New Island Books - 25 Years a-Growing

Beyond the Centre: Writers in their own Words

Beyond the Centre: Writers in their own Words


‘As soon as we took possession of Number 19 we could feel the power of the place’ - Peter Sirr

‘… the working-class writer is obliged to steel herself to ignore the class barriers in the arts’ - Lisa McInerney

‘… sometimes writing no longer seems like the thing I do, it seems like the thing I am’ - Kevin Barry

What is it to be a writer? What are the struggles, the joys, the moments of hardship and ones of brilliance?

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Irish Writers Centre, Beyond the Centre: Writers in their own Words is a landmark anthology of essays by some of Ireland’s foremost contemporary writers, specially commissioned and edited by Declan Meade, publisher of The Stinging Fly.

By turns provocative, poignant, and practical, these candid accounts touch on various themes such as the craft of writing, the Irish literary scene through the decades, the struggle to make a living, and other snapshots of the writing experience. And controversy is never far from the surface – social class, diversity, gender, exclusion, nationalism, eremitism and ego all make spiky, colourful appearances.

Diverse and engaging, many pieces are also deeply personal, with honest and humorous anecdotes, offering an uncommon and revealing look into the lives and perspectives of contemporary Irish writers.
Here are their successes as well as their setbacks; the trials and the triumphs; the demands and rewards that writing affords. Beyond the Centre reveals the dedication and courage that define the writing life.

With essays by:
Kevin Barry, Pat Boran, Evelyn Conlon, Sarah Clancy, Dominique Cleary, Martina Devlin, Rob Doyle, Anne Enright, Mia Gallagher, Jack Harte, Anne Haverty, Lia Mills, Catherine Phil MacCarthy, Thomas McCarthy, Lisa McInerney, Belinda McKeon, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Joseph O’Connor, Mary O’Donnell, Mary O’Malley, Sean O’Reilly, Ian Sansom, Peter Sirr, Gerard Smyth, Alan Titley

Declan Meade is the founding editor and publisher of The Stinging Fly magazine and commissioned this collection of essays as part of the Irish Writers Centre’s 25th anniversary celebrations.

The Irish Writers Centre has long been a hub of literary activity, supporting established and aspiring writers throughout Ireland from its base in 19 Parnell Square, Dublin.



Declan Meade


Trade Paperback





Release Date

November 2016


Additional Information

Weight .490 g
Dimensions .235 × .158 × .20 mm


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