ONE of the longest running literary journals in Ireland marked its 40th anniversary with a launch in Limerick, as part of the Cuisle Poetry Festival.
The Stony Thursday book, founded by Limerick poets John Liddy and Jim Burke in 1975, is edited this year by Mary O’Donnell, poet, writer and member of Aosdana, who joined members of the local arts community for the launch of the publication’s 2015 edition at the Granary last week.
“Over the years, The Stony Thursday Book has been characterised by independent thinking, inclusiveness and adventurousness, reflecting what I would like to imagine, was the vision of the founding editors,” explained Ms O’Donnell.
The book is funded by the Limerick Arts Office of Limerick City and County Council and The Arts Council.
This year’s poetry anthology contains the work of 132 poets from all over Ireland, as well as India, Estonia, Norway, UK, The Netherlands, France, USA, Australia and New Zealand. Cover art for this year’s edition has been provided by local artist Rory Prout.
“It has been a privilege to read and select so many poems,” said Ms O’Donnell.
“The number of submissions was huge. What struck me about the poems as a whole was how they reflect the diverse Ireland we now inhabit, and how although poets are preoccupied with ideas and feelings as much as they have always been, the poems now come to be written by people who represent what we have become as citizens of this State — and all that that implies,” she said.
“They are poems which speak of loss and passion, of poverty and exclusion, as much as poems about love, war, and landscape.”
Limerick arts and culture officer Sheila Deegan said her office was “delighted to be the gatekeeper of this important literary publication that has given many writers an opportunity to see their work published”.