Issue Three of the Wexford Bohemian features contributions from 55 writers, artists, poets and essayists from across the county and beyond.
Launched in St Peter’s Square last weekend this compendium of Wexford talent was edited by 20-year-old Kilmuckridge native and Trinity College student, Álanna Hammel.
Attended by more than 100 people, including many of those who feature in the book, the launch began with a traditional Irish music performance from local author Daithí Kavanagh and his son Rory. Editor Álanna then welcomed the audience and thanked them for their support before reading a story from the Bohemian submitted by Allston James, a contributor based in Los Angeles who Álanna said has been a wonderful support to the magazine.
The magazine’s foreword was written by author and performer Peter Murphy, who spoke about how grateful he was to have been considered for such a collection before performing one of his own pieces based around Wexford entitled ‘Where We Come From’.
There were further readings from featured writers, including Imelda Carroll, Margaret Galvin, Brian Trench, Dave Lordan and poet Hugh Doyle who travelled especially from Swansea to perform his featured piece about Duncannon.
Proving that the future of writing in Wexford is in good hands, 20-year-old Álanna then introduced the youngest contributor to the Bohemian, 16-years-old, Éire Ní Fhaoláin, who performed her poem to a rapt audience.
"I’d hoped for submissions from all ages, and was delighted that we got such a range in genre, style and biography,” said Álanna.
Of course, the Wexford Bohemian continues to be produced by Red Books Press, the publication House of Red Books bookshop in Wexford’s St Peter’s Square, ran by Álanna’s cousin Wally O’ Neill.
“We formed the Bohemian in 2020, in the midst of pandemic and lockdown,” Wally said. “The first issue featured work by 37 local writers and artists and sold out within 24 hours. That wasn’t bad considering we couldn’t even have a launch. That’s the level of interest in local creativity in this county. Its fantastic.
“I have no doubt that the third issue will also be a sell-out, particularly with the incredible effort put in by Alanna and her team. We launched the Bohemian in dark, troublesome times but there’s light coming through now. We are doubling the size of Red Books in the coming weeks, which will also mean a significant increase in publications. Former Bohemian editor Zeff Ryder is also opening a second branch of Red Books in Portugal later this year, allowing our publications an instant international market.”
Issue Three of the Wexford Bohemian can be purchased at Red Books in St Peter’s Square or online at www.theirishbookshop.com.