“My mother in law was taking the kids for the night, so I planned a nice romantic meal for two and the house was empty, this was indeed a luxury. I had bought a nice piece of sirloin steak from the children’s allowance and was shaved and plucked to within an inch of my life. Who needs Fifty Shades of Grey?”
They are the words of Rose Grennan, whose work is featured in 'Spoken Word, writing to be heard', the debut book by new local authors from Arden View in Tullamore that will be launched next Monday, May 19 at 7pm in Tullamore library.
Together with Anne Kelly, Kathleen Kearney, Monica Carroll, Geraldine O’Toole-Leavy, Andy Carroll, Rose Cutler, Paddy Wynne and Imelda Daly, Rose is a member of the Arden View creative writing group that came together in the family resource centre for workshops led by poet Jean O’Brien in 2013.
Some of the members had never written a story before, so this was a new challenge made all the easier by the encouragement and good humour of Jean O’Brien, whose poem ‘Windmills’ also features in the new book.
The Spoken Word project came about through the writers in library scheme, which was sourced and funded by the library and arts services of Offaly County Council.
“This is a great achievement for the group,” manager of Arden View family resource centre Margaret Murphy said this week. “They already had a public reading of their work in the library last year, but to see it now published, I am sure will encourage some of them to continue.”
Most of the stories in the book are recollections of the 60s and 70s in Tullamore, and many local people will no doubt identify with the tales of growing up in the town. Andy Carroll’s short story ‘Three Musketeers and a Sub’, of summers spent at the old swimming pool, will bring back many memories,
“There were railings around the pool with a gap in the middle, where fellows would run straight from the dressing rooms and jump in,” his piece reads. “If anyone was in their way, well good luck and hope that Tom Dooley didn’t take his hanging head up.” Andy’s photograph of the old swimming pool also graces the cover of the book.
‘Spoken Word’ will be launched by Mayor of Tullamore Paddy Rowland, in one of his final official duties. More information on Arden View writers is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.