A fascinating exhibition opened in King House, Boyle yesterday evening which captures the impact of Roscommon’s 1916/2016 Centenary Programme in verse and prose.
The project is part of the 1916/2016 Centenary Programme for County Roscommon and was conceived and coordinated by Gerry Boland. Writers who were born in Roscommon or who have a strong connection to the county were invited to visit any one, two or all three of the 1916 exhibitions – which were held in King House, in Strokestown House and in the new Roscommon County Council Civic Offices. Their brief was to respond in whatever manner they chose, in poetry or prose, to any exhibit, or indeed to the exhibition as a whole.
Eight writers responded to the call and their contributions are now printed on large display panels which are hanging in the long gallery on the first floor of King House. There they will be read and reflected upon by all visitors to King House.
Range of work
The range and variety of response is striking. Some are clearly immediate responses, others more reflective and detached. Some of the writers were moved to write a poem, others composed short prose pieces, and in one case, an entire short story arose out of the experience. There are intimate and deeply personal pieces about both men and women who lived through those revolutionary times one hundred years ago. There are also wider responses, exploring at times the writer’s ambiguous attitude towards the Rising and its effects on the development of the nation.
Roscommon County Council is grateful to the eight writers who took the time to reflect and respond to the exhibitions. All eight have produced works that are thought-provoking, highly individual, and make for an absorbing reading experience.