Walk into words with the Laois Writer-in-the-Community

Dunamaise Arts Centre initiative

Leinster Express Reporter

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Laois Writer-in-the-Community Kate Heffernan. Photo courtesy the Arts Council

Creative Laois and Dunamaise Arts Centre Writer-in-the-Community Kate Heffernan is inviting writers, artists and creatives of all disciplines to join her on a walking project over the next number of months, at different scenic locations across the county.

"Walking is a huge part of my own writing practice," says Kate.

"Exploring my immediate environment in detail has always given me inspiration for new stories and projects. But walking is about more than finding new ideas. After a morning writing, it is on afternoon walks that I work out the tricky problems of the previous writing session, solve the kinks in what I've just written, and discover where to go with the next scene or line of dialogue. What I struggled to solve at my desk, I can often solve with much more clarity on foot. And I know that this is the case for many others."

Kate’s walking project will bring local practitioners together to share this, to a series of locations suggested by participants, in order to simply walk, and to talk. Kate acknowledges that, after the year that's been, bringing people together in this way may be more crucial than ever,

"To be a writer, artist or creative is always to feel a certain level of isolation. But to be one during Covid-19 has been to feel this isolation ten-fold. Walk is my provocation to combat this."

The aim of the project is to connect writers and artists living across the region, to give them a space to share their practices with one another, and to build lasting relationships through a meaningful, if socially distanced, experience and exploration of place.

Walk is just one of a number of engagement activities taking place as part of the Writer in Residence programme, with the overall theme of A Sense of Place. In the new year, Kate will introduce I’m Here, inviting children and young adults to contribute to a collaborative project, sharing the story of immediate environment they find themselves in and their relationship to place.

Kate’s next walk takes place on Friday, December 11 at 10am at Emo Court. Writers, artists and creatives from across the region who are interested in registering for this walk - joining one of Kate’s walks or in finding out more about her projects can email her directly: kate@kateheffernan.ie or contact Dunamaise Arts Centre on 057 8663355, www.dunamaise.ie

The Writer-in-the-Community residency is supported by Laois Arts Office, and Creative Laois as part of the Creative Ireland programme (2017-2022) in partnership with Laois County Council.