The establishment of a school of poetry and creative writing in Killybegs, with public performances at various times of the year, was a dream cherished by the late prize-winning poet, Noelle Vial, it was stated at the weekend.
Noelle's ambition for such a foundation was revealed on Saturday by writer Liam McGinley at the launching of a book of poems by Noelle, fourteen years after her untimely death.
Mr McGinley was closely involved with Noelle's son, Derek Vial, in editing the large body of work which was found among Noelle's papers after her death in January 2003.
He was speaking at the launch of the publication, entitled "The Ungrateful Princess", at a function in the Bay View Hotel. And he revealed that there was still enough material for one or, possibly even two more books in the Noelle Vial papers.
During her short life, Noelle won many awards, nationally and internationally and had her work published in the United States.
Among other honours, she was awarded the Irish Pushkin Prize for poetry, established by Pushkin's descendant, the Duchess of Abercorn. She later became a judge for those awards, travelling with the Duchess to Russia, and several of her poems have been translated into Russian.
In 1994, she won the Hennessy Literary Award for best poetry by an emerging writer and in 1995, she produced a highly-acclaimed début collection, "Promiscuous Winds", published by Storyline Press, USA.
A founder member of the Killybegs Writers Group and a passionate advocate for the art of poetry, she was also an instructor in creative writing at St Catherine's Vocational School, Killybegs.
In 2013, Donegal County Council Arts Officer, Traolach Ó Fionnáin, announced the establishment of special Noelle Vial bursary for young poets at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Co. Monaghan.
Speaking at the launch of "The Ungrateful Princess" on Saturday night last, Tony O'Callaghan, MC, compared the event to the discovery of buried treasure.
"It was well known that, before her untimely death, Noelle was working on a second collection of poems. For various reasons, fourteen years have passed but tonight we have that second book of work by Noelle Vial", he said.
It was fitting, he said, that it was Noelle's son, Derek, an archaeologist, was the one to keep digging, to uncover that treasure and to work painstakingly to reveal it. "And it more than repays the wait", he added.
Noelle’s latest book, “The Ungrateful Princess” can be bought in local bookshops throughout the North West and in Waterstones in Dublin.
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