Ireland’s Green Larder by Margaret Hickey

I love when books that so deserve to be published are out in the hands of the readers of the world.

One which I am looking forward to in 2018 is Ireland’s Green Larder by Galway-based writer Margaret Hickey. Her publishers Unbound describe it as ” A glorious ramble down the centuries telling the story of food and drink in Ireland.” How wonderful. It also has recipes which I’m really excited about.

Consider supporting Margaret’s book here. And below, a little more information on Ireland’s Green Larder. 

Margaret Hickey’s book, Ireland’s Green Larder, tells for the first time the story of food and drink in Ireland from the ancient field system of the Ceide Fields, established a thousand years before the Pyramids were built, right up to today’s thriving food scene. Rather than focusing on battles and rulers, she digs down to what has formed the day-to-day life of the people. It’s a glorious ramble down the centuries, drawing on diaries, letters, legal texts, ballads, government records, folklore and more. The story of how Queen Maeve died after being hit by a piece of hard cheese sits alongside a contemporary interview with one of Ireland’s magnificent cheese makers, and Jonathan Swift’s complaint about dubiously fresh salmon is countered by the tale of the writer’s day trip on the wild Atlantic coast, collecting the world’s freshest native oysters.

Recipes are dotted throughout the book and there’s a chapter on the Irish rituals and superstitions associated with food and drink. In no country has the contrast between feast and famine been greater than in Ireland. Margaret Hickey has written a lively, stimulating book with the daily human experience at its heart – in it you’ll find a larderful of food for thought.

Readings & Music in Dublin, Nov 8th

I’m really looking forward to enjoying Staccato night on November 8th in Toner’s in Baggot Street, Dublin –  organised by the fab team Tanya Farrelly and David Butler.

I’m reading alongside Niamh Boyce, Ivy Bannister, Louise Callaghan,  Bob Shakeshaft and Ed Madden. It will be a pleasure hearing familiar work and writers as well as discovering work that is new to me.

Come along – free entry – and enjoy stories, poetry and music as well as an Open Mic at the end!

Prize Winning Stories and Friendly Literary Festivals

It is has been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to attend an event at a literary festival so I was delighted to be invited to attend the wonderful Dromineer Literary Festival in County Tipperary last weekend.

It was one of the most welcoming, intimate, and friendly festivals I have ever been to. At 9 on a Saturday morning we were greeted with smiles from the Chairperson Eleanor Hooker, hot tea and homemade scones in the Domineer Yacht Club.

I attended a fiction writing workshop run by writer Lisa Harding and the group discussed processes and approaches to writing and wrote with a frenzy that only comes with good facilitation and great group dynamics. It was great being on the other side of the table for a change and I’m now working on a story that I started in that workshop!

I also attended the prize giving ceremony in the afternoon and was stunned by the winning children’s poems in the Primary School Poetry Competition – the range of vocabulary and images. I was truly moved by the winning poems in the Poetry Competition and thoroughly enjoyed the flash fiction pieces.

Of course I was thrilled to be placed second in the flash fiction category with my story “Confined”.

So grab a cup of tea and read the winning entries – judged by Lisa Frank and John Walsh of Doire Press – on the Dromineer website here. Congratulations to all the winning authors!