Later this autumn, a new book of creative writing and photographs will be published to acknowledge St. Senan’s Hospital, Enniscorthy. A feature of the local landscape for almost 150 years, the building has inspired this new collection supported by Wexford County Council, the HSE and the Arts Council. Twenty-nine writers from the Arts Ability Creative Writing programme will share some of their memories and stories from the hospital, alongside a new series of photographs by Rory Nolan.
Some of those who experienced life inside the hospital bounds, felt an important need both historically and artistically to create this book. For some of the contributors, this has been a place to make friends, to garden and to paint. For others, their experiences have been darker, but all have been touched by the imposing building and its grounds.
From the outset, the project has been writer-led. Each writer suggested specific locations for Nolan to capture, in turn responding to his photographs through the written word.
Edited by creative writing programme facilitator Sylvia Cullen, the book has been gradually taking shape, with a blend of poignant and character-filled memories. Emerging themes include the importance of talking and listening, the longing for visits and visitors, the impact of the building itself as well as its surroundings and finally, a recognition and appreciation of how much things have changed for the better.
The book will be launched in Enniscorthy in November. Details will be posted on artsandhealth.ie.