Trasna writers in The Lowell Review 2021

The Lowell Review

Several writers featured in Trasna (2020) have been included in a new annual publication, The Lowell Review. Copies of The Lowell Review are available for purchase, or online through Below are selections from those Trasna pieces included in the 2021 edition with selections from 2020. We look forward to the 2022 volume with pieces from this year.

The belated discovery of a role-model: Nessa O’Mahony on Eavan Boland

“… Perhaps I’m mis-remembering. The next reading of hers I do recall was a much smaller affair in the back-garden of a bookshop in the leafy Dublin suburb of Rathgar. Eavan was reading the poem, ‘The Black Lace Fan My Mother Gave Me’, whilst a piece of artwork a young artist had made responding to the poem hung on a stand beside her. There was no lighting outside, so as the late Irish summer gave way to dusk, Eavan needed candlelight to complete her performance. She held the book in one hand, the candle-holder in the other, and her voice, that uniquely precise tone, gave the event an ethereal atmosphere. It felt intimate, and those listeners felt very lucky to be there…”


“Large Bottles and Sweet Butter Pastry” by JULIE WARD

” …With the flat serrated bottle cap, picked from a box of thousands, clenched firmly in the palm of my small hand, he would carefully instruct me to place it on the cap receiver plate. “Stand back now,” he would say with great command as he firmly lowered the large metal arm down to connect the recently filled stout bottle with the cap, the serrated edges now bent tightly hugging the bottle. Removing it carefully from its secure nest, he would then guide my hand to place the bottle in the crate. This act was repeated until the crate was full. Later, when I started school, I didn’t need to learn how many was in a dozen; I already knew… ”


“The Sheep Shearers” and other poems by JOE WHELAN

“So, we readied sheds in case of rain

Corralled pens and darned wool bags

We tied gates with baling twine.

And ran cables for the shears.” (excerpt)


JEAN O’BRIEN Reads a New Poem, “Rupture,” Along With Two Others


“Towards a Wild Ecology of Being” by Clare Mulvany

“… Each step is a careful one, and a miraculous one. At foot level, wild orchids, the Spring gentians in pink and lighter pink, like dreams rising from a dreaming land, are dotted across the Burren landscape in effervescent rarity. From deep crevasses cut through the limestone, ferns and alpine avens are scattered between the slabs of rock; which at first and distance glance appear barren, but upon closer inspection yield a tapestry of yet more wild and soft bloom… ”


“Droichead na nDeoir” and other poems by BILLY FENTON

“We crossed it each morning

on our way to work. Each evening

when we returned. Maybe

a thousand times or more.” (excerpt)



“…Back in Co. Waterford the test results from Dublin eventually arrived and were definitive. Yes, the dog was rabid on the day it attacked and bit two-year old Paddy Cullinane. On the instructions of the Board the sanitary officer for the district, the appropriately named Mr. Power, was directed to go to Mrs. Cullinane’s home with the news of the results and inform her of the sole option available to save her son. She would have to bring Paddy to the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. This was the only place in the world where such cases were treated successfully.

Mary received Mr. Power, heard his news but declined to go to Paris… ”