Leanne O'Sullivan Readings
'In each of her four books, Leanne O’Sullivan has managed the balancing act of fashioning striking individual poems while developing a book-length project. Skilful and soulful, her achievements as a writer are as clear as ever in her powerful new book, A Quarter of an Hour.' - John McAuliffe, The Irish Times
Cork poet Leanne O’Sullivan’s new book-length sequence of poems explores the mysterious world of memory loss as experienced by her husband after a rare brain infection. A Quarter of an Hour was launched at the Cork International Poetry Festival on 13 February and in Newcastle upon Tyne at The Newcastle Poetry Festival in May. Further readings to follow in Longford and at West Cork Literarary Festival.
In 2013 a brain infection caused Leanne’s husband Andrew to fall into a coma lasting three weeks. When he came round, it was to almost complete memory loss. In beautiful poems that draw on Greek and Irish myth, Leanne charts her husband’s illness from the moment it struck, through her long bedside vigil, and the years of total memory loss, to the slow process of gradual recovery of memory. The animals and birds that filled his mind at that time, and which he felt helped draw him back to reality, are depicted in poems that also raise awareness of other losses, such as ecological changes in the Arctic. Leanne spoke to the Irish Examiner about her husband's illness and miraculous recovery here. A Quarter of an Hour was published on World Encephalitis Day. Leanne O'Sullivan's husband Andrew's illness was caused by herpes simplex encephalitis - the cold sore virus - which traveled into his brain.
2018 EVENTS FOR A QUARTER OF AN HOUR
28 June 2018, 8pm, Backstage Theatre, Farneyhoogan, Longford, Ireland
Voices – Ruth Fitzmaurice & Leanne O’Sullivan
In 2013, Leanne O’Sullivan’s husband Andrew suffered a severe brain infection, leaving him in a coma for three weeks. When he finally woke it immediately became clear that his memory had been nearly completely erased. Together they travelled the road of recovery, following sprit animals and the wildness of nature, in time returning to their life sharply cast through a new lens. Ruth Fitzmaurice’s husband Simon was diagnosed with motor neuron disease in 2008. Defying all odds, Simon outlived his three-year life expectancy and fathered twins in 2012, before passing away in November 2017. I Found My Tribe and A Quarter of the Hour are brave books from two amazing women who found unknown strength in the vulnerability of life changing situations. Both writers will read from their books and will be in conversation with journalist and researcher Edel Coffey.
€10 - €12
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West Cork Literary Festival, Bantry Library, Wednesday 18 July 2018, 5pm
Leanne O’Sullivan will be reading at West Cork Literary Festival alongside fellow Cork poet Billy Ramsell.
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John McAuliffe's review in The Irish Times can be read in full here.
For links to more press & radio interviews with Leanne, see: http://www.bloodaxebooks.com/news?articleid=778.
[08 May 2018]