Writer Philomena Barry
Philomena Barry is a young Irish writer educated in Mohill and currently living in Athlone.
The married mother of one this year self-published her first book of poems called ‘A fire in the dark’.
The 32 year old is writing her second novel and has already disclosed her third novel will be set in Venice. Her first book is a murder mystery based in Australia.
She describes herself as “a kind of an atheist” and “very anti-religious,” but adds that if someone would show her proof that God exists she would be open to changing her mind.
The overwhelming themes of this collection of poetry concern her awareness of threats to human life and happiness in our world today.
There are also sparks of insight into the futility of some of the proposed solutions to those threats.
One threat is the pervasive impression that life is always hurtling towards death and that people are being dragged to their destruction.
Related to that is the feeling that many have that life is pointless , that “all is defeat” and that this earth is a cruel wasteland.
In a similar vein the author grieves over the fact that even the innocent are condemned to death and consigned to oblivion where their story is forgotten by everyone.
Philomena says that many people are overwhelmed by fears, loneliness and losses, and she asks if repentance for past crimes will come only when it is too late.
She is keenly aware of evil lurking at the door of every human heart; no-one can escape it, she says, and it even has a human face.
Responding to this evil, Philomena rejects “half-hearted guidance from the people who are supposed to care” and she also cautions against the extremes of living a life of revelling and rotting.
Philomena applies herself to giving an intelligent response to evil.
She knows that the one who causes the darkness will not live forever . Her soul insists with her that she should “search for more … yearn for more,” and she knows that she should dream, take courage and take a stand.
These poems capture the crisis of a modern world that has lost reasons for living because too many of its members have given up on love.
Philomena will be giving a public reading of her poetry (as well as an extract from her forthcoming novel) in the Canon Donohoe Hall, Mohill on Friday, August 18 at 6.30pm.
Admission is free and all are welcome.