Laois woman publishes new book which 'celebrates life'

Previous winner of the Cecil Day Lewis Poetry Prize, her work has been published in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Laois woman publishes new book which 'celebrates life'

Family, people and places are at the heart of a new book that has just been published by Portlaoise woman, Denise Curtin Dunne.

The book is a collection of Denise’s poetry which she says celebrates life.

“I celebrate life in my poetry, I cannot write unless it is about something that I love and something that moves me.

“I feel like it is usually about something I am celebrating in life like my family, people who are and were important to me, where I come from and my background,” she said.

Denise was born in Athy but has spent most of her life living in Portlaoise. Both towns feature in Heartland, her new book of poetry.

Previous winner of the Cecil Day Lewis Poetry Prize, her work has been published in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines.

Denise’s new book includes a creative collection of poems about diverse subjects as family life, genealogy, Sylvia Plath and David Bowie.

The second section is devoted to memories of her childhood in Athy and its references to long-gone faces and places in the town are sure to be of great interest to natives of the town.

The attractive cover image of Heartland is the work of Denise’s son, John Denis Dunne.

“I am very lucky that my son is a lovely artist, when I saw the picture I thought it represents me, people, places and events. It reflects the theme of the book which has to do with the roots and hearts and home,” Denise said.

One of Denise’s favourite poems from the collection, which she said has received great feedback, is entitled “On Journeys to Visit my Children”.

“I have children living abroad and living in Dublin and I have grandchildren. None of them live locally, my children are all grown up now and I think about them all of the time, they are always in my heart and never far away,” Denise said.

Denise took her own advice in deciding to publish the book.

“It wasn’t easy, I am a creative writing teacher and I decided to pull the poems together over the summer holidays.

“I am very pro getting other people to write so I thought it was time to take my own advice,” she explained.

See all of the work Denise has put into this lovely book which is now available in a strictly limited edition in Allbooks, Lyster Square, Portlaoise, News Express, Mountmellick Road, Portlaoise and The Gem, Athy.