SiarScéal Anthology 2012
Roscommon in Reflection

Roscommon in Reflection celebrates five years of work submitted to the SiarScéal Festival Hanna Greally Literary Awards. This anthology is a living testimony and representation of the lives and history of the people of Roscommon and national writers through the medium of poetry, prose and short stories. From personal memoirs in rural life exploring the thread of our existence, emigration, the famine ships, Queen Medbh, historical landmarks and fables, to our two majestic rivers, the Shannon and the Suck. 

"Metaphorically as an archaeological dig fusing our ancestry to the present time, gleaning from the core of our existence 'what's buried beneath', allowing the reader to empathise with the nostalgic imagery created throughout the yesteryears of life in the west. This anthology will find its pride of place amongst our cultural social history in memory of times past and passing." - Gwen Bond, founder of SiarScéal

"This is a book that emanates from Roscommon and resonates with the landscape and varied stories of Roscommon, but, like all good writing, it slips free of all boundaries and borders to speak directly to the human heart about the human condition." - Dermot Bolger (from the Foreword to this anthology)

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The SiarScéal Recordings


Roscommon poets reflect on times past taking you on a personal journey, integrating poetry with music. Audio CD. Limited edition. 
              1. Behind the Waterfall by Geraldine Corr
              2. Journey to the Sea by Alice McDermott
              3. The River by Maura Conneely
              4. Buried Secrets by Maureen Carty
              5. The Castlesharket Burial Ground by Annie Egan
              6. The Fabulous Pleasure Grounds by Jack Fallon
              7. The Destiny of Cuchulainn and Conlaoch by Geraldine Corr
              8. Trees by Maura Conneely
              9. McGathern's Eye by Jack Fallon
              10. Lough Gara turns to River by Veronica McDermott
              11. Remembrance by Frank Devenney
              12. Marbles by Letta DeGoede

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Home Place in Translation

Near to the hearts of the Roscommon ROC members, are their collective memoirs, a facet from their precious memories illustrated through poetry and art. This body of work is a social history of times past, rekindled through creative writing workshops. I was honored to facilitate such a talentedgroup, and compile with participating artists a wonderful exhibition for SiarSceal Festival 2010. 

The reader will empathise with the nostalgic imagery created throughout the writers living memory of yester years, when carrying turf sods to school to light the fire, rambling from house to house, family farming and living on your own produce during the war years was resourceful, the norm, a reflection of times now passing, captured throughout Home Place in Translation. I hope this book enriches your life as much as it has mine. - Gwen McNamara Bond, SiarSceal Festival Event Manager


These poems speak of a life less cluttered with material things; they are peopled with decent, hard-working women and men who remember the happiness of small rewards: soda bread, eggs and tea after a morning milking cows; chatting by a warm fire at night, or companionable basketmaking. There are hardships too: perishing cold and unforgiving schoolteachers; early mornings and days filled with work, like the backbreaking potato gathering and the endless minding of hens and other animals. 

The writers’ memories are of a subsistence living that wasn’t always easy. But there is joy and wisdom too among these remembrances: a lovely Saint Bridget’s cross received as a gift; happy days spent living in New York; Daniel O’Donnell joining a fan’s 90th birthday celebration; and the joy of childbearing and rearing. Bridie White’s secret to happiness, from her poem ‘Be Kind’, could be a lesson to us all:

‘Kindness just kindness in words or in deeds,
Don’t seek out the ‘wrongs’ just consider the needs,
Whether family or friends or strangers we meet,
Always be kind in your manner or speech.’

These are beautiful pieces of writing, heartfelt and real, and they record the experiences of those who have straddled two centuries, the old and the new Ireland. - Nuala Ní Chonchúir

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Abbey Chimes

A collection of short stories, poems and Haiku.

From the Foreword to this anthology, by Peggy Sims. 

"Roscommon Abbey Writers was formed in 1986. We always held our meetings in the Abbey Hotel, hence the name of the group. Initially a small number of us interested in writing came together following some talks on writing, which we attended in the VEC. 

We were:
            • Without direction 
            • Without funds 
            • Without support 
            • Without expertise 
We began to write. You could say we were self-taught. We developed and persevered even when our numbers were as low as two. We had workshops, literacy evenings, and readings. As the years went by our membership increased. The group always had determination, discipline, talent, optimism, vision and a fervent desire and love to create stories and poems. We have survived now for twenty-one years. The V.E.C. were always very helpful and we have had financial assistance from the Roscommon Arts Council, which enabled us to organise workshops and other events."

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The SiarScéal Anthology

95days until
SiarScéal Festival 2014