Over 25 talented writers from the Killagoley Training & Activation Centre (K.T.A.C.) recently celebrated the launch of a new series of creative writing. A Window to our Words is a weekly series which will be featured in The Enniscorthy Echo newspaper.

Since 2006, Wexford County Council, the HSE and the Arts Council have supported a creative writing programme at K.T.A.C. as part of Arts Ability. Writer Sylvia Cullen, who facilitates the programme, was searching for a way to bring the work to a new audience when the Enniscorthy newspaper responded positively to her proposal for a weekly series.

With funding from the National Lottery and Shine, a series of workshops took place in the 1798 Centre where participants particularly enjoyed the challenge of creating new work in a local community venue.

Former R.T.E. newsreader Anne Doyle made a guest appearance for the launch and commended the writers on their work saying she was struck very forcibly by the high standard of writing. She was also inspired not to be what she referred to as ‘a lazy retired lump’ and to write a story about her own childhood, picking strawberries in Boolavogue.

Newly appointed Wexford County Cathoirleach, Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan congratulated the writers and emphasised the importance of social inclusion and the Council’s aim ‘to create an environment where people from a range of backgrounds come together’.

The work of the Arts Ability writers echoes ‘the golden renaissance of literature’ that Wexford is experiencing, according to the Echo editor, Tom Mooney. He praised their honest, no nonsense approach in writing what he called ‘intrinsically Wexford prose’.

Finally, Martin Matthews of Shine reminded people that following the success of their first publication, From the Hill of the Wild Berries, the Enniscorthy writers have inspired other writing groups all over the South East. He finished by saying that the genuine tone of their work made people feel like they knew the writers: ‘Something like this project allows you to hear what a person is saying and see them three-dimensionally. If the eyes are the window to the soul, the ears are the window to the spirit.’

For more information on this project contact the Arts Department, Wexford County Council by e-mailing arts@wexfordcoco.ie


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