Drogheda Creative Writers meets at Sarsfields Pub on the Cord Road in ‘The Living Room’ on the 2nd and 4th Monday evenings every month at 7.30. Every other month we hold an Open Mic with a guest writer. All writers and listeners are welcome !
Whatever the particular format might be on any given evening, there is always ample time for the lifeblood of the group : reading our work among ourselves. Amidst the praise and constructive comments of supportive fellow writers, both our writing and friendships bloom – and the craic is great !
History of Drogheda Creative Writers
A note found in our Drogheda Writes 2007 anthology refers to Nuala Early (RIP), “Who was a founding member of the writers’ group 19 years ago.” Before we found this, none of us were too sure just when the DCW originally started. But now we know it would have been 1988. No wonder we couldn’t remember ! A second anthology was printed in 2009, Drogheda Writers 2. Some members recall that in earlier years there was an annual literary competition and sometimes poetry slams.
Eventually there were a few quiet years of nothing happening until September 2017 when Emer Davis and Roger Hudson decided to get DCW re-established. Emer was the one who first thought of the Poetry Trail idea for the 2018 Fleadh and got the grant for us from Create Louth to print the posters for it. Unfortunately, her work took her out of the country before all those yellow posters appeared in town ! A new committee was set up to execute the plans for the Fleadh and Roger was joined by Dermot O’Neil, Dawn Staudt, and eventually Marian Clarke.
From here see the info for the 2018 Fleadh and the 2019 Fleadh !
Annual Report for Drogheda Creative Writers – Sept 2021
Officers for this year – August 2020 – September 2021 have been as follows :
Chairperson – Dermot O’Neill (resigned 7 November 2020)
Treasurer – Marian Clarke
Notifications Secretary– Dawn Staudt
PRO – Kevin Keogh
Our Meetings were greatly impacted by Covid-19 throughout this past year. The majority of the meetings were held on zoom from August 2020 until summer 2021. Clearly not everyone was happy or able to do online meetings. Then we met in person in the Augustinian Garden for both the Monday evening meetings for July and August, as well as the 1st Sat of the month meeting. The AGM was postponed one month as we knew we would be meeting in person at Sarsfields once again starting in September. That meeting, on September 13th, we had the honor of celebrating our longtime member Roger Hudson’s 85th Birthday and launch of his newly published book Hidden in Green. It was a great start to being back at good old Sarsfields ! (To purchase copies contact : email@example.com)
Culture Night was marked on 18 September 2020 by Brian Quinn’s performance of his play written that previous spring titled Quarantine, co-starring Grainne Rafferty. The show was performed on zoom with about 15 viewers.
Publishing 6 Chapbooks for our previously unpublished members was the next enterprise that we successfully pulled off during the challenging Covid-19 times ! Using the grant from Create Louth received over the summer, we did…
A Series of Six Chapbooks from Drogheda Creative Writers
Featuring 5 Poetry Collections by :
Cynthia Lourties, Marian Clarke, J. B. Stout, Kevin Keogh, & Brian Quinn,
as well as 1 Short Story Collection by Gerard Byrne.
The books were launched at a zoom meeting on the 5th of December 2020, with readings by each of the authors. About 20 folks came along. Taken from Roger’s press release the Titles are as follows :
– Marion Clarke’s
“Just for the L of It”
has both humorous and heartfelt reflections of life’s journey ;
– Gerard Byrne’s
“Tales of Terror in a Time of Dread”
has creepy horror stories ;
– Cynthia Lourties’
“I Have Magic”
with its fascination with the occult and the supernatural ;
– J.B, Stout’s
has short poems that were often knocked out during our fortnightly meetings ;
– Kevin Keogh’s
“Looking In, Looking Out” ;
– Brian Quinn’s
“Where the Dust Lies”
each have equally different styles of experiment with wordplay and verse forms.
“All are surprising personal, open and honest making for powerful and moving reading,” added Roger.
The team that worked on the project included Roger Hudson and Larry Staudt serving as Co-Editors ; Larry Staudt also did the layout and overall book/cover design. Will Guppy, our local illustrator, provided the engaging cover graphics and Dawn Staudt served as Project Administrator.
Promotion of the books consisted primarily of sales by the authors, and getting books into Academy Books at Southgate Shopping Centre. Marian also organized sales to Louth County Library and the Old Drogheda Society. None of this was easy and straightforward due to Covid-19 and it is only recently that most of the sales monies have actually come into our account. Phew ! We did it ! And a most special CONGRATULATIONS to all of the authors !
Poetry Day Ireland was held on 13 April on one of our usual Monday evening sessions. The theme was New Directions: Maps and Journeys. The offer was also available for any of our members to make recordings for the Library’s Facebook page. About 10 people participated.
Membership – Despite Covid-19, a few new members have come to the group. We welcome them all !
News from the 2021 AGM
Officers elected as follows :
Marian Clarke, Chairperson
Larry Staudt, Treasurer
Dawn Staudt, Secretary
We welcomed 4 official new members at the AGM : one brand new member (Harry Toye from Laytown), one old returning member (Emer Davis returning from 3 years in India), and 2 new members from this past year now officially registered (Marie Lyons and Larry Staudt) ! Others who have come along, but haven’t officially registered are equally welcomed !
Plans for 2021-2022
Now that we are meeting in person again, we will go back to trying to have Guest Speakers on a quarterly basis. Emer Davis will be our first one and will be with us on Monday, the 13th of December – at Sarsfields at 7:30. More about this event will be posted closer to the time.
A charter for the group will be developed to cover the basic aims and goals of Drogheda Creative Writers, as well as behavior guidelines for meetings, as well as use of our Whatsapp group.
Poetry Day Ireland
We’ll be aiming for an event at Highlanes Gallery hopefully for this year’s event… To be arranged.
Droichead Arts Centre
We are in consultation with the Art Centre re a series of events over this coming year… Watch this space !
Hosting a Writers Seminar (hopefully with the assistance of a Create Louth grant) to cover costs will be considered eventually…