Actor Jeremy Irons gives praise for new charity collection featuring poetry by young Tipperary woman

Lights on the Horizon is a literary time capsule of poetry, fiction and drama created to honour our frontline heroes.

Endorsed by actor Jeremy Irons, the newly-published hardback showcases the creative talents of an eclectic mix of fresh voices, seasoned writers and visionary photographers from across the island of Ireland.

Written during the lockdown in March 2020, Lights on the Horizon reflects a people’s thoughts, fears, actions and inactions, as they emerged from the darkest depths of COVID-19. More than anything, it celebrates heroes and hope.

Lights on the Horizon features a poignant collection of short stories, poetry, monologues and fictional diary entries, accompanied by stunning photography.

Among the writers featured is 27-year-old poet Amy O Connor from Tipperary Town, whose poem ‘Soon’ is included in the collection. Amy describes ‘Soon’ as a ‘hopeful piece of writing that instills positivity and reminds our loved ones that although we are all now students of a life filled with restrictions, we will once again be reunited with them, and soon’.

This year, Amy has been featured in both local and national press with her work. In February, she was also a guest on Virgin Media’s, the Elaine show, where she discussed the rise in popularity of poetry among young people and its migration onto social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Amy’s debut poetry anthology, A Beautiful Complexity, was published in 2019 and is currently available on Amazon. She also runs a successful Instagram poetry account: @aocpoetry where she showcases her work daily to an audience of over 11.1K followers.

Actor Jeremy Irons and Author Louise O Neil have both given praise for the collection:

‘One of the positive realisations to come out of this plague is how we all need each other. I hope these stories help us never to forget as we live our future lives.’

Jeremy Irons

‘This collection of poems, stories, and photos will be something to treasure when we look back at this time in years to come, wondering how we survived.’

Louise O’Neill                                                                                                 

Along with Amy, the book has ties to another Tipperary connection. Mike Arkell, distributor for printer Gutenberg Press, who printed Lights on the Horizon, is based in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.

Author and playwright, Andrew William Tinney, curated the publication:

The idea for the book was to get creatives together to do something to help frontline workers by way of thanks for their heroic efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I saw in this darkness heroes prepared to make sacrifices for the good of others. These were the HSE and the NHS, who prepared for the worst… I wanted to help. I would ask others to write…, and together, united on paper, our words would portray this unique, terrifying world around us. The proceeds of these words would go to the heroes who fought for us, who navigated the darkness when it descended. Our words, these words, would focus our minds on the horizon and the coming of a better tomorrow.”

‘Lights on the Horizon’ was chosen as the book’s title to symbolise hope in the face of this crisis. It serves as a reminder of the collective trauma endured by a people. But more than that, it reminds us of the enduring flame of the human spirit that can never be extinguished.

All of the writers and photographers, along with the publishing team, donated their work and their time free of charge to the initiative.

A premium ‘coffee table’ edition will be available in all good bookshops from November 20th. RRP €24.95.

‘Lights on the Horizon’ is now available for pre-order from Kerr’s Bookshop in Clonakilty, Bookstór in Kinsale, Philip’s Bookshop in Mallow, Charlie Byrne’s in Galway, with further bookshops to be added. Online orders can be placed on bozpublications.com.

All proceeds go to HSE and NHS Northern Ireland frontline staff.

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