Home Place in Translation
Roscommon ROC writers

Home Place in Translation by members of Roscommon ROC
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 talented group, 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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