Book Tour Events: Jessamine O’Connor & Gerry Boland



Jessamine O’ Connor and Gerry Boland


CARRICK-ON-SHANNON LIBRARY, Monday 12th March at  6.30pm

ROSCOMMON LIBRARY, Monday 09th April at  6.30pm

SLIGO LIBRARY, Monday 14th May at  6.30pm


Come along and hear Jessamine read from her latest book of poems, Pact, and Gerry read from his new short story collection, ‘The Far Side of Happiness.’ 


Jessamine and Gerry will also talk candidly about what writing means to them, the challenges and opportunities they face as emerging writers on the crowded publishing scene, their writing routines, and much else besides. Audience participation will be encouraged, so bring along your literary questions.




Reviews of Jessamine’s Pact:


‘While the warmth and personality of the poet speak volubly throughout, the outrage of bearing witness in a society built around institutionalised misogyny, religious abuse, and violent class and economic polarities is ever close to the surface. These are poems that somersault borders; and even when the subject drills down to particulars, there’s much to recognize. The poems also benefit from an authenticity of experience that cuts to the nerve-end…Poetry here gets the last word over experience, though the recollections emerge as still raw. I am left wanting to read more, and already wondering what will come next from this distinctively impressive poet.’


Poet’s Republic


‘OVER THE last 10 years, women’s poetry in the west of Ireland has re-energised itself. Taking its cue from the pioneering work of Rita Anne Higgins, Mary O’Malley, Eva Bourke, and Anne Kennedy, it seems to have matured on to another level, adding a new dimension, energy, and maturity to the female poetic voice.


This exciting voice characterizes the work of Geraldine Mitchell, Sarah Clancy, and Elaine Feeney, but also Jessamine O’Connor, who comes from Dublin, but for almost 20 years has lived on the Sligo/Roscommon border and been involved in the cultural life and creative writing groups in and around Ballaghderreen. She was also the main mover in organizing a library for the Syrian refugees prior to their arrival in Roscommon.


The author of four poetry chapbooks, she has just self-published her first full volume, Pact. Self-published poetry books tend to be indulgent and have little, if any, poetic value. It is immediately obvious from Pact though, that not only do these poems lack indulgence, they mark the arrival of a new, powerful, and lyrical voice that is here to stay.’


Des Kenny, Galway Advertiser


‘These barefaced poems don’t back down from anything or anyone. Jessamine takes her pen to the world around her and documents it in all its misshapen ugliness and all its impossible beauty. These poems don’t flinch from how much life hurts but somehow in their humour, kindness and lightness they show us how to love it anyway.’


Sarah Clancy


Readers can find copies of Pact over on



Review of Gerry Boland’s ‘The Far Side of Happiness:’


‘An unemployed man, living alone, experiences a brief moment of epiphany only for his fragile optimism to be shattered by a freak accident. An ordinary story about a marriage in trouble conceals a devastating and unexpected deceit, revealed in its final lines. An Irish bachelor living in Paris has his life of entitlement turned upside-down by two simultaneous though unrelated events. A bully enters a small working community and wreaks havoc, destroying friendships in the process. An environmentalist brings her naïve idealism to a rural, coastal community and hopelessly misreads the town’s mood.


Sixteen stories, sixteen intriguing situations and a fascinating cast of characters populate Gerry Boland’s brilliant new collection of short stories,’ a debut short story collection by Gerry Boland, published by Arlen House.


Available in all good book shops.’


-Sean O’Dowd


Interview links for ‘The Far Side of Happiness’:

Podcast interview link.

RosFm interview link with Mary McGovern.