A Quarter Century of Windows Publications
“Creativity enables us to challenge reality as we know it, to move beyond the distinctively local vision, to offer a rediscovery of ourselves”.
Windows Publications founders Heather Brett and Noel Monahan at the beginning of their careers celebrating literature and the arts spoke of the importance of creativity. In 2016 the Irish Government introduced Creative Ireland, a national initiative to celebrate and ensure creativity was at the heart of what we value as a nation. Windows Publications were leading the way in this regard for many years. Through their work with the Authors and Artists Series, publishing emerging writers and visual artists, the Windows Student Poetry Competition and their master-class and readings series over 25 years they have shaped the careers of many young Irish writers. They gave voice to Nessa O Mahony, Joseph Woods, Tom Conaty Lorna Shaughnessy, Grace Wells and Gréagóir Ó Dúill, Irish poets who have flowered from the early sunlight that Windows Publications shone on them.
They published work from visual artists including Eileen Ferguson, Anne Harkin-Petersen and Martin Campbell. Celebrating their 20th year they were acknowledged by many leading Irish poets who contributed work for the anthology and these included: Leland Bardwell, Tom Mac Intyre, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland. Speaking at the time of inception the authors said
“Poetry was important to all three of us. It was difficult for new poets to get published and we were aware of hierarchies and power imbalances in the literary world in Ireland”.
This motivation to hear new voices on the literary landscape and introduce emerging artists to a wider audience was and remains the motivation for the publishers. Their enthusiasm for literature has grown in the intervening years alongside their individual careers.
The editors will introduce their latest discoveries on 11 May at Johnston Central Library when they launch the 11th anthology with readings from some of the contributors. The book will be launched by Liz Mc Manus, Chaire of the Irish Writers Centre and will be accompanied by an exhibition of artists invited by the editors. The artists whose work is included are Michelle Boyle, Marilyn Gaffney, James Brady, Fiona Seoige Joyce, Elena Duff and Rikki van den Berg. Coinciding with the launch will be the Windows Student Poetry Competition Awards on Sunday 14 May at The Cavan Crystal Hotel, main sponsor of the competition for many years. The editors acknowledge the support they received from Monaghan County Council in their formative years and Cavan County Council through the library, arts and heritage departments for many years.
About the Authors
Noel Monahan has published seven collections of poetry. His most recent publication was “Where The Wind Sleeps, published by Salmon poetry in May 2014. His literary awards include: The SeaCat National Award organised by Poetry Ireland, The Hiberno-English Poetry Award, The Irish Writers’ Union Poetry Award, The William Allingham Poetry Award and The Kilkenny Poetry Prize. In 2001 he won The PJ O’Connor RTE Radio Drama Award for his play “Broken Cups” and in 2002 he was awarded The A.S.T.I. Achievements Award for his contribution to literature at home and abroad. Noel Monahan has published extensively and his work has been translated into: French, Italian, Romanian and Russian. A selection of his poems, translated by Emmanuel Malherbet, “ Celui Qui Porte Un Veau & Autres Poemes” was published in France by Alidades in Autumn 2014. Noel was part of a team of translators of the Irish poet: Seán Ó Ríordáin. The book, Selected Poems by Seán Ó Ríordáin, was published by Yale University and Cló-Iar Chonnacht in 2014.
Heather Brett was born in Canada and raised in Northern Ireland and has lived in the Cavan for the last 17 years. She studied at the College of Art in Belfast and began to write full-time in 1984. Her first book Abigail Brown was published in 1991 and won the Brendan Behan Memorial Prize in 1992. The Touchmaker was published in 1994 and was followed in 2005 by ‘Green Monkey, travelling’. Brett has been editor of Windows Publications since 1992 and has published over ten introductory anthologies, a book and CD on literary and visual arts traditions, two collections and over thirty issues of a literary journal. Brett has edited and published Voices from the Hollow, Toadstools & Glue, and I Caught Fire! – anthologies of young people’s creative writing and artwork. Heather Brett has been writer in residence for Cavan, Drogheda, the Midlands Creative Project, and the Sliabh Beagh Creative Writing Project. Her latest book ‘Witness’ was published by Windows Publictations in 2015.
Windows Publications have confirmed a number of nationwide launches:
14th May at 3pm Cavan Crystal Hotel Student Awards Ceremony with Anne Marie Ward and Catriona O' Reilly, heritage and arts officers for Cavan County Council.
18th May at 6pm at Irish Writers Centre, Dublin with Heather Brett and Noel Monahan
24th May at 6pm at Galway City Library with James Harold Arts Officer Galway
28th May at 4pm The HomePlace (Heaney Centre Derry/Londonderry NI) with Heather Brett and Noel Monahan