Laurence makes poetry debut with collection
Film maker and author Laurence McKeown launches his debut collection of poetry, 'Threads', in the offices of Poetry Ireland, Parnell Square, Dublin this Tuesday evening.
The former hunger striker, who has made Dundalk his home for the past ten years, first began writing poetry 30 years when he was in prison in the H Blocks in Long Kesh, and the book is 'made up of poems written both in prison and since my release - more or less half and half,' he says.
The poetry workshops proved popular with the prisoners, who went on to publish their own poetry and literary magazines. In an effort to get the poems published 'outside', Laurence made contact with Salmon Poetry. The editor replied to his letter and also passed it on to poet Rita Ann Higgins, who subsequently visited Laurence in prison and also conducted poetry workshops in Portlaoise Prison.
'Now, 30 years later, things have come full cycle,' says Laurence, explaining that his debut collection of poetry is being published by Salmon Press. 'And it will be a joint launch with Rita Ann Higgins whose collection of poems and essays, 'Our Killer City', will also be launched on the night.'
Laurence's 'We Wore The Blanket' project was included in the National Treasure Book and he features on the cover of the book.