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Sebastian Barry, Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Claire Keegan, Colm Tóibín. Short Stories in Print. (LIMITED EDITION OF 100 COPIES PRINTED ON LETTERPRESS)
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Dublin: Print Museum, 2023. Large folio. Printed in a limited edition of 100 copies only for sale, with an additional 20 out of commerce, for presentation. All sheets are signed by the authors and numbered [Sebastian Barry, Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Claire Keegan, Colm Tóibín]. Printed letterpress on handmade 145gsm graphic paper from the Ruční Papírna Velké Losiny, a paper mill established in 1596 in the Czech Republic. The paper incorporates the Museum's logo in the watermark. Designed by Mary Plunkett using the typeface Dashiell,
(designed in Ireland). Seen through the press by Seán Sills in the Spring of 2022 on the Museum's Vandercook No 4. Printed from magnesium plates. Bound by Duffy Bookbinders in a pale blue cloth-
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the National Print Museum commissioned Short Stories in Print, A limited-edition collection of unpublished work by some of Ireland’s leading writers. Six household names and internationally renowned, prizewinning Irish writers Sebastian Barry, Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Claire Keegan and Colm Tóibín, in response to an invitation from the National Print Museum, have written original, unique pieces. These beautiful and handsomely printed broadsides by master printer Seán Sills are now available as a signed, limited-edition portfolio of work. Sebastian Barry: In ‘The Arrested Image’ Sebastian Barry remembers one of his artist grandfather’s old etching plates, a self-portrait of Matthew Barry’s younger self. Though now damaged and though it ‘could never be printed from’, this etching plate inspired and continues to inspire Barry who keeps it on his worktable as he uses his pen to make his way into print. Roddy Doyle’s ‘Old Man in the Museum’ is also a memory piece. The setting is a print-works off Liffey Street Dublin, July 1940. Doyle not only paints an atmospheric scene of ‘deafening noise’ and ‘the smell of the metal’ but he fast-forwards to that same boy, now an old man, Roddy Doyle’s father, visiting the Print Museum and remembering his trade.
Christine Dwyer Hickey: ‘Untitled.’ A terrace house in London intrigues and haunts Christine Dwyer Hickey. It is both ordinary and extraordinary; it is both ‘magical’ and ‘full of menace’. Outside and inside it is oddly and chaotically decorated, carrying with it bits and pieces for years and it becomes, for Dwyer Hickey, an image of the creative mind at work, a reservoir for inspirational moments. Colm Tóibín: ‘Bridge Over the Slaney.’ Colm Tóibín meditates upon Thomas Kinsella’s powerful, sensuous poem ‘Another September’ set in Tóibín’s native Wexford. But his piece also offers a vast historical and literary perspective when Tóibín remembers how English poets Spenser and Bryskett, associated with this very place, and who thought ‘the natives here to be barbarians’, would have approved of Kinsella’s well- wrought famous poem.
Anne Enright: ‘Killiney Hill.’ Landscape is vividly evoked in Anne Enright’s description of a path she walked during the lockdown of 2020 on Killiney Hill. There’s the panoramic view of distant Dún Laoghaire and its pier and in one granite-block paragraph she captures the sounds and scents of the hill path, the absent granite and a memory of her father: geography, history and her story. Claire Keegan: ‘Epitaph.’ A complex daughter-father relationship is at the heart of Claire Keegan’s ‘Epitaph’. This very personal piece tells of a winter landscape, ‘a milky light across the beet fields’ and a woman gathering holly for her father’s grave. That kind, gesture is overshadowed by troubled memories but a chance remark brings a strange comfort. And printing that one detail brings a comfort of sorts.
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