“WexFour” eEdition to launch in Paris this week

451 Editions is delighted to announce the “eLaunch” of the electronic edition of WexFour – four plays by Wexford Writers – to take place live in-theatre following a special staged performance of the dramas at The Irish Cultural Centre in Paris on Thurs, 2nd June, 2016.

The four one-acts by Wexford writers John Banville, Eoin Colfer, Billy Roche and Colm Tóibín were originally commissioned two years ago to celebrate the Wexford Arts Centre’s 40th Anniversary, making it Ireland’s oldest regional arts centre.

The Wexford Arts Centre is producing the evening’s main theatrical event, WexFour, which will be enacted with the attendance of two of the writers, Billy Roche and John Banville. Also travelling for the plays’ European debut will be actors Don Wycherley and Andrea Irvine, Wexford Arts Centre Executive Director/producer Elizabeth Whyte, musician Eleanor McEvoy, the book’s editor, former Abbey Theatre Director Ben Barnes and Helena Mulkerns of 451 Editions.

WexFour-eBook-COVER-final-THUMBThe four plays are each quite distinct in tone, but manage overall to deliver the humour and earthiness that characterizes the Wexford psyche. Roche’s  play The Dog and Bone explores the life of a woman torn by regret and misguided passions. Banville’s Prince Charming and the Dame is a high pastiche romp set in the dressing room of a provincial theatre. Eoin Colfer’s darkly hilarious monologue presents a man dictating his own eulogy to his iPhone. The closing play is “Erosion,” by Colm Tóibín, a lyrical study of isolation and loneliness.

Originally a paperback published by Carysfort Press in 2014, the electronic edition of WexFour from 451 Editions will be available in Kindle and eBook formats online from all main eBook sales outlets. All proceeds will go to the Wexford Arts Centre, and pre-launch sales can be made here.

Support from Culture Ireland, The Arts Council of Ireland, Wexford County Council and the Three Sisters EU Capital of culture 2020 bid team has made the event in Paris possible. Further discussion of Wexford’s literary and dramatic traditions and the importance of regional and international developments in the Arts will take place the following evening, Friday, 3rd June, at the same venue.

Tickets for the Wexfour Paris event in Paris can be purchased on: www.centreculturelirlandais.com

To purchase your pre-launch edition of the new eEdition of WexFour on Amazon, click here.


2017-07-30T07:57:47+00:00 May 28th, 2016|

Second Edition of Mary O’Donnell’s debut novel

Author Mary O'Donnell

Author Mary O’Donnell

The Light-Makers is Irish author Mary O’Donnell’s best-selling debut, widely acclaimed and the novel to launch her to a career that has produced four novels, two short story collections and seven collections of poetry.  451 Editions will make available a timely second edition this summer, twenty-five years since it was penned.

On a solitary walkabout around Dublin one summer afternoon, Hanna Troy reviews her life, career choices and family relationships.  What emerges is a portrait of a complex woman, with grievous faults and quite angelic virtues. Hanna’s self-told story is often shocking, sometimes maddening but always engrossing, and told with rare frankness and great beauty.

The title was first published in 1992 by Poolbeg Press, and 451 Editions will be making available a new paperback edition and an electronic edition.   Check back soon for more details.

2017-07-30T07:57:47+00:00 May 19th, 2016|

Launch of “Memory and Desire” at The Irish Writers’ Centre

Writers'Centre wideshot

Professor Ronan Conroy introduces the author

Hard to believe that Val Mulkerns published her first novel in 1951 and that  this is her tenth title, sixty-five years later.

In between came two more novels, three short story collections, two children’s books and many thousands of words of journalistic work, as she became a columnist for a national newspaper in the seventies.

Standing at the podium in The Irish Writers’ Centre on Thursday night, she read an extract from the first story in the collection, “Special Category”, inspired by her father, Jimmy Mulkerns, who had been imprisoned in Frongoch prison camp (via Knutsford Jail) in 1916 following his participation in the Battle of the Four Courts.

As the kick-start to Memory and Desire” it certainly pulls the reader in.  Stories then follow in chronological fashion, actually drawing a rough line through most of Ireland in the twentieth century – from the birth of the nation through its massive changes in the sixties and seventies and then into the late eighties: an Ireland struggling between the disillusion of recession and emergence into a post-colonial identity.  The final, also the title story, has been described by Colm Tóibín as, “one of the finest short stories to have been published in Ireland for many years.”

Mem-Des-end-email imageWhile Val Mulkerns already has another book on the way – a memoir – it’s a great treat to see this new selection of her short stories available this year ahead of it:  for me, it was a wonderful re-introduction to her work, especially the short stories for which she is so renowned, and as it turns out, in my own case, put them between new covers with 451 Editions so that they can be read by others.  With its beautiful cover painting by Louise Newman, the book strikes a pose in bookshops, and presents a recurring theme in the collection: the sea.

Among the guests at the launch of “Memory and Desire” were authors Sebastian Barry, June Considine, Seán O’Reilly, Mia Gallagher and Susan Lanigan.  Others from the literary, publishing and press circles included Jonathan Williams, Vincent Browne, Micheal O’Brien and Svetlana Peronko.  The evening was a splendid success, with Professor Ronan Conroy of RCSI delivering the best of introductions:  smart, witty and full of warmth.


The Author reads

The reading from “Memory and Desire” was delivered by the author herself with perfect pitch and timing, drawing in the audience until they hung on every word.   Val is finalising a memoir, which is to be published in 2017.

2017-07-30T07:57:47+00:00 May 13th, 2016|