There has been keen interest in a call from author Ryan Dennis, who grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York, for submissions of fiction, non-fiction and poetry for a 30-40 page booklet ‘Voices From The Land‘.

“The response to the project has been very strong so far. Some of the writing has come from published writers who are connected to agriculture, but a lot of it has come directly from farmers themselves,” said Ryan, who was selected as one of two writers-in-residence at Maynooth University for 2021-2022.

“For some farmers, it is the first time they have ever written anything and shared it with someone outside their family,” Ryan continued.

“The submissions I have received so far show just how diverse the Irish farming experience can be, and all the different backgrounds held within it. When ‘Voices From the Land’ is finalised, it will be exciting to see so many perspectives coming together.

Booklet
Author Ryan Dennis

“What has struck me about the stories, personal essays, and poems that have come in to date is all the honesty within them. The writers have really opened up to share what it is like for them to be part of Irish agriculture, both the good and the bad.

“It takes courage to share a part of yourself and your experience, and so far people have done that. Because of that, in the end I think ‘Voices From the Land’ will be a more authentic and complex look at what it means to be an Irish farmer.

“It has also been heartening how many people are supportive of the booklet. I have received many encouraging comments from individuals who are glad that such a publication will be produced, and who have helped spread the word about it, telling their friends or neighbours who might be interested in submitting some writing.

“It’s been a real grassroots effort, and I’m grateful for all the help so far. It shows what a strong sense of community there is within Irish agriculture,” said Ryan.

Booklet
Author Ryan Dennis

“There is still plenty of space for more creative work in ‘Voices From the Land’, so I encourage people to still consider submitting and telling others about the booklet.”

Stories, memoirs, non fiction and poetry can be sent to [email protected] The deadline to submit is February 1.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has helped get ‘Voices From the Land’ this far. The support has been amazing,” concluded Ryan.