Friday morning last was another landmark occasion in the journey of the Limerick Writers' Centre when, at its home location of 12 Barrington Street, Limerick, the Centre launched its Annual Review for 2015, celebrating the successes of the previous year and looking forward to future activity.
The Mayor, Councillor Gerry O'Dea, in launching the review, spoke of the importance of the work of this extraordinary voluntary organisation which promotes literature in a highly inclusive way.
Introducing the Mayor, Donal Thurlow, board member of the Limerick Writers' Centre, said that "the activities highlighted in this review illustrate the Limerick Writers' Centre continuing commitment to making literature a vital part of the lifeblood of Limerick city."
In addressing those in attendance, Dominick Taylor, Director of the Limerick Writers' Centre, touched on issues of personal creativeness and the quality of life, quoting the writer James Baldwin who has written about how "inarticulate all of us can sometimes be when more has happened to us than we know how to express."
Dominic Taylor, speaking passionately about the ethos of the Centre and the need to be inclusive, noted how some writers are too easily dismissed because their work is not considered to be of sufficient 'literary value', and he quoted Seamus Heaney who said that all writings 'function as bearers of value'.
The Review recalls a dazzling morning of February 2015 when President Michael D. Higgins, in inaugurating a plaque in honour of the Limerick poet Desmond O'Grady at the White House bar in O'Connell Street, spoke eloquently about the importance of language - "in the end of the day, when all the different paradigms have fallen apart, words are all we have"; and that same morning when three young European students read translations of O'Grady's poems in Italian, Arabic and Greek.
Disappointment was expressed at the non-attendance at the launch of any representative from either the Limerick 2020 office or from the city Arts Office.
Proceedings were concluded by Fiona Clark Echlin, a director of the Centre, who sharing When I Met My Muse, a poem written by William Stafford, reminded the audience that Stafford wrote a staggering 22,000 poems. Afterwards she encouraged everyone to “let the Limerick Writers' Centre be your muse.”