The Word welcomes writers Declan Hughes and Jessamine O’Connor on Wednesday 27th March in Sligo Central Library.

Declan Hughes is a co-founder of Rough Magic Theatre Company, a director, playwright and novelist. He is Literature Advisor to the Arts Council.  His plays have won numerous awards including the Stewart Parker New Playwright award and for his crime fiction he has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the American crime writing equivalent to the Oscars.

In an essay from 2000,  responding to representations of Ireland in theatre at the height of the Celtic Tiger, Declan asked “Who the hell do we think we still are?” It has been described as “one of the most important essays yet written about contemporary Irish drama,” challenging us to rethink how we represent Irishness. “Irish drama needs to show more guts” he writes. His own work is a response to this challenge, his crime novels shedding the pastoral in favour of the city and all its alienations and idiosyncrasies.

Reading with Hughes is Jessamine O’Connor, a poet living on the Sligo Roscommon border who has published five poetry chapbooks. Her next collection is coming out with Salmon Poetry in 2020. In her most recent publication, Pact, she writes about motherhood, displacement and loss. The scenes Jessamine captures, “are moments sliced open to hint at musculature and skeleton, writes Afric McGlinchey. “This is O’Connor’s strength: the small frisson, the chill that accompanies each personal encounter in these poems.”

Jessamine’s poems have won the Poetry Ireland Butlers Café Competition 2017, the iYeats; and Francis Ledwidge awards 2011 and have been shortlisted for many more, including the Hennessy Award. Her first film-poem will screen at Strokestown Poetry Festival in May. Jessamine is currently a student on the BA in Writing and Literature at IT  Sligo.

The writers will read from their work followed by a Q& A and an open-mic session. Local writers/musicians are welcome to read/perform at the open-mic which operates on a first come, first served basis. The Word is a collaboration between Sligo Central Library and the BA in Writing & Literature at IT Sligo. There is no charge for this event.