UCD Presents Commemorative Letterpress Book to Meath County Council Library


UCD Presents Commemorative Letterpress Book to Meath County Council Library

UCD Presents Commemorative Letterpress Book to Meath County Council Library Service

This week Meath County Librarian Ciarán Mangan received edition number 65 of Grief’s Broken Brow, a letterpress book containing commemorative poetry and art inspired by archival material from the War of Independence and the Civil War. 

100 copies of Grief’s Broken Brow were hand-crafted by The Salvage Press as part of UCD Library’s Poetry as Commemoration project which, over the past two years, has initiated poetry commissions, public poetry installations, and an extensive programme of writing workshops aimed at connecting the public with archives from this challenging period of our shared history.

As the Decade of Centenaries comes to a close, the project team are presenting public libraries and selected major repositories across the island of Ireland with a copy of the limited edition book so that it can be made available to the public. Members of the public are now welcome to view this collection in the Local Studies Room of Meath County Library.

The book was designed and produced by Jamie Murphy at The Salvage Press and features original poems by Bebe Ashley, Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi, Martina Evans, Seán Hewitt, Nithy Kasa, Victoria Kennefick, Aifric Mac Aodha, Paul Muldoon, Padraig Regan, and Stephen Sexton. All ten poems are also available through the project website www.poetryascommemoration.ie and through a Poetry Jukebox installed at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin.

James Earley, an artist whose work often references his family’s heritage in stained glass, designed a suite of three images inspired by the windows of the Public Records Office after the destruction of the building at the outset of the Civil War in 1922. Dr. Lucy Collins of UCD School of English, Drama & Film and Commandant Daniel Ayiotis, Director of The Military Archives, offer reflective essays on poetry and archives in the volume. This artist’s book was hand printed by Jamie Murphy and Ellen Martin-Friel with cover papers created by Sligo-based artist Louise Gaffney. A video by Ror Conaty capturing the attention to detail and skill involved in making Grief’s Broken Brow can be found on YouTube via the Irish Poetry Reading Archive.

Speaking at the launch of Grief’s Broken Brow in November, UCD President Professor Feely remarked:

“UCD has made significant contributions not only through scholarship on the period but through exhibitions, documentaries and creative and cultural works such as Signatories, Voices of War, and the Civil War Cantata to name just a few. It is with great pleasure that Grief’s Broken Brow is included in this list of creative contributions to the Decade of Centenaries by UCD Library.”

The project was supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries programme 2012-2023 and each copy of the book is accompanied by a letter of introduction by Minister Catherine Martin.