For over a century, International Women’s Day has been marked throughout the world as a day on which women’s struggles and achievements for equality, for economic justice and for quality of life are celebrated.
This year also marks a milestone in that struggle as it is the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote in Ireland.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Newcastle West library has put together an evening of words and song, to inspire and to gladden all those who attend.
The line- up on Thursday 8th March includes two Limerick writers, Mary Coll and Helena Close, and the Inbhear Community Singing Group.
Mary Coll, who has family roots in West Limerick, is one of Limerick’s most formidable writing talents. Silver, her second poetry collection was published in late 2016, and deals with humour and insight subjects such as relationships, travel and family. But her work has featured previously in numerous anthologies and is often heard on RTE Lyric FM and on RTE’s Sunday Miscellany.
Her work for the stage includes Excess Baggage and Anything But Love, which were produced by the Belltable. She has also written several radio plays, is a regular contributor to arts and culture programmes, and has edited a number of literary publications including The Stony Thursday Book. She is a warm and witty reader of her own work.
Her fellow Limerick writer and friend, Helena Close, is equally a woman of talent and humour. She has been writing full-time for almost 20 years and has published seven novels. Four of these were co-written with Trish Rainsford under the nom de plume Sarah O’Brien. Her most recent novel is The Cut of Love, which was preceded by Pinhead Duffy and The Cut of Love.
Her short story Harbour was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Bridport International Short Story Prize. She holds a Masters in creative writing from the University of Limerick where she has also lectured. She was selected to participate in the Fishamble/ BelltableConnect Playwright Mentoring Programme 2016/2017.
Helena is now working on a new novel, a play and a TV series.
The Inbhear Choir is a natural voice choir which has evolved from the earlier Allunde Women’s Community Singing Group. It welcomes all voices, with no auditions required and learning is by ear, blending harmonies in a relaxed, fun way. This will be the choir’s debut performance in Newcastle West and it is led by Bernie Hayes.
The International Women’s Day celebration will begin at 7.30pm at Newcastle West Library with a wine and roses reception. This will be followed at 8pm sharp by the readings and singing.
This event is free and open to all and is hosted by Newcastle West Library with support from the Newcastle West Arts Committee. It is not a women-only event and all will be welcome.