After three years of work I am delighted to finally let Bone Road (Arlen House) into the light of day.
My great-grandparents, Philip and Mary Heveron and their six children, one of them my grandmother, left Elly Bay in North Mayo in 1883 as part of an assisted emigration scheme to give them a better life in Rhode Island, USA. My great-grandfather was given work at one of the cotton mills. But for some reason, they couldn’t settle and returned less than two years later.
|Photo courtesy of Peter Moore|
Through documented fact and imagined memory, Bone Road charts the course of their lives during those years in order to record it for future generations.
Here is a sample poem from the book:
Hunger for Somewhere Else
They’re glad to see the back of
all the wind-crippled whins,
turn their heads from
the rain over Achill head,
smoor the final fire.
They’ve had their bellyful
of stinking haulms,
grateful now to hand back
their hungry piece of grass to the landlord
and watch the dog on a scatter of stone,
a fetch in the tumbled-down scailp,
a fling of dunlins on sand
waiting for the boat to sail.
My deepest gratitude to Alan Hayes of Arlen House for another beautiful publication and to Charlotte Kelly for the perfect cover image.
I also wish to acknowledge the assistance of Galway County Council who awarded me an Individual Artist Award in 2019 to work on the first draft.