‘Everyone Has a Different Ennistymon’ is a new book-length poem written by award-winning eco-poet Grace Wells and published by Doolin Arts. The book was written to celebrate the town of Ennistymon, its past, present and future. Infused with the sights, colours and sounds of the streets, lanes, woods and waters of Ennistymon, Grace Wells braids together the town’s unforgettable history, people and stories, offering up an intoxicating glimpse of its unique spirit-of-life.
Grace Wells began writing the book when she was chosen as Poet Laureate of Ennistymon by Clare County Council Arts Office and Poetry Ireland, in September 2021, when Ennistymon was selected as Clare’s poetry town. Wells believes that poetry offers an ideal place to explore the stories and troubles of the past, in a way that can be comforting and supportive as we navigate the challenges of the present and future. Wells says, “For me there’s an irony or paradox in the title, because although everyone does have a very different Ennistymon, I want to believe that when we all know and keep the town’s memories, we’re linked with one another, and whoever we are, wherever we are from, we have a greater sense of community and belonging.”
‘Everyone Has a Different Ennistymon’ is the first book to be published by Doolin Arts, Hotel Doolin’s non-profit organisation for supporting artists in North Clare. For Doolin Arts the book’s design was always a very important element of the project, so they invited Corofin-based book artist Éilís Murphy of Folded Leaf, to create a book that was both beautiful to read and hold. Sensitive to environmental issues, Éilís Murphy and Doolin Arts made sure the book was printed in Ireland on recycled paper, using plant-based inks. The launch of the publication was marked by Doolin Arts working together with Hometree, to plant a small woodland of 500 native Irish trees at Hotel Doolin.
Hometree is a woodland charity based in Ennistymon, which restores degraded environments, expands hedgerows and native forests, and which has just launched the Wild Atlantic Rainforest project, which plans to reforest many thousand acres of woodland from County Kerry to Donegal.
In addition to writing and speaking about the many environmental challenges Ireland faces, poet Grace Wells works and regularly volunteers with Hometree, planting trees and supporting their production of environmental writing. As a writer, Grace Wells is known for both her poetry and prose. She was first published as a children’s author, writing for her son and daughter when they were young. She is the winner of the Eilís Dillon award, and the Shine Strong Debut poetry collection award. Her work has been translated into Italian, Spanish and Galego. Her three poetry collections have all been published by Dedalus Press, most recently in May 2022, ‘The Church of the Love of the World’.