On the next few pages you will find the opening lines of books by local authors and some poems by local poets.

Everything I am or ever was, all I have pilfered
from this begrudging world, my whole life, my fame
and what you call my downfall has come from
one thing only. Love. I owe everything to love.
Not the sweat between man and woman; not
the helpless dependence that parents and
their children confuse with love; not the passion
for country or idea that men will kill and die for.
I am talking of that sensation rushing through
your body; seething in the marrow of your bones;
seeping like light from your fingertips; that
bewitchment, the one and only love, that makes
you want to touch your fellow creatures and,
through the simple alchemy of hands, give healing
to their lives.

John Dunne

It was a morning on which a war might have started.
The storm the previous night had all but stripped the
lime trees, and the ground around the rectory was
water-logged. There wasn't a sound of chick or child
out on Sackville Square as the Reverend John Drew
dragged open the flaking shuttered windows. He
suddenly found himself wishing the three women
were back again: Judith lolling about on the armchair,
her nose buried in a book; Theodora tricking with some
embroidery she had been set in Miss Markham's; and
Eliza, in the background, calling out commands to
Bridget Doheny in the scullery. But now he was alone
with himself, with no warm words to soften the
uneasy moments between dawn and dusk. And
Westmacott's sojourn in Aghadoe had been deferred...

John Maher