Issue eight brings you twenty-one articles, poems and short stories celebrating the people, landscapes and livelihoods of this place, brought to you by more than forty contributors. The issue explores the themes of Connect, Restore, Reconcile and Trailblaze, alongside our regular Literature section.
We hear stories of restoring, from a repair café saving hundreds of items from landfill, and a pop-up artist’s studio – 'The Vault’ – housing the largest number of artists under a single roof in Ireland.
We hear stories of reconciliation between people and their cultures, traditions, Nature and themselves. Lucy O’Hagan and Kathryn Mc Cabe consider the need for nature-based rites of passage for young women in Ireland, and mediator, facilitator and storyteller Paul Hutchinson shares a typical day in the life of a facilitator. Lynda Sullivan teaches us about our legal system and how it considers nature the ‘property’ of people. She tracks a global movement working to recognise the rights of nature and bring the living planet back from the brink of extinction. Ellie Kisyombe tells us about her work to end direct provision in the Irish asylum system.
We hear stories of connecting – with voice and sound, kids and cubs and kindness. Mark Ferguson heads out through thick, early morning mist in search of wildlife sounds to document and record, while the HIVE choir ensemble pushes the boundaries of improvisation. Kelly Hargie spends every Sunday in the mountains with her family, and Bethany Dawson starts a weekly pilgrimage to a fox den, in the shade of the hawthorn hedge.
We hear stories of trailblazers, each a pioneer in their own way. Hidden away near Slemish, Linda McCooke is perpetually potting on plants and seedlings, and always happy to pause and share a moment and a wisdom garnered from her lifetime of growing and cultivating. Near the border, Eoin O’Callaghan and Ryan Vail combine image and sound that explores what it means to belong in a world where division seems more palpable than ever. Karishma Kusurkar considers how visionaries have shaped life as we know it, and Olivia creates a dog sanctuary she has been envisioning since she was a teenager.
The issue closes with two short stories from award-winning authors Jan Carson and Donna Moore, on the possibility of doors and gentle artemisia.
We love this place, and we remain committed to sharing the untold stories from our corner of the world and beyond; to create media that nourishes you. Welcome to issue eight – we hope you enjoy it.