Friday, December 1, 2023

Forthcoming, January 2024

Distant Summers
Remembering Philip Casey
 Writer, Fabulist, Friend

Edited by Eamonn Wall, Katie Donovan and Michael Considine

Since no public funding is available, we must publish this tribute through a subscription model. 
We call on admirers of Philip Casey to consider donating to the PayPal donate link (above right - PHONE USERS - please click on "view web version" at the bottom of this post and you'll see the yellow button).
* All subscribers' names will be listed on a page in the anthology
* Any sum can be donated, and will be kept confidential by the publisher
* Funds raised will be used solely towards the purposes and costs of this anthology

Distant Summers: Remembering Philip Casey, Writer, Fabulist, Friend is a kaleidoscopic cornucopia of prose and poetry from writers, friends and family members of Philip Casey (1950‒2018). A tribute to one of Ireland’s great literary talents, the many contributors, including Sebastian Barry, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Dermot Bolger, Nessa O'Mahony, Moya Cannon, Joseph Woods, Mary OMalley and Thomas Lynch, praise Philip’s gifts as a writer of poetry and fiction, as well as highlighting their admiration for him as an individual. “One of our most beloved contemporary poets”, is how former Ireland Professor of Poetry Paula Meehan describes Philip. Cherished by many for his tenderness, fortitude, hope and tenacity, he was an award-winning novelist, admired poet and vital presence on the Irish literary scene for over four decades. Philip battled repeated health challenges, stood up for causes he believed in, and relished making mischief. He was, in the words of the poet Theo Dorgan, “some man for one man”. Philip believed in the idea of a community of writers, and his open-mindedness drew others towards him ‒ whether to his Dublin home, or to his grassroots support base in his earlier home of Hollyfort, Co Wexford. His booming laugh and powerful handshake were legendary.  

Philip Casey started out as a poet in his native County Wexford where his earliest work was published by James Liddy in the Gorey Arts Centre broadsheets. He went on to publish four collections of poetry with Raven Arts Press and New Island: Those Distant Summers, After Thunder, The Year of the Knife, and Dialogue in Fading Light. These were later brought together in his last volume of poetry, Tried and Sentenced: Selected Poems. Michael Hartnett noted that “Things that please me in poetry are precision, compassion and images that surpass the common run of language; also that the poet must have an ear for language as a musician has an ear for music  all wonders he found in Philip’s poetry. Philip wrote a suite of novels which he called the Bann River Trilogy ‒ The Fabulists, The Water Star and The Fisher Child ‒ the first of which won the inaugural Listowel Writers’ Week Novel of the Year Award in 1995. Colm Tóibín called it “a stunningly truthful and perfectly pitched novel.” Philip also published The Coupla, a novel for children based on Irish folklore, prompted by a request from his niece, Iseult. Alongside a selection of Philip's work, the anthology also includes a detailed bibliography of his published work and unpublished prose. A pioneer in digital media, Philip founded IrishWritersOnline long before such online resources were widely available. It was a platform he, with fellow poet Patrick Chapman, ran voluntarily for years. A long-serving member of Aosdána, he supported his fellow writers unstintingly, turning up at launches with his signature blue and yellow crutches, and writing thoughtful reviews.

Gorey launch, Gorey Library, 9 January 2024

Dublin launch, Books Upstairs, 11 January 2024

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

NEW BOOK: Look! It's a Woman Writer! Irish Literary Feminisms, 1970-2020

Look! It's a Woman Writer! Irish Literary Feminisms, 1970-2020 

edited by Éilís Ní Dhuibhne


Why have women been treated differently, and discriminated against, in the literary world?

Why has gender been a 'problem' in the writing, publishing, funding and reviewing scene?

And why does it matter?

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne asked 21 writers who were born in mid-twentieth-century Ireland, north and south, to write about their literary lives. They tell it like it really was, and is. Collectively, thеse vivid, original essays provide us with a fascinating picture of Ireland’s literary landscape from multiple female points of view. Poets, fiction writers, playwrights, impresarios, writers in Irish and English, have written accounts which are funny, tragic, philosophical, angry, but all are lively, stunningly-honest testimonies of the writing life during a pivotal period in the history of Irish literature. These writers came of age when legislation for gender equality was beginning to be enacted. They are growing older on an island where a great deal has changed, for the better, as far as women are concerned. They have participated in, and created, new and more egalitarian literary scenes through their activism, but above all with their writing. They were movers and shakers when it really mattered. They are literary survivors.

Contributors: Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Catherine Dunne, Lia Mills, Medbh McGuckian, Evelyn Conlon, Mary O’Malley, Liz McManus, Mary O’Donnell, Moya Cannon, Celia de Fréine, Mary Dorcey, Anne Devlin, Mary Rose Callaghan, Mary Morrissy, Áine Ní Ghlinn, Sophia Hillan, Ruth Carr, Cherry Smyth, Máiríde Woods, Ivy Bannister, Phyl Herbert. With a foreword by novelist Martina Devlin and an afterword by Arlen House publisher Alan Hayes, this book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in how Ireland finally began to value the voices of women. Here is, in their own words, the story of the women who are the way-pavers of modern and post-modern Irish literature. There has never been a collection of essays like this.


ISBN 9781851322510, €25, paperback, 354 pages, 500 colour images.

Books Upstairs, Dublin:

Alan Hanna's, Dublin:

Book Depository (free worldwide postage):

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Arlen House publishes "Birdie", Nuala O'Connor's new flash fiction collection

Arlen House publishes new flash fiction collection by Nuala O’Connor

Love is the central force in Birdie, a collection of sixteen historical and out-of-time flash fictions that sing with the voices of women loving and losing and learning. The characters here find strength, despite the sorrows of death and deceit: a ghost-child returns to Massachusetts to comfort her grieving mother; the daughter of a Spanish orange tycoon regrets her mother’s terrible choices; an English maid longs for, but can’t be with, her mistress’s son.

Birdie contains Nuala O’Connor’s signature ekphrastic work, drawing on artists as diverse as Matisse, da Vinci, and American painter Edwin Romanzo Elmer. The natural world looms large too: sheep and foxes roam these pages, as much as seawater washes through them.

Described by the Toronto Star as a writer of ‘magical imagination’ and by the Washington Post as ‘soaring’, O’Connor’s collection of historical flash will delight her readers, old and new.

ISBN 9781851322602 French flapped paperback €10

Distributed by Argosy

Available from:


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Book Launches, Saturday 17 September, Pearse Street Library

Arlen House warmly invites you to the launch of 3 new books - a debut short fiction collection from Tanya Farrelly; a new poetry collection from Gerry Boland; and the collected poems of Maeve Kelly.

Saturday 17 September at 3pm
Pearse Street Library, Dublin 2

When Black Dogs Sing by Tanya Farrelly

In the Space Between by Gerry Boland
A Last Loving: Collected Poems by Maeve Kelly
Free entry and all very welcome

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Book Launches, Saturday 3 September, Pearse Street Library

Arlen House warmly invites you to the launch of 4 new poetry collections  
Saturday 3 September at 3pm
Pearse Street Library

Ireland's Legendary Women by Rosemarie Rowley
The Inexperienced Midwife by Miceal Kearney
Parvit of Agelast by Maighread Medbh
Between the Leaves edited by Anatoly Kudryavitsky
Free entry and all very welcome

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Arlen House Kavanagh Award Winners in Books Upstairs, 11 August

Thursday 11 August at 7pm, Books Upstairs, Dublin 

Martin Dyar, Ann Leahy, Geraldine Mitchell and Connie Roberts 
winners of the Patrick Kavanagh Award for Poetry

As part of Arlen House's 40th anniversary celebrations we are delighted to present four winners of the Patrick Kavanagh Award, Ireland's most prestigious poetry prize. Arlen House has published the critically-acclaimed debut collections of these four writers, all of whom will take part in a reading in our first floor café on Thursday 11th August. We hope you'll join us for this summer evening of poetry! 

Tickets include a complimentary glass of wine and can be purchased directly from Books Upstairs for only €6 if you'd like to avoid the booking fee. Please phone 01-6778566. Advance booking recommended.

Martin Dyar’s debut collection Maiden Names (Arlen House, 2013, 2015) was a book of the year selection in both the Guardian and The Irish Times, and was shortlisted for the Pigott Poetry Prize and the Shine/Strong Award. He was a writer in residence at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 2013.

Ann Leahy’s debut collection is The Woman who Lived her Life Backwards (Arlen House, 2008). Her poems have twice been commended in the British National Poetry Competition. She grew up in Co Tipperary and lives in Dublin. She practised as a solicitor and worked in the management of a national not-for-profit organisation and is now completing a Ph.D.

Dublin-born Geraldine Mitchell lives on the County Mayo coast. She won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2008 and has since published two collections: World Without Maps (Arlen House, 2011) and Of Birds and Bones (Arlen House, 2014). Other publications include two novels for young people and a biography of Muriel Gahan.

Connie Roberts, an Offaly native, emigrated to the United States in 1983. She won the Patrick Kavanagh Award and the Listowel Writers’ Week Poetry Collection Award and her debut collection Little Witness (Arlen House, 2015) was shortlisted for the Strong Award. She teaches creative writing at Hofstra University, New York.

Bookings to 01 6778566

Gondla launch at Kilkenny Arts Festival

7 August at 6pm, The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Arts Festival
Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland, will launch Philip McDonagh’s translation of Gumilyov’s play Gondla, preceded by a discussion on ‘Russia and the Rising’ with Philip McDonagh, Barbara Dawson and Fintan O’Toole.

The launch will include performances from the play directed by Luke Morgan.