The Manchester Irish Writers was founded in 1994 at the old Irish World Heritage Centre and has been meeting regularly since. It was co-founded by Alrene Hughes and Rose Morris. MIW is a very enthusiastic group of ambitious writers at various stages in their development. Encouraged by Alrene and other visiting writers, members have gained enormously in confidence leading to the publication of six books of their collected writings. As well as providing focused workshops the group meetings have become very special social occasions where much pleasure is derived from sharing thoughts, ideas and memories.
Their publications to date include: At the End of the Rodden (Scribhneoiri 1997), The Retting Dam (Scribhneoiri 2001), Stone of the Heart (Scribhneoiri 2002), Drawing Breath (Scribhneoiri 2003), From Kerry Child to Limerick Lady (Scribhneoiri 2003) and Changing Skies (Scribhneoiri 2014). Their performances include: poetry, one act plays and monologues staged annually in the Manchester Irish Festival, the Chorlton Festival and Oldham Festival, Library Theatre, Royal Exchange and The Thirsty Scholar. A number of the writers have had books published and plays staged at The Lowry, Kings Arms, Oldham Colosseum, and London theatres.
The Manchester Irish Writers meet fortnightly on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 7.30pm, and new members are always welcome.
On Thursday 14th March, the Manchester Irish Writers celebrate their 25th anniversary with a night of performance, readings, music and dance at the Irish World Heritage Centre, North Manchester. I’ll be reporting on the event on this week’s show, with interviews from some of the group’s members, including:
Suzanne was born and brought up on the Wirral and worked for over 30 years in the North West of England, teaching Drama and Theatre Studies at GCSE and A Level. Suzanne took early retirement in 2017 and joined the MIW group just 12 months ago. So far, she has written a short story and a play.
Patrick lives in Stockport. His poems have appeared in The Interpreter’s House, The Manchester Review, Degenerate Literature, The Bangor Literature Review and The Cabinet of Heed. He has been highly recommended in the Westival Poetry Prize 2018, the Westport Poetry Competion 2017 and the Gregory O’Donogue Poetry Prize 2017.
Kevin is a poet and playwright. He’s the writer of The Claykickers’ Chorus, which was the winning script in the Kenneth Branagh International Drama Writing Award 2018.
Rose Morris co-founded the Manchester Irish Writers group with Alrene Hughes in 1994 and reckons that her continued involvement, affirmation and sharing within the group has greatly enhanced the development of her own writing. Her monologues have been performed at the Library Theatre and the Royal Exchange, and her short stories and poetry have been published in the Manchester Irish Writers’ collections: The End of the Rodden, The Retting Dam, Stone of the Heart, Drawing Breath and Changing Skies, and in Something About Home (edited by Liam Harte).
Catch all these interviews – and much more! – on the Hannah’s Bookshelf Manchester Irish Writers Special this Saturday at 2pm on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).
Missed the show? You can catch it again here: