Éirways Gets Out There

While working on Issue #1 of Éirways, I said to more than one friend, ‘If I’d known how much work it was going to be, I might never have started!’ When you’re slogging away in isolation on a project like this it’s hard to keep a sense of perspective – maybe a bit like Kevin Henry, whom we profiled in Issue #1, must have felt working deep underground in the coal and copper mines.

But it has certainly been a very exciting few weeks as Issue #1 of Éirways has gotten out there. It has been a real thrill to hear all of the wonderful feedback from subscribers and patrons around the world, and it’s been very gratifying for Kevin O’Brien and me to receive so many positive responses to all of our work. In the last few weeks, I’ve had the great good fortune to have been able to hand-deliver copies of Éirways to Dublin, to Chicago, to New York, and even to Paris (where I had a delightful chat on a sunny café terrace in Place Pigalle with writer and critic Rob Doyle, who contributed an essay to Issue #1). We have signed up with a fantastic distributor in the UK, and we even got some attention this week in London from Microsoft’s special-edition publication ‘The Five to Nine’, wherein independent publishing promoter extraordinaire Steve Watson (www.stackmagazines.com) singled Éirways out in a feature on ‘his top tips for launching a killer magazine’. Of Éirways, he wrote, ‘The magazine captures the character of Ireland beautifully’, which is, of course, exactly what we set out to do in the first place!

Kevin O’Brien and I went to New York City last week to visit a few magazine shops, to eat some pizza (one of Kevin’s (many) obsessions), and so that I could do an interview for Issue #2. We had the pleasure of a visit to Casa Magazines on 8th Avenue in the West Village, an absolute goldmine of every type of magazine you could imagine. I can't describe how exciting it was to see Éirways for sale there, in company with some of our favorite magazines in the world: 

EirwaysAtCasaMagazinesNY

Everywhere, there seems to be a real interest in what we’re doing, and it’s really giving us great encouragement as we go back down into our (figurative) coalmines and work hard on Issue #2. I’m very excited about what I’ve got up my sleeve for that one, and you can expect people and stories from Dublin to D.C., Mayo to Manhattan, and Lugnaquilla to Louisiana!

We’re always delighted to receive email from our readers and subscribers, so do please feel free to get in touch. If you haven’t done so already, please subscribe, and help us get the word out to anyone you think might be interested in what we’re doing with Éirways.

Enjoy the summer!

Kieran O'Hare

ps Won't you please join our mailing list?

Issue #1 is here.

Well, Issue #1 of Éirways magazine is back from the printers. It’s a thrill to have it and to hold it after all the work that went into getting it made! I thought this might be a good moment to share my Editor’s Letter from inside of Issue #1, to give an idea of what makes up our premier issue, as well as to shed a little light on why we’ve done this, and why we’ve chosen print as the medium for Éirways. So here it is:

Welcome to the premier issue of Éirways. 

Éirways is a print-only magazine about Ireland, its culture, and its people at home and around the world. Our goal is to create a magazine that broadens perspectives for those who live in Ireland, those who leave Ireland, and those who love Ireland.

We have chosen to do this through print, a medium which some have already declared to be moribund. But we have been inspired by a new wave of independent magazine publishers around the world, who work hard to prove that the breath of print can do more than fog a mirror. Print can be the vehicle by which we retake for ourselves the quiet contemplation and pure enjoyment of learning about the world around us.

We are bombarded and overwhelmed with electronic ‘content’. It is fleeting, fast-moving, and ultimately transient. How calming and pleasant it is to handle a beautiful magazine: media that we choose to welcome into our lives. We can handle it, touch it, feel it, smell it. When the latest website has receded into the digital din, a magazine is always right there where you last put it down.

Each issue of Éirways will be built around profiles of people: who they are, what they do, and how they feel about it. In this issue, we hear from 86-year-old Kevin Henry about his working life, and from Shaun Dunne, sixty years younger, who has engaged artistically with the subject of emigration. Mary Plunkett celebrates the printed word and image through her artistry with the letterpress. Nicholas Carolan speaks with us from the Irish Traditional Music Archive.

The first artist to be featured in the pages of Éirways is Micheal Madigan, who paints richly-colored images of his memories of travel and the past. We are committed also to printing the best in new writing. Herein, we feature new poetry from acclaimed poet Terence Winch, a darkly vibrant short story of the Dublin suburbs from Kevin Curran, and a thoughtful essay from Dublin novelist and essayist Rob Doyle. 

We are grateful to veteran journalist Charles M. Madigan for his article on a fascinating exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. Charles joins poet Terence Winch and photographer Earl Richardson on our panel of Advisors – friends and guides who have helped to hone how we’ve approached the content of this first issue of Éirways. 

What you are now holding in your hands is the result of months of planning, talking, travelling, reading, writing, editing, and designing. Words stand in equal company with stunning images that bring the subjects and people we feature to vivid life.

We sincerely hope that you enjoy this and future issues of Éirways. We will always strive to make it a worthy addition to the great Irish – and human – heritage of the written and the printed word.

Kieran O’Hare, with Kevin O’Brien

 

An Update from the Printer

UpdateFromThePrinter

Over the last few days, Kevin O’Brien has been driving back and forth to our printers in Maine, checking on the progress of the first issue of Éirways. He keeps texting me photos and play-by-play reports as each new wave of pages comes off the presses – there’s a definite ‘kid in a candy store’ excitement in his messages, which only adds to my own sense of eager anticipation. Today’s report is that sheets are now being folded, and I’ve even heard the words ‘getting close’ used to refer to the process of binding some copies of Éirways! At any rate, we should be able to announce an ‘official publication date’ in the next couple of days. In the meantime, here’s a sneak look at some of our pages dedicated to Dublin letterpress printer Mary Plunkett. More details about that feature, and the rest of the contents of Issue #1, coming very, very soon indeed. If you haven’t already done so, sign up here to get your copy of our premier issue, or to subscribe to the first four issues of Éirways.

Kieran

Issue #1 Heads to the Printer

I am thrilled to announce that as of about midnight last night, Issue 1 of Éirways is headed to print. Kevin O’Brien and I have been burning the midnight oil accumulating last-minute content, editing interviews, and making final corrections. Kevin has designed an absolutely stunning layout for Éirways, and it has been amazing to watch him work. I never imagined how much nitty-gritty there was in the job of a magazine designer. I think my first real insight into his world was when I was asked to weigh in on whether our house style for a particular punctuational circumstance should call for an en-dash, or an em-dash ( – vs — ). Kevin is a master of all of these details, as well as being a true artist with type and image. He is hoping to have a final proof to approve this afternoon, and then, if all continues to go well, the presses start rolling, and we’ll start delivering Éirways to all of our subscribers in mid-May, as planned.

Over the next weeks, keep checking in to this blog. We’ll be posting updates, sneak peeks at our premier issue, and whatever other news comes up. As you can imagine, this is a very exciting time for us: to see all our months of work and planning come to fruition. We are buzzing with excitement to release our magazine into the world, and we hope very much that you will love it!

Kieran

Please help us to spread the word about Éirways, and, if you haven’t already done so, be sure to join us on Twitter (@EirwaysMagazine) and Facebook (eirwaysmagazine). 

Getting There

KieransDesktop

This is one of the stacks of books and magazines on my desk, the one that currently sits to the left of the keyboard I seem always to be typing at these days. Third from the top, beneath Offscreen magazine, and above Jan Tschichold's The Form of the Book, is a completely white, completely blank, fully-bound dummy of Éirways. Kevin O’Brien received it from our printers the other day. It’s a mock-up of the magazine so that we can get a sense of the paper we’ve chosen, the style of binding, the size, and the weight of our inaugural issue. At this point, it’s a bit like an unvarnished violin, or an un-iced cake, or an unplanted flower bed: full of potential and excitement. But there’s still loads of work to be done as we head at full steam towards the deadline we’ve set for ourselves of a spring publication date. We’re so excited to see what Éirways will look like when the words, images, poetry, and people of the first issue come to life on the page. To this end, I’ve been busy editing, writing, and talking, and Kevin has been working with fonts and photos and layouts, and spending time with his mind-bogglingly huge collection of recent and vintage magazines, looking for inspiration and ideas. 

In addition to the content we’ve already announced, I’m thrilled that Issue #1 will contain a piece of non-fiction writing from Rob Doyle, whose novel Here Are the Young Men has received great acclaim in Ireland and the UK, and will be published in the U.S. this June. I’ll be having a chat with a fantastic printer and designer in Dublin, and I’m awaiting a contribution from a wonderful illustrator, stylist, and interior designer in London.

So, this is all to say that we’re getting there. Our plan is to have magazines in the mail to our subscribers in May, and all signs seem to be pointing to our making that deadline. Then of course, it’s straight into Issue #2...

Kieran

Contributor: Terence Winch, Literary Advisor

I am thrilled to be able to report that the inaugural issue of Éirways will include some brand new poetry from Terence Winch, who is also acting as Literary Advisor to the magazine. New York-born Terence, who has lived for many years in the Washington, DC, area, occupies a unique and central place in Irish-American cultural life, both as a writer, and as a musician and songwriter. In addition to publishing several books of poetry and collections of stories, he has contributed to The Oxford Book of American Poetry, The Paris Review, New Republic, and New Hibernia Review, among a vast array of others. Terence has been awarded an American Book Award, and The Columbia Book Award. You can read more about Terence’s achievements and his work on his website.

I have always loved Terence’s work for its humor, its heart, and his fresh and innovative use of language. He writes with love of the Irish-American world, and with warmth and insight about the broader human experience. I had a lovely, hilarious visit with Terence in Washington this past weekend, and it’s truly an honor to be able to publish some of his poetry. I can’t wait to get it into print.

Kieran

Getting the Word Out

We have been overwhelmed by the great support we’ve received since we launched this website less than a week ago. The fabulous response to the announcement of the upcoming publication of Éirways, and the sheer number of new subscriptions, have been nothing short of overwhelming. We would like to extend a hearty ‘thank you’ to all of the new Éirways subscribers. We can’t wait to get our magazine into your hands this spring. We would also like to extend our sincerest thanks to all those who have helped us start to get the word out about Éirways by sharing our website or Facebook page, or posting about Éirways on Twitter or on their own Facebook page. It means the world to us to have such a great start!

Kieran O’Hare & Kevin O’Brien

Contributor: Earl Richardson, Photographic Advisor

All of the gorgeous photos you see on this website were taken by Earl Richardson, who acts as our photographic consultant and advisor. Earl has over thirty years’ experience as a newspaper, magazine, and commercial photographer, and he even shared in a Pulitzer Prize when he was a photographer for the Kansas City Star. He’s a keen cyclist and an uilleann piper to boot. We’re really looking forward to featuring Earl’s images in Éirways. His sense of light, and of depth, and the warm humanity inherent in his approach, are exactly the right fit for our pages. We’re delighted to have him on board! If you’d like to see more of Earl’s work, visit him at his website.

Kieran O’Hare

Welcome to Éirways!

We’re currently on course for the printing of the premiere issue of Éirways, due for worldwide publication this spring. I’ve just returned to the US from a couple of weeks in Dublin, meeting people, doing some interviews for Éirways, and making contact with some of the contributors whose work we're so looking forward to having in our pages. In addition, I was able to meet with some of the great booksellers and retailers who will be stocking Éirways in Ireland. Now I’m back home, working with my co-publisher Kevin O’Brien on designing a great look and feel for Éirways, and continuing the process of building up our network of collaborators and subscribers on this side of the Atlantic as well. 

It’s really an exciting time for us, and we hope that you will check back to see how things are progressing. Please pre-order Issue #1 now, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, sign up for our mailing list to receive news about Éirways, or even take out a 4-issue subscription – we hope you’ll join us!

Kieran O’Hare

Photo by Earl Richardson

Photo by Earl Richardson