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The Harvest Press is delighted to be up and running and to offer you books, plays, workshops, performances and more! Our small enterprise is being launched at the most precarious of times but, like Shackleton’s James Caird, we travel in hope.

Christmas 2021 Newsletter

The Harvest Press has more in common with craft makers than big publishing houses. We are involved in every aspect of production. We select the book and edit it. We work with a brilliant copy editor/proofreader and a wonderful graphic designer. That said, every book requires many reads-through and each cover is carefully considered. 

A very sincere thank you, in particular, to Woodbine Books, Kilcullen; The Kilkenny Book Centre; Eason, Carlow; Barker and Jones, Naas; Farrell and Nephew, Newbridge; Maynooth Bookshop and the ever supportive Kenny's of Galway.


A special thank you to four non-book bookshops - Behan's Garage, Dick Caplice and The Old Yard in Castledermot and Winkles Newsagents in Athy. 

Forthcoming Publications

We are delighted to announce two new publications from The Harvest Press this spring.


The first, which will be published in February, is a stunningly wonderful, warm and accessible collection of poems, We Say We Will, from Kilkenny poet, Martha Woodcock. This is Martha's first book and it brings together poems on love, grief and memory. 

Rita Ann Higgins writes of the collection:

Martha Woodcock is our evoker.  She pays attention to the things we forget. In these perceptive poems we find an endless watcher and listener, whose territory is family and friends. Her insightful telling makes the small things resonate, Mam’s letters, one page only. The delicacy is always tempered with conviction, we buried Josie O’ Brien yesterday. The casual nature of the poems can be deceptive but don’t be deceived.

The collection was due out in August 2021 but, as we couldn’t have a launch, we postponed it. The launch is scheduled for February 2022 and we travel in hope into next year.

Here is a YouTube link to Martha reading, I Remember from her collection.


The beautiful video was shot by Chris Jacques with assistance from Katie and Mairenn Jacques.


In March we will publish a moving memoir, The Column I Never Wrote. This heart-breaking, funny, poignant and, ultimately. uplifting story will touch the spirit of anyone who has ever been in love. More details on this in our next newsletter. 


50 Word Tale


This offering for our 50 word tale from Paddy Reid really caught our attention and made us smile. We are sure you will enjoy it too. 


Back in the early 70s we put on a play to bring Shakespeare to my inner city neighbours. I can still recall my favourite line from our Hamlet efforts. 

'Alas, poor bollix, I knew him well. '

No  one in the audience batted an eye, it seemed to fit so well.


Paddy Reid




We are delighted to announce the arrival of two new publications in November 2021.

                  The Forgotten by Gerard Whelan

A beautiful new book which tells the stories of the men and women from Castledermot parish who fought and, in many cases, died in the Great War. 

The book will be published on November 11th, price €15 plus postage.

It will be available online and in local shops.

I Knew this Place by John MacKenna (audio book).

Following the success of John MacKenna's I Knew This Place, we are delighted to produce an audio book, in double CD form, of the author reading twenty-eight of his pieces from RTE's Sunday Miscellany.

The audio book will be available from late November online and in local shops.

Price €15 plus postage.

We are also pleased to announce that the paperback edition of I Knew This Placecontaining more than eighty of MacKenna's Sunday Miscellany pieces, will be back in stock in late November.

The Winter Dress by Angela Keogh 

Angela Keogh's highly praised novel, set during the Black Death in medieval Ireland, is also available online and in bookshops. 


If you have any queries, please contact us on  


The Winter Dress

Angela Keogh

The Winter Dress

The Winter Dress was one of the books short listed for this year’s Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair (2020). Written by Angela Keogh, The Winter Dress is the story of Rose, a wild Irish dress maker and Brother John, an agnostic monk and scribe. Their paths cross at the end of a winter day in 1348 and they spend the night in conversation, revealing stories of passion, love, betrayal, war and loss of faith – all in the looming shadow of a pestilence that will become known as The Black Death.

With ‘The Winter Dress’ Angela Keogh has woven a tale full of humanity. Details provided by history, archaeology and folklore draw the reader into the stories of two very different lives that overlap at a critical point in time. A lovely example of how the past can inspire and a reminder of how far and yet how near our ancestors’ experiences are from our own.

-Dr Sharon Greene, archaeologist and historian

Set during the infamous Black Death of 1348, The Winter Dress is a concise, powerful and life affirming novel. One night, two people meet and exchange stories, memories and songs. Through Rose and John, dressmaker and scribe, an era rarely explored in Irish writing comes to life. The threat of pestilence is evoked with vivid immediacy - a baker’s wife cuts bread and blood spills out. Birds desert their nests. Town gates are locked. Yet, Rose and John’s stories are frank, earthy, and often humorous. We hear of their yearnings, lusts and loves, and of the violence; the warring tribes, the battles. These stories are woven with the rich economy of a fable. The Winter Dress celebrates the power of story-telling. As Rose reflects, if no one tells the story, there will be nothing left but bones crumbling beneath the ground.
Historic events and characters are woven effortlessly throughout the novel, and they glint, like bright threads. Yet it’s the spirit of the ordinary, the common humanity and hope found in Rose and Johns’ voices that ring clear, and resonate long after the story ends.

- Niamh Boyce, author of The Herbalist and Her Kind

Thanks to Brian Byrne for this wonderful review of The Winter Dress:

Review:  Irish Independent Saturday 14th November

Angela Keogh's debut novel is set during a pandemic in Ireland. However, this one is the Black Death of 1348. The paths of wild Irish dressmaker Rose and Brother John cross as they shelter from a wintery night...despite their different backgrounds, they open up about their experiences of love, joy, regret, fear and loss of faith in a story of affirmation of life in the face of death.

Gareth Murray

I Knew This Place

John MacKenna

I knew this place

I Knew This Place is a collection of John MacKenna’s radio essays from the RTE Radio 1 programme Sunday Miscellany. Drawn from his contributions to the programme over the past fifteen years, these more than eighty essays deal with everything from the social and personal history of his home place to climbing Greek mountains.

A veritable cornucopia of insight into love, loss, childhood, friendship, carnival, sport & more, all underpinned by deftly voiced, pictorial prose from one of Ireland’s foremost writers. Ranging down memory’s lanes—be they a widow in black or the last Irish wolf—MacKenna’s tales are laced with wit, wisdom, empathy and huge heart: precisely what we need for the times that are in it.

-Anthony Glavin, novelist

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