The key challenge in professional development of creative writers in the 21st century is marketing. The establishment of the writer and/or the creative output as a brand is crucial. The skills associated with public performance are becoming more and more important especially among poets. In a publishing industry increasingly dominated by digital media the promotion and delivery of eBooks is the single biggest requirement for creative writing in a commercial context.
These are the needs of creative writers in south east Ireland and south west Wales being addressed by the Coracle programme.
During 2012 The Arts Department and Library Service of Wexford County Council, in partnership with Trinity Saint David University, Wales, arranged an exchange between an Irish and a Welsh Writer as part of the Coracle Programme.
Suzanne Power and Jayne Joso were selected to participate in the exchange.
Author Suzanne Power on her week long residency:
“I was at St Non’s at the time of the swallows, the air pilgrims to St David’s headland. One fragile creature lay on the chapel floor, the thin point of one wing missing. It died in my hand. I took its body for burial to a grassy mound on the dunes by Whitesands bay where St Patrick’s sixth century chapel has been reduced by elements and time to a single stone. He set sail from here when he realised his vocation was in Ireland. He buried his hopes at that last point and went towards new ones. I buried the swallow and placed the white heart shaped quartz on top.
A pilgrim doesn’t belong, they leave their intentions and take their story away with them, but a part of Wexford is now in South West Wales, wearing the heart of a week of profound experience. I remain grateful and conscious of what my week in South West Wales did for my writing and for my creative life in general. The pieces I wrote as a result of the experience I am proud of and they indicate an opportunity to pause frantic existence and look for new directions in my work and story.”
As a result of the exchange, Suzanne penned a short story entitled ‘Pilgrimage’. The story is published in the Winter 2012 – 2013 edition of the Stinging Fly. www.stingfly.org