'Beyond the rosebush, where the rest of the garden once stood, now opened into the great mouth of the sea.'
Yesterday The Irish Times published my short story, 'Compost.' A few hours after it went live Mary Berry was on the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on the BBC talking about iris roots. This is only significant if you read the story, which you can do here.
As I mentioned previously, this piece was inspired by my involvement in The Irish Writers Centre x Arts Council Northern Ireland writing project Xborders:Accord, when, in our first session, Professor David Landy gave a lecture on the erosion of Palestinian-occupied land in Israel. This talk urged me to consider the many foundations we construct around ourselves, and the deep emotional impact when things that seem certain and immutable suddenly and unexpectedly fall away...
This Thursday the 10th, the Take Heart Pop Up takes off. This event, which sees scores of writers and artists across Ireland donate their work to raise funds for the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, began from one tweet. After the outcome of the Belfast Rape Trial and the public furore that followed it artist Ingrid Casey sent a painting of hers into the twittersphere. She wanted to donate it; she wanted to do something. Other artists and writers responded; they wanted to do something too. I asked if The Broken Spiral might do something as well. Fast forward a few weeks, and Take Heart is now a movement supported by some of the leading creators this country homes, including Claire Keegan, Francis O'Toole, Damien Flood, Joseph O'Connor, Conor Horgan, Pauline Bewick, Hugh O'Conor and Nigel Rolfe. As Ruth McKee (one of Take Heart's founders) said in her Irish Times article about the event: "How a movement ignites is unpredictable."
Amy Ni Mhurcu for Take Heart Pop Up.
The art we've received for this event is gorgeous. Prices range from a very manageable 10-15eu to investment pieces. There is something for everyone to come away with and admire and enjoy, and the enjoyment will be all the more sweet knowing the money paid for these pieces of great power and beauty will support some of the most vulnerable people in our society in their darkest moments.
Cathal Poirteir for Take Heart Pop Up.
As well as the art and literature for sale, there will be live poetry and short story readings that echo the Spontaneity Take Heart issue - a selection of authors, including myself, will read their published pieces alongside the art their writing is paired with (Kerrie O'Brien's evocative 'Rituals' in my case), making the night an interactive and multi-disciplinary one that shows how dynamic a thing can be when a community unites.
Pauline Bewick for Take Heart Pop Up.
To view and purchase the work and hear the readings, come to:
TAKE HEART POP UP. MAY 10TH. 6PM. BAGOTS HUTTON, 6 ORMOND QUAY UPPER, DUBLIN.
The Xborders: Accord writing project, which began back in January, is coming full circle this evening at a showcase in the Irish Writers Centre. Some wonderful writers, including myself, will take to the podium to share the work that this project has inspired - I will be reading an excerpt from my short story, 'Compost.' My piece was inspired by our first session in the Irish Writers Centre in January, when Professor David Landy gave a lecture on the erosion of Palestinian-occupied land in Israel. Professor Landy's talk urged me to consider the many foundations we construct around ourselves, and the deep emotional impact when things that seem certain and immutable suddenly and unexpectedly fall away.
The project, which is sponsored and supported by the Irish Writers Centre, Arts Council Northern Ireland and Lotto, took us from Dublin to Derry/Londonderry to Belfast and back again, and opened up many interesting questions about the borders that exist between and around us. I'm very grateful to be able to share my work this evening, to hear the work of the other writers, and to see how all of our disparate voices accord.
RM Clarke is a writer and voice-over artist. She has written for various literary mags and anthologies and won awards. She has put her voice to most things she can think of.