This book is a celebration of a great writing experience that has been happening in Dolly’s Cottage, Strandhill, over the last four years. As facilitator of Writers’ Ink creative writing workshops, it has been my privilege to work with a very talented group of writers. They come from all walks of life and from all corners of the globe (as you’ll hear by the accents) and they travel from as far away as Cavan and Donegal to attend the weekly workshops.
When we duck our heads to enter the low door of Dolly’s Cottage, we step back in time and we enter sacred space. The fire is crackling in the hearth, the plates are gleaming on the dresser, ancient fossils are embedded in the flagstone floor. There is no ceiling above us, only the thatch and a little St. Brigid’s cross that nestles there, crafted by the original roof-maker, to protect the cottage from fire. St. Brigid is there, in her magic cloak, St Patrick is banishing snakes. Here, we put away our everyday lives and become, simply, writers. It is in this atmosphere that many of these poems and stories were evoked and shared.
It was the excellence of the work being produced that created the demand for this book and made it possible. The standard and volume of submissions for the anthology reinforced my belief that this writing deserves and needs to be shared with a wider audience. This book has been written by thirty-six people. Some of them have never been published before.
(Dolly Mixtures is edited by Órfhlaith Ní Chonaill and published by Writers’ Ink)