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Creative talents celebrate heroes and hope

January 11th, 2021 10:30 PM

By Southern Star Team

Some of the contributors with Niamh Cooper featured in the bottom right-hand image.

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LIGHTS on the Horizon, a literary time capsule of poetry, fiction and drama created to honour our frontline heroes, had a virtual launch.

Endorsed by Skibbereen-based actor Jeremy Irons and Clonakilty-based author Louise O’Neill, the newly-published hardback showcases the creative talents of an eclectic mix of fresh voices, seasoned writers and visionary photographers from across the island of Ireland.

Written during the lockdown in March 2020, Lights on the Horizon reflects a people’s thoughts, fears, actions and inactions, as they emerged from the darkest depths of Covid-19. More than anything, it celebrates heroes and hope.

Lights on the Horizon features a poignant collection of short stories, poetry, monologues and fictional diary entries, accompanied by stunning photography.

The book features the poem Soon by Cork resident Amy O’Connor as well as the short story Hindsight by West Cork based Niamh Cooper.

Amy’s poetry anthology, A Beautiful Complexity, was published in 2019 and she also runs a successful Instagram poetry account with over 10 000 followers, @aocpoetry. Niamh’s work has been published in the Examiner and shortlisted in a number of competitions, including Listowel Writers’ Week. Niamh blogs at 5MinuteMusings.com and creates language books.

Lights on the Horizon features many beautiful shots of West Cork, including the Galley Head lighthouse, Red Strand beach and others.

West Cork based Anna Dodog at WildDreamPhotography, Ben McShane and Clonakilty Distillery contributed photography. Clonakilty-based actors Teresa McShane, David Dodog, and paramedics Martin Haughney and Martin Downey kindly donated their time for a photoshoot for the book.

West-Cork-based photographer Anna Groniecka and graphic designer Nina Cáit Gilbert of DesignBird created promotional material, with special thanks to Kela Ledwidge of Dunowen House, Ardfield, and Helen Scully of Clonakilty Distillery.

Karen Russell of Clonakilty Credit Union provided support with photography. Bantry-based Andrew Russell of Summerville Press provided invaluable advice and guidance.

Bookshop owner Trish Kerr and bookseller Heidi Storeheier of Kerr’s Bookshop, Clonakilty, also consulted on the project and are stocking Lights on the Horizon, as are June and her team in Philip’s of Mallow, and Helen and her team in Bookstór in Kinsale. Bandon Office Supplies kindly printed the promotional posters.

Lights on the Horizon was chosen as the book’s title to symbolise hope in the face of this crisis. It serves as a reminder of the collective trauma endured by a people. But more than that, it reminds us of the enduring flame of the human spirit that can never be extinguished.

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