This is the last issue under the editorship of Michael Farry, a founder member of the writers group and editor since the beginning. Having successful edited fifteen issues Michael has decided it’s time to pass on the responsibility to some one else. Orla Fay from Dunderry, a long-time member and well-published poetry and prose writer is taking over.
The seventy pages of prose and poetry in this issue reflect a wide range of topics. A quick glance at the titles gives a flavour of the variety of the contents: Accordion Lesson, An Existentialist’s Wedding Vows, McDonalds Saturday Afternoon, The Snaring of the Snark, The Harpist at the Top of Grafton Street, Loughcrew, The New Curtains and The Hayfield.
A feature of this issue is the number of pieces which deal with ageing and dementia. Andy Jones wonders why he bothers planting an tree – Ten years will see me planted as sure as the Acer, Noel Carey’s poem on an old woman, possibly his mother, has the ironic title The dignity of life and Monica Corish titles her poem about a parent dying The Road Rising to Meet You.
There is also humour; a short story, Cathy Conlon’s Gran’s Shopping Trip, tells of an expedition to Cleary’s with Granny to buy a present for her ninety third birthday. Gran proves quite a handful and a misunderstanding about the meaning of the word “wardrobe” results in her getting something she didn’t want!
And there is plenty of humour elsewhere in the magazine. Dawn Lowe’s science fiction story The Chairwoman involves a female explorer from the planet Chair attending a writers group meeting with hilarious consequences. Louisa Moss from Trim has a short, amusing, cynical gloss on Dorothy Parker’s famous lines: Men seldom make passes /At girls who wear glasses. Caroline Carey Finn’s story House of Cards is a hilariously whacky account of the first day after a divorce settlement. She held on to the pub!
The passing of Seamus Heaney is marked by a poem from well-known midlands poet, Mary Melvin Geoghegan. Entitled A Response to Hearing Mid-Term Break Again it pays homage to one of Heaney’s best-known and best-loved poems. Padraic O’Dowd from Boyne Writers has a poem about the experience of soldiers in the trenches during the First World War, The Enlisted. Margaret Galvin from Wexford writes about donating an item from her wardrobe to charity: My wedding suit is gone off/ in a truck to Belarusse/ among bales of old curtains/ and sacks of wellingtons.
Many of the contributors will attend and read their work at the launch. All are welcome to attend the launch and admission is free. Previous launches have been very enjoyable occasions and have been very well attended.
Boyne Berries 15 costs €8 but will be on sale at a reduced price at the launch. It will also be available in Antonia’s Bookshop, and in SPAR, Trim. Copies can be purchased on the group's webpage.