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Jessica Casey and Other Works (and DVD)

Away With Words

ISBN: 978-1-908836-15-1

Page Count: 98

Publication Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cover Artwork: Aideen Barry


About this Book

Jessica Casey is like no other girl and maybe like all the girls.  Once she gets legs she’s gone.  Out from the wild imaginations of her creators.  Into their lives, their farms, their workplace, their city, flicking her purple nails and demanding attention.  Living in the real world is quite a task and she is constantly coming up against her own foibles as she tries to find where she fits in this mesmerizing world. Can a girl have dreams and where might they take her? What’s a girl got to do to make them come true? Jessica Casey is the story of how the future is made, one mistake at a time. It brings us into the funny phantasmagoric world of a young woman on the threshold of the adult world. The Other Works, mainly poems, reveal to us an authentic process, gentle observations of lived details and imagined worlds, a bracing emotional integrity and a depth that reminds us of the intrinsic human value of poetry in our lives.   

Jessica Casey and Other Works is the first formal publication of Away With Words, an innovative arts project  exploring creativity through writing for people with intellectual disabilities.  It is edited by Mary Madec and its publication marks the fifth anniversary of the Away With Words project. The accompanying DVD contains an animated short created by visual artist Aideen Barry in collaboration with the Away With Words writers. 


About the DVD: The Animated Short “Jessica Casey” was created with the collaboration of the Away With Words Collective and visual artist Aideen Barry. Shot over a period of weeks with members of the collective and with two very talented young actors Síofra Leonard and Aifric Henry Bruen. This moving image project was created by employing techniques in stop motion animation. The group were very much inspired by the films of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton and it was this influence that dictated how our protagonist ‘Jessica Casey’ would engage with the world that the Away With Words group had created. The short is loosely based on the accompanying story of Jessica Casey, and tracks her adventures of getting a job on a working farm, her attempts to earn a living, or drive a car and her struggle to get to Australia to go clubbing with her mate Cindy!

LAUNCH: Jessica Casey and Other Works will be launched at the 2012 Cuirt Literature Festival on 25th April. Further details of the launch here>>


Author Biography

Aideen Barry is a Visual Artist based in the west of Ireland.  Aideen is known nationally and internationally for her practise as a contemporary artist. Her work has won numerous awards including the COE Award, the Project New Work Award from the Arts Council of Ireland, the Silent Light Film Award from the Cork Film Centre, Best Experimental Work 2011 from the San Francisco International Animation Festival, and in 2010 she was shortlisted for the prestigious AIB Prize. Aideen is known not only for her practise as a visual artist but also for her role as advocate for the Visual Arts in Ireland. She lectures in GMIT and Limerick School of Art and Design. 

Mary Madec, editor of Jessica Casey and Other Works, was born and raised in the west of Ireland.  She studied at NUI, Galway (B.A., M.A., H.Dip Ed.) and at the University of Pennsylvania from which she received a doctorate in Linguistics in 2002.  She has taught courses for NUI, Galway, Villanova, UPenn and Open University and is currently Director of the Villanova Study Abroad Program in Galway.  She has published in Crannóg, West 47, The Cúirt Annual, Poetry Ireland Review, the SHOp, The Sunday Tribune, Southword, The Cork Literary Review, Iota, Nth Position, Natural Bridge, The Recorder, The Stand (forthcoming), Orbis (forthcoming) and Cyphers (forthcoming) and Poetry Ireland Review (forthcoming).  Her work was solicited for The Foxchase Review and Dogs Singing: A Tribute Anthology (Salmon, 2010).  In Spring 2007 she was chosen for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series and for the WINDOWS Showcase Readings and Anthology. She has read at Over the Edge and was chosen for the Over the Edge Showcase in 2008.  In 2008 she also won the Hennessy XO Award for Emerging Poetry. Her first collection, In Other Words,was published by Salmon in May 2010. She has read her work widely most recently at the Clifden Arts Festival 2011 and at the American Conference for Irish Studies 2012. With her husband, Claude Madec she started up a community-writing project, Away with Words, now in its fifth year.  

Raymond Allen is from Leitirmore but spent many years up the country! He loves music, drama, art and writing.

Aifric Henry Bruen is currently in Transition Year in Coláiste Iognáid, Galway.  She enjoys running and rowing at school.  She is interested in acting and recently joined Galway Youth Theatre. She played Cindy in the animation and was wardrobe consultant throughout.

Pádraig Clarke is from Mackney, Ballinasloe.  He likes computers, music and people.  His favourite hobby is socializing!

Mícheál Concannon is from Furbo.  He loves soccer (he’s a Liverpool fan) and Honda Civic cars!  He likes boxing, dancing and going out to dinner.  He loves all kinds of dance music and Mick Flavin (when he’s not dancing).    

Charlie Cooley is from Galway.  He enjoys the outdoors and walking and putting order on things.

David Cormican was from Clarinbridge and attached to Clarenmore Centre.  He grew up on a farm and always had a love of nature.  He had the true heart of a poet.  He died in October 2011.

Oliver Curran is from Spiddal.  He loves jigsaws, the harder the better.  He also loves music and his favourite song is ‘Summertime’.  He’s always up for a joke and you’ll make him very happy if you give him chocolate cake.

Bernard Deering comes from Wicklow but has lived in Galway for many years.  He loves painting and writing and is a big fan of red wine.

William Devane is the youngest of a family of 14 and lives on a lively farm in Carna.  He’s a ‘soapaholic’ and follows all the details of these exciting screen lives. He loves people and can be persuaded to do some sean nós dancing.

Paul Dunne is from Headford and loves technology.  He enjoys taking videos and setting up sound for music events.  
Cuimín Flaherty comes from Camus.  He’s a hard worker and an expert on recycling.  He loves walking but also spinning in the bus.  Above all he is an artist who loves his art passionately.    When he’s not too busy he loves to work with his Dad selling fish and chips.

John Flannery comes form Headford, plays soccer and is a dedicated Manchester United fan.  He loves working in the library.

John Paul Grealish is from Rosmuc and he has a twin sister.  He loves drama, hoovering (a good man around the house!), bowling and cinema.  

Frances Greene is from Moore Co. Roscommon.  She likes flowers, gardening, art and, of course, writing.

Joe Greene is from Carraroe and has returned to live there recently to be near his family.  He loves singing and writing.

Edmund Henry comes from Galway city.  He finds history and geography very interesting and loves travelling.  

Teresa Hopkins was born in England and came back in the mid-nineties to Connemara.  She loves handbags and getting her hair done, and… an odd glass of wine.

Anne-Marie Jordan comes from New Quay in the Burren. She loves clothes, jewellery, nature and writing and… Jedward!  

Gerald Joyce was born in London and half his heart is still over there!  He loves Madonna and Cilla Black!

Peggy Kearney is from Ballyturn, Co. Clare.  She loves dogs and jewellery.

Paddy Kelly comes from Ballinasloe but lives in Athenry and has been interested in writing for a long time.  He published a collection of his poetry called Paddy’s Poems in December 2011 available anytime from the author!

Mary Kinsella lives in Gort and has been writing for as long as she can remember.  Her dream is to write a play for performance.  

Cora Lally is from Whitestrand Avenue, Salthill.  She likes knitting, sewing and baking lots of goodies.  

Síofra Leonard is also in Transition Year in Coláiste Iognáid, Galway. She lives a life full of activity – Gaelic football, basketball, hockey, camogie.  She is always up for trying new things and enjoyed playing Jessica in the animation!   

Martin McDonagh is from Rossaveal and a wonderful Country and Western singer.  He once went to Nashville, Tennessee.  He loves tandem cycling and went to France with a group from NCBI last year.  

Paddy McDonagh is from the Claddagh in Galway.  He loves participating in Macnas events and playing the Barrel Organ.  He has been serving Mass at Galway Cathedral for many years.  

Billy McGagh was born in New York. He is a Liverpool fan and likes walking and basketball.

Jimmy Mohan comes from Mayo and loves gardening and the outdoors.

Annie Mulreenan comes from Castlerea, likes shopping for clothes and lighting candles in the church.

Hilary Murray loves to chat.  She comes from Kinvara and is a big Daniel O’Donnell fan.   

Sharon Murray is from Peterswell, Co. Galway.  She loves her laptop and enjoys games and word-searches!

Eamonn O’Sullivan is from Kerry, loves music and plays the accordion.  

Ronan Scannell is from Galway city, has discerning taste in cars and loves holidays in France.

Angela Wilson is from Tuam and has lived in Galway for many years.  She has a wonderful cat called Lucky and enjoys a good waltz.  She has been writing for many years and still enjoys the workshop. 

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