not correspond, either with each other's or with the myth believed in by Max. An elegant tale of exile and betrayal.

Vita, by Melania G. Mazzucco;
Ellis Island, 1903, where 12-year-old Diamante Mazzucco and his cousin Vita, age nine, evolve into star-crossed lovers striving to fulfill their destinies. Working in squalid boarding-houses the two (along with other relatives) are more or less confined to Prince Street in Manhattan, where they are subject to a horrifying array of abuses and privations. Deeply in love with Vita by the time he is 16, Diamante signs on with a railroad building crew and unwittingly begins four years of involuntary servitude under conditions that Mazzucco describes in unsparing detail; this underrepresented corner of the East Coast immigrant experience feels as fresh here as it is brutal.

Sepharad, by Antonio Munoz Molina
Molina's beautiful novel begins with a poetic meditation on the bittersweet nostalgia that seizes those who live in exile. It becomes clear that the past the narrator and the author are truly grappling with encompasses the entire Sephardic diaspora and the unfathomable horror and mass insanity of Hitler's and Stalin's regimes. How, Munoz Molina seems to ask, can a writer possibly convey such apocalyptic shock, terror, and grief? Calling on such inspiring figures as Franz Kafka and Primo Levi for guidance, Munoz Molina creates astute, deeply felt, and exquisitely expressive testimony to love, suffering, and the astonishing fecundity of human consciousness.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

National Winners Design a Bookmark Competition

Children's Books Ireland have announced the National Winners of this year's Children's Book Festival 'Design a Bookmark Competition' as follows...

Category Age 11 & over: Dennis Appleby (11)
from Ballinamore Branch Library in Co. Leitrim (left).

Category Age 10 & under: Claire Malone (10)
from Naas Branch Library in Co. Kildare (right).

Both of these designs were picked out by Illustrator Niamh Sharky as being particularly original and striking and will be used as next year's competition bookmarks..The overall standard was particularly high this year and choosing just two was by no means an easy task.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you all for taking part!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Over the Edge Reading in Galway City Library

The next ‘Over The Edge: Open Reading’ takes place in Galway City Library on Thursday, November 22nd, 6.30-8.00pm.

The Featured Readers are Kevin Lavelle, Danny Denton & Margaret Irish.

Kevin Lavelle lives in Barna, Co. Galway and works as a freelance film and television editor. He is the 2007 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year. His winning story, Bury Me In The Garden, is published in the current issue of Galway Arts Centre’s online literary magazine West 47. It is Kevin’s first published work.
Danny Denton completed his MA in Writing at NUI Galway in 2006. He is a short-story writer, originally from Cork but now living in Galway. He has published fiction in The Stinging Fly, Southword, and The Sharp Review, and continues to work on his first collection of stories.
Margaret Irish is a native of Co. Kilkenny and writes short fiction and plays. She has had stories published in Ireland, England and Canada and won the PJ O'Connor Award for radio drama in 2003. Five of her stories and two of her plays have been broadcast on RTE/BBC. After many years of wandering she is back living in Kilkenny again.

There will be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished. New readers are always welcome. The MC for the evening will be Susan Millar DuMars. For further details phone 087-6431748.Over The Edge acknowledges the financial support of Galway City Council and The Arts Council.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Buaiteoir Dhuais an Oireachtais 2007... New Irish Writing Awards 2007

Bronnadh €10,000 ar Dharach Ó Scolaí, scríbhneoir, ealaíontóir & drámadóir as Casla, Co. na Gaillimhe, ar son a úrscéal liteartha, 'An Cléireach’ (Leabhar Breac). Beidh an saothar seo á sheoladh ag Oireachtas na Samhna i gCathair na Mart i mí na Samhna. Seo é an chéad úrscéal óna pheann, scéal atá suite i ndeireadh na seachtó haoise déag.
I measc na scríbhneoirí eile a fuair duaiseanna tá Biddy Jenkinson, Joe Steve Ó Neachtain, Alan Desmond, Liam Ó Muirthile, Breandán Delap, Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin, Gabriel Rosenstock, Liam Mac Cóil, Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin, Orna Ní Choileáin, Maidhc Dainín Ó Sé, agus Pádraig Standún.
Tháinig os cionn scór scríbhneoir faoi bhun 18 mbliana d’aois ó cheann ceann na tíre le glacadh le duaiseanna i rannóga na ndaoine óga.Tá na Comórtais Liteartha mar chuid lárnach d'obair Oireachtas na Gaeilge ó bunaíodh é i 1897 agus é mar aidhm aige deiseanna a chur ar fáil do scríbhneoirí na Gaeilge agus scríbhneoirí nua a mhealladh.

Darach Ó Scolaí has scooped the top prize of €10,000 at the annual Oireachtas na Gaeilge Literary Competition. Ó Scolaí’s historical novel entitled ‘An Cléireach’ (Leabhar Breac). is the first published novel by the acclaimed artist & playwright from Conamara, Co Galway. A prize fund of €55,000 in total was awarded to both established and aspiring writers in the Irish language.
Winners were announced in categories including Light Fiction; Drama; Script Writing; Poetry & Irish for Adult Learners.Ó Scolaí’s historical novel entitled ‘An Cléireach’ is the first published novel by the acclaimed artist & playwright from Conamara, Co Galway.
The top Short Story prize went to Biddy Jenkinson while the Creative Prose award went to young writer Orna Ní Choileáin.

The Oireachtas na Gaeilge Literary Competition, in its’ 110th year, is the most prestigious Irish language literary competition in the country. Previous winners include some of Ireland’s most celebrated authors including Pádraig Mac Piarais, Máirtín Ó Cadhain & Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

The Reader, by Ali Smith: Constable & Robinson
Featuring a wide range of writers whose work Ali Smith has loved at different points in her life, and for very different reasons, The Reader is both a treasure trove of rare treats and a unique literary autobiography. It is full of pieces from wonderful writers - Plath, Spark, Grace Paley, Yeats, Atwood. But also full of lesser known writers about which readers will be very happy to hear, like Joseph Roth, and Clarice Lispector. Also full of pieces by brand new wonderful writer and full of surprises,

Leaving Tabasco, By Carmen Boullosa: Grove Press
This lovely coming-of-age novel is full of humour and touched by magic. Raised by her mother and grandmother, in an all female home, Delmira Ulloa comes into adulthood with a wicked sense of humour and a delightful imagination. As Delmira becomes a woman she will search for the missing stranger who fathered her, and in choosing her own allegiances make a choice that will force her to leave home forever. In terms of the A penetrating sense of humanity infuses the prose and poetry of Carmen Boullosa. A book which is as effortlessly accessible as it is profound.

All that Blue, by Gaston-Paul Effa: Arcadia Books
At the age of five, Douo, a Cameroonian boy, is given in (traditional) sacrifice to the local French church by his father. Deprived of contact with his family, he is ensconced in a convent for the rest of his childhood. Aged 15 he is sent to become a monk in a monastery in Paris. As an adult he looks back at the nine years he spent in the convent school and the pain that has compelled him ever since to seek his absent father through the teaching of priests—and his mother's love in the arms of every woman he seduces.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Winners in CBF Bookmark Competition

Our congratulations and best wishes go to the Galway Winners of the Children's Book Festival Bookmark Competition for 2007. Michelle Heffernan, who is a library member in Oranmore Library who's bookmark on the left was selected as the Under 10 winner. Lisa Hannon from Headford Library won the 11 years and older section. Their entries now go forward to represent Galway in the National Finals. Best of luck to them!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Gareth O’Callaghan launches Short Story competition in Loughrea

The writer and broadcaster, Gareth O’Callaghan launched the Home-Start Short Story Competition in Loughrea Library on Tuesday 30th of October. The competition is open to all parents in County Galway. Entries may be written or oral and must begin with the line “I am a parent, I never thought that being a parent would feel so …..”

The prize for the best entry is a Family Holiday in France:country-region, Spain:country-region or Italy, country-region, sponsored by Kelair Campotel in Ballinasloe.

Home-Start is a voluntary organisation with a dedicated group of trained volunteers who visit parents at home, while the children are young and while their need for support is greatest. Each volunteer offers friendship, emotional support and practical help for as long as the parent chooses.

For further information on the competition, on Home-Start support for families or on helping as a volunteer, please contact
Michael Stapleton,
Home-Start Co-ordinator,
ADC House,
Station Road,

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Donation of books to Loughrea Library honours the memory of the late Senator Bobby Burke.

Bobby Burke, a Senator who represented the Labour Party
and who was a member of Galway County Council in the 1940s was honoured in Loughrea Library on Tuesday night October 15th. Senator Burke was a man who believed strongly in working on behalf of the poor and the marginalised.

On the initiative of his niece, Claire Besnoye, a special collection of books to mark his memory has been placed in the Loughrea Library. This collection is a tribute to the life and work of Bobby Burke, and the books reflect the political and social philosophies by which he lived and the historical tradition from which he emerged. The collection was donated by Claire Besnoye and by friends who wished to honour the work of the former senator.

At the launch of the collection both Professor Gearóid O Tuathaigh, Professor of History at NUI Galway and Dr. John Cunningham, lecturer in history at NUI Galway gave short lectures on Bobby Burke.

Senator Burke established a co-operative farm near Tuam and the men who were working on the co-operative farm in Tuam were ordinary agricultural labourers.

Senator Burke could have employed the labourers in the ordinary way, and paid them a day's wages when they worked and let them remain idle when he did not require their services. Instead of that, he brought them in on his land, built houses for all of them, and gave them a voice in the running and management of the farm. He believed in giving the worker a share in the management of the farm. To him this was exceedingly desirable because of the sense of responsibility which it develops and because, he believed, "it places at the disposal of the employer the genius that is often found latent in a man in a humble position. It gives the worker greater interest in life and makes him feel that he is not merely a wage slave, that his opinion is valued and that, if he has any good ideas, they can be exploited to his own and his employer's advantage."

Senator Burke followed through on this philosophy in full measure. He gave these men comfortable homes. He formed them into a management committee where he had only one vote, the same as they. They meet periodically to decide in regard to various operations on the farm. He made himself an allowance for his work as he did for his men. Allowance was made for seeds, manures and so on and, at the end of the season, the accounts were made up and the profits were divided in equal measure amongst all.

The staff of Loughrea Library, Ms. Anne-Marie Callanan, Mary Donnellan and Sheila Kelly ensured that the event was well-attended, well-organised and that it ran smoothly.