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Friday, April 23, 2010

ROPES Launched

Julian Gough
I'm really happy to be in ROPES this year and the journal is a lovely production.  Proceeds from ROPES are donated to Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.  It was launched by Julian Gough.  Julian Gough's novel Jude: Level 1 was shortlisted for the 2008 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction.  In April 2007, Julian won the biggest prize in the world for a single short story, the BBC National Short Story Award, for "The Orphan and the Mob".  He studied Philosophy and English at N.U.I.G. and while a student there formed a band called Toasted Heretic.

Julian spoke about the need for writers to challenge society and break the mould.  He thought it is a very exciting time to be a young writer now as we emerge from the chaos left by the Celtic Tiger and try to understand the recent past.

There are some well known names included in the journal inlcuding Rita Ann Higgins, Nuala Ni Choncuir, Martin Dyar and Kevin Higgins.  Martin Dyar has won the Strokestown Poetry Prize, the Raftery Award and the Patrick Kavanagh Award, wow!  Ceara Conway and Ken Bruen read on the night alongside Dyar, Rita Ann Higgins and Kevin Higgins. 
Martin Dyar
Congratulations to the students of the MA in Literature and Publishing and to Dr. Daniel Carey and  Dr. Julia Carlson of the English Department, N.U.I. Galway.


  1. Well done Orla, in good company there.

  2. thanks Michael, I'll bring a copy along to the next meeting

  3. Well done Orla!
    I may see if I can get a copy of Ropes online, no bookshops near me stock any literary magazines.
    If i remember rightly, julian started a very interesting online debate about current Irish writers tendency to focus on the past and ignore contemporary issues in their writings. It certainly made me take stock because my stories are always set in the past and I'm only(?)38. But what can you do? There's no point in me faking a modern voice ransacking the streets of 2010 because that's not what comes to me when i'm writing. I came to the conclusion that, for me anyway, a lot of what comes out when i write are the voices I heard as a child. Which were from women born in the 1940's or earlier, the voice of my grandmother esp. Why silence that, just to be contemporary? She never had the time to write down all the things she told me. My daughter, who was ten, when my grandmother died, said, "Granny still had words left in her mouth." And so she did. But I have to say I like that he said it, because its provoked me to understand choices I was making in my writing.
    Well done again!

  4. Hi Niamh I do think that becoming aware and conscious as a writer is a sign of maturity, it's not always easy to step outside yourself wouldn't you agree? I would find myself drawn back to my childhood but I think it serves me as an emotional base to draw from. I haven't written much fiction as I usually concentrate on poetry, however recently I wrote a story that was based in the recent past and other ideas I have are contemporary too. When you are in the middle of something you don't have hindsight to take from but I suppose that's when vision, intuition and courage are needed. You certainly shouldn't silence yourself, why on earth would you do that, follow what is natural to you.

  5. Hi Orla, as Michael says, you're in with some real poetry heavyweights there, so congratulations! That's a good one for the CV!!