The Vibrant House

Irish writing and domestic space

Rhona Richman Kenneally & Lucy McDiarmid, editors

Paperback €26.95
Catalogue Price: €29.95
ISBN: 978-1-84682-648-1
October 2017. 256pp; colour ills.

'Combining poetry, image, personal meditation, and scholarly essay into one beautifully produced volume, The Vibrant House  comprises a fascinating and multi-layered examination of some of the foundational images in a literature in which notions of ‘home’, ‘property’, and ‘possession’ can never be simply and uncomplicatedly incidental', Caitríona O’Reilly, Poetry Ireland (2018).

'Setting the mood to house building and what the home really means ... The Vibrant House is a treasure trove of original works ... an inspiring read', Selfbuild Magazine (Summer 2018).

'This captivating collection of essays and poems, complete with several pages of powerful color photographs and paintings, delivers an unforgettable literary experience ... Readers are speedily dispatched to various settings as the pages sing of the recent and not-so-recent past ...This captivating, controversial, erudite, and immensely entertaining collection will have readers returning to it again and again for insights into family configurations, behavioural values, and the state of human nature – past and present', Mary McWay Seaman, Celtic Connection (Apr. 2018).

'Oh my god I love this book. It's like going for endless cups of tea into the inner sanctums of the finest of places and people. It's got this way of endlessly going inward to the place we're all searching for; home. I can't stop reading it. It's like you put it together just for me', Helen O'Leary, painter.

'From the ground surveyed by architectural historians, geographers, and scholars of folklife, this fresh book flowers with a bounty of images, memories, and fine writing to enrich our understanding of the house, the home, and the act of dwelling, while welcoming us into the common Irish homes that stand between the Georgian mansion and the thatched cabin', Henry Glassie, Indiana University.

'By drawing attention to the quotidian materiality of Irish domestic space this engaging book bravely puts together scholarly and non-scholarly approaches to address larger existential questions of belonging. The attention to the visual, spatial and material nature of 'home' is thoughtfully unpacked through discussions of interior architecture, personal memory, fiction, poetry, drama and film, in a variety of tones that invoke reflective questions of interiority, privacy, status and cultural representation. By examining how we connect to, experience and 'see' home, this collection gives us a template for how to overlay textual analysis, memoir, and visual culture in a manner rarely seen within Irish literary or historical studies', Elaine Sisson, Institute of Art, Design and Technology.