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.

11th July 2021

50 Word Submission to our newsletter



  In The Summertime


Tarmac bubbles and windows gasp,

The smell of grass and charcoal in the air.

Small hands reach for passing butterflies.

First love toasted with cans of cheap cider.

Mowing done, two worn deckchairs beckon.

Laughter rises above thin wooden fences

And joins in harmony in a cloudless sky.


Niamh Donnellan

It's been a busy time at The Harvest Press and we have finally completed the reading of, and responses to, the many manuscripts which were submitted in January. Thank you to the readers and, most importantly, to the writers. 

Carlow Creatives


The Harvest Press has been selected as one of the Carlow Creatives team. This means that we are working with mentor, Mary Carthy to develop our business, particularly in the areas of marketing and media. We do hope that you will connect with us on our new Instagram page @theharvestpressireland.  

12th May 2021

Thanks to all who submitted manuscripts for consideration. The readers are still working their way through many of the manuscripts and, if you haven't already heard from us, you will in the coming weeks.

The variety of themes and voices was exciting. 

In the coming weeks we will have news of our next publication, a first collection of poems from a

Kilkenny based writer. 

Thank you to those who submitted their fifty word pieces on the theme

'April is the Cruelest Month'.

Congratulations to Irene Crawley whose work is published below. 


April is the Cruelest Month

You planted the daffodils the week before you died,

And no man has solved this mystery, and many great men have tried,

Why with every April shower your daffodils raise their heads,

Yet an ocean of all man’s tears will never raise the dead.

Irene Crawley 

9th March 2021

By the time our submission window closed, at the end of February, we had received manuscripts in many genres - fiction, non-fiction and poetry. This will be read by a panel of four readers over the next three months. 

Two of Angela Keogh's radio plays were broadcast this year. The first of which, The Winter Dress, can be heard on the following link:

John MacKenna will present a two-part online workshop on the life and work of Leonard Cohen at the

Molly Keane Writers' Retreat via Zoom this weekend, March 13th and 14th. Full details available at this link:

Congratulations to Caroline Heffernan, whose fifty word piece on The End of Winter was selected for inclusion in our latest newsletter. The piece appears below. If you would like to receive our bi-monthly newsletter, please subscribe to the website.

The fire flickers as dusk descends.
‘Dad,’ I shout, as you stumble when you stand.
Face fallen, speech slurred, I tremble as I dial 999.
Ambulance arrives.
Stroke confirmed.
A precautionary test before your rehab reveals the worst.
Three weeks later your final winter ends.

Caroline Heffernan

18th January 2021

Thank you all, buyers and bookshops, for your wonderful support over the Christmas season.

If you would like to receive our bi-monthly newsletter, please subscribe to our website.

Our next newsletter will appear in February.

If you are interested in submitting work for consideration, please read the submission guidelines in our 'About' drop-down menu.


15th December 2020



Out of stock : I Knew This Place, John MacKenna is now out of stock for online orders.

             The book is available from:

                                      Woodbine Books, Kilcullen, Co Kildare (045 482 777);

                           Maynooth Bookshop, Co Kildare (01 628 6702)

                Barker and Jones, Naas (045 856 130)

               Behan's, Castledermot (059 91 44141)

                    The Book Centre, Kilkenny (056 776 2117)

                  Bargain Books, Kilkenny (086 108 7647)

                Khans Books, Kilkenny(056 775 6708)

If you would like to order a book online, they will be available in late January.

Please e-mail us to reserve your copy at



21st November 2020

The Harvest Press on youtube

A poetry film of An Irish Poem by Angela Keogh is now on The Harvest Press youtube channel

An Irish Poem was a prize winner in the Waterford Poetry Prize.

Filmed by Chris Jacques, the poem is a glance into the shadows of Irish life.

The Winter Dress

Angela Keogh


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 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