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Emerging Writer Member Profile

Deirdre Dunne

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Member Bio:

I am a writer and secondary school teacher currently living in Dublin.

I gratuated from UCD in 2010 with a BA honours in English and Geography and also attained an honours post graduate diploma in education from UCD in 2012.

My Stories, articles and poetry have previously been published by The Irish Times, New York Literary Magazine, U Magazine, The University Observer, The Blue Nib Journal, Ireland's Own, RTE's 'A Living Word' radio show and Woman's Way.

I have completed two creative writing courses in O'Fiach College Dundalk and The Big Smoke Writing Factory.

See more at www.dmdunne.wordpress.com

Writing sample

Travel article published by the Irish Times October 2016:

They say if you go to to New York, you’ll end up seeing the whole world. They were right.

The city that never sleeps first caught my imagination after a long suffering addiction to the Sex and the City box set throughout my college years where extreme procrastination from essay writing was an Olympic sport. In the fictional world of Carrie Bradshaw, all she had to do was to write a 150 word newspaper column once a week to enable her to live in uptown Manhattan and spend her days buying Cosmopolitans and Manolo Blahniks. Her grossly unrealistic career and lifestyle was what my heart panged for.

When I finally made it there, the big apple stole the wind from my throat. Around every corner there was something new. Flashing lights, briefcases, perfect white teeth, Burberry scarves, skyscrapers that stabbed the sky, hot dogs, basketball tops, maple syrup drenched pancakes, dazzling screens, waves of yellow taxis. You could almost put your hand to the pavement and feel that the city had a pulse. A moment never seemed to settle, each second was invaded by action and movement and being. Things that seemed beautifully strange and fantastic seemed to transpire from nowhere. In the Times Square subway station, I was caught up in a Beyoncé flash mob. Walking down Fifth Avenue, I overhead a woman in a Chanel suit berate her maid for not having her husband’s suit dry cleaned in time for his urgent meeting in Hong Kong. On a walking tour of Harlem, our guide informed us outside the brown, period houses on Malcolm X Avenue how the first inhabitants had been Irish. A black man pushing an empty trolley and wearing a multi coloured jester hat stopped in his tracks and burst through the group. He ripped off his hat and roared “Tell them about the DNA mutation, tell them about the genetic modification, tell them!” He dropped to his knees and fell silent before holding his arms up suggestively to the sky.

Strolling through Central Park, I stumbled upon the ‘Imagine’ memorial dedicated to the late John Lennon which is overlooked by Yoko Ono’s apartments. The grey, mosaic tiles swirled around the words of his most famous song yearning for the world to live in peace and yet it was just 200 feet away from where he had been shot four times. A band played The Beatles ‘Hey Jude’ as I said a silent prayer for him. A woman arrived with an armful of sunflowers and broke down openly. “I'm so sorry, it's just, this has been on my bucket list for, like, forever and here I am. I've prayed for this day to come. Oh John, it’s just me and you and you guys and this is the best moment of my life”. Her hands trembled as she lay down the sunflowers and spotted the memorial with her tears.

Current project

Extract from my novel:

I'm the one child he shouldn't have forgotten though. Oh Daddy, nefarious neglect can do things to a person, you know, especially to a boy. You plucked the sunlight from my mornings and the stars from each miserably long night. They could have been effervescent lights of hope shining down through the darkness but you replaced all ebbs of glee with your shadows of dirt and pain. Kicks, shrugs, cans, slaps, silence, impervious rage, lights, blinding headaches, loud music to kill my dreams, poached breath, headboards banging, absence, hugs, thumps, loneliness. The summative list of my childhood. The only pleasure I seized for myself back then was when I killed that fat, grey collared dove with the sling shot you’d bought yourself for Christmas and left lying around like everything else. I'd thought he was a pigeon back then of course, back then when I knew little about ornithology or anything because you told me I didn't need an “edumacation”. I could have done better at school if I was made go in or do my homework. Why would you bother sure when you’re not encouraged and you haven't a clue what's going on there anyway because you're so tired. The dove sat on the electric fence and cooed, his head twitching from left to right as he looked around him for something, maybe his mate, I'm not sure. Too tame to move he was as I drew closer and closer until I was guaranteed not to miss. Watching him turn unconscious, opening and closing his beak and spreading that one big, silvery wing as he desperately tried to stand up was just marvellous. His neck dangling off to one side. That was happiness. Knowing I had the power over him filled me with such horrible joy. I watched until the life fell from his eyes like a leaf falling from the tree in winter’s rough clasp. That's the only thing you left me to get some gratification from. It's pathetic really. God I have to stop thinking about him or I'll work myself up in to a rage again. I don't want to have to buy that overpriced ice cream to calm myself down again. Salted caramel ice cream, who'd have thought it would be so satisfying? Ice cream is the one thing God got right on this earth. Ok, Calm thoughts, calm thoughts, breathe, inhale, exhale. .

I didn't plan on ever doing that kind of thing again but when she was taken I kind of slipped back in to the person I was standing over that dove, relishing in the control I had over the life and death of another. It's the only way now though. I have to try and carve out some form of reincarnation for myself, some legacy. It's the only way. Ok, breathe. You're all right. Focus. There are more important matters to think about. Ok, breathe. Who should be next to complete this triangle of eradication?

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