In today’s Irish Times Weekend magazine, there’s a 4-page spread about the book of Ukrainian memoir pieces that I’ve been working on for the past 6 months in conjuction with Roddy Doyle’s Fighting Words.
I volunteered as a mentor and worked with the Ukrainian women writers in Fighting Words in Behan Square, in the Ukrainian Centre in Rathmines and on Zoom.
Then I edited all the pieces submitted by the 17 writers, split them into sections and copyedited. Their work is powerful, moving and makes for emotional reading. Many times I had to put the work down and move away from it for a while and then return to it. These are stories of loss, disruption, flight, escape, separation, of taking care of family, of putting precious items into an evacuation bag, of settling in a new country and ultimately of courage, strength and as the title says, inner light.
All the beautiful, extraordinary photographs in the book were taken by Alan Compton.
I haven’t seen the book in its printed version yet. It’s launching on Monday 24th at Vicar Street at a concert in aid of Ukraine. Paul Muldoon is launching it and Roddy Doyle will be there too.