Liam Cusack launches Mitchelstown Miscellany
'Mitchelstown Miscellany', an anthology containing almost 50 stories and poems from members of Mitchelstown Writers Group, was officially launched at Kingston College chapel on Friday, National Culture Day. Doing the honours was local businessman and founder of the Trevor/Bowen Literary Society, Mr Liam Cusack.
Contributors read excerpts from the book introduced by compere Carole Bradley. There was a most enjoyable musical interlude where Mrs Pat Pierce on concert flute and Noreen Hellen on harp played classical and Irish airs followed by Mike Treacy who sang songs from the 1st World War, linking some of the stories in the anthology.
English Author Maria C McCarthy, was a special guest, who read from her book of short stories, As Long as it Takes. Tea was served afterwards courtesy of Carole Bradley in her house at Kingston College.
Opening his address 'as Gaeilge', Liam Cusack said he was both honoured and delighted to be in a position to accept the invitation of Bunty Flynn to launch the anthology which included work from 16 members of the local Creative Writers’ Group. He said the group was formed a few years ago most likely inspired by the Trevor/Bowen Summer School that ran for several years. Unfortunately, he said, the Summer School did not take place in the current year due to lack of funds but the creative writers group continues to flourish 'and the fruits of their labours are finally in print'.
Liam said the importance of the written word cannot be overstated and the value of being a reader is 'inestimable'. "I think that books are the most important and decorative furniture that any house can possess," he said.
He spoke of his early introduction to books through his grandmother 'while on holiday as a young lad in Glenduff'. He said his grandmother was 'an avid reader even though she left Ballyheaphy National School at 14 years of age at the end of the first decade of the 20th century'.
"She became a copious reader and was a member of Mitchelstown library for decades. On her fortnightly trip to the library, she always brought children’s books for me to read. She also had the wonderful facility to choose books that would be of interest as a child gets older. My uncle was a history addict and so I had a huge collection of books on that subject from which to choose. If I got very little else from my 'holidays' out the country, I at least picked up the reading bug that I’m glad to say, still infects me."
In listing the contributors to this book, Liam said he'd 'gone biblical'. “The first shall be last and the last shall be first - and the reason for this is because it is the only way I know that I can get Mike Cullen Aherne from the top to the bottom of the list. So for Maura Treacy, Oliver Stack, Bridget O’Hanlon, Hannah O’Donnell, Sharon O’Carroll, Mary Meaney, Esther Langley, Anne Griffin, Ciara Flynn, Bunty Flynn, Liz Dolan, Liz Desmond, Mary Crotty, Sheila Casey, Breda Casey and the great bard himself, Mike Cullen Aherne, the launch of this anthology is the realisation of the ambition of every person who ever put pen to paper; to have some piece that you have written or a story you created published in a book. Some of you have already had this experience but for those of you for whom this is a first, today is the end of a journey that began whenever you decided to join your writers’ group."
He acknowledged the huge effort in 'energy, creativity, time and effort as well as a lot of stress and anxiety' that has gone in to the publishing of the book' and told those involved in the publication of Mitchelstown Miscellany that what they had achieved was both 'courageous and inspirational'.
Copies of Mitchelstown Miscellany can be bought from Sheila Casey or Bunty Flynn.
Thursday 2nd October 6:02pm