"Words from the Planet" committee members, L-R Standing: Sherzad Ali, Veronica Kelly, Patricia Clarkson and Lola Gonzalez Farrell. L-R Sitting: Nouri Azizi, Zainab Azizi and Osazuwa Peter-Olabiyi.
We are enriched by difference. A new booklet being launched in Carrick-on-Shannon is testimony to that. The booklet will be launched by Cllr. Finola Armstrong-McGuire in The Bush Hotel this Friday the 8th of December.
“Words from the Planet” is an intercultural collection of stories in prose and poetry written by members of Leitrim International Community Group, who attended a series of creative writing workshops held in the Education Centre this autumn.
Though living locally, the writers originate from a range of countries such as Nigeria, Kurdistan, Panama, Syria, Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom. This vibrant, lively and enthusiastic mix, according to workshop facilitator, Dolores Walshe, meant the class itself almost became a microcosm of the planet.
The project was awarded funding by Leitrim County Council Arts Office through the Creative Ireland Programme 2017-2022 and received support and advice from Leitrim Development Company. Participants were encouraged to express themselves creatively through the medium of English, and to produce sufficient work for a booklet of creative writings at the end of the workshops.
Such a venture furthers our understanding and awareness of each other, and of the very rich and diverse cultural strands coexisting within our community, while also allowing those who have come to us from other places to express their own unique experiences, giving us a new perspective we would otherwise never have.
The voices are “distinctive, raw, moving and eloquent,” according to Walshe, “and their range is wide: from the innocence and poignance of childhood memories to harrowing journeys where danger is faced with huge courage and resilience.
They are heartrending and uplifting by turn. In true seanchaí tradition they unite us, giving us the real lived experience of other lives on this planet, of places we have never been, experiences we have never had, in some instances life-changing, traumatic, in others, joyful and humorous, all of them helping to make us more visible to each other.”
You can get a copy from bookshops in Carrick-on-Shannon. For further enquiries, please contact us on www.facebook.com/licg or Leitrim Development Company - 071 9631895.