The UL One Campus, One Book Initiative was launched on Wednesday at the University of Limerick.
This is the third year of the initiative, which is led by the Regional Writing Centre and Centre for Teaching and Learning.
The featured book for this year is Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume.
Speaking at last night’s launch in the Millstream Common Room, Sara said that she was “waiting for someone else to stand up to talk about their book”.
“It just makes me smile so much to think of myself talking to a crowd of people who care and want to listen and I would never dream that it would reach so many people and generate such a warm response.”
Sara was introduced at the launch by Professor Joseph O’Connor, the university’s Frank McCourt Professor of Creative Writing at UL.
Prof. O’Connor, whose novel The Thrill of it All was featured for last year’s UL One Campus, One Book, said: “I was just blown away by the book. Sara’s book made me want to remember why I ever wanted to read as a kid, or why I ever wanted to write and why fiction is still so important.”
Dr. Íde O’Sullivan, Co-Director of the Regional Writing Centre, spoke at the beginning of the event, saying the initiative’s aim is to “bring members of the campus community together to share in the joy of reading.”
“How often when reading a book would you have said that you would have loved to meet the author and interrogate them about their book?,” she asked.
Following the reading, Sara opened the floor to questions from audience members.
When asked about whether she finds it difficult to write, Sara answered: “There were plenty of days I didn’t feel like writing and I gave up at some point. My way of continuing to feel as though I’m doing something was to work with my hands.”
Sara was also asked about when she decided to become a full-time writer, to which she replied: “There’s no moment really, it was a process of circumstances. I’m not ashamed of the fact that for a number of years, I was on the dole. There weren’t any jobs in my field. It just kind of drifted that way, because of the economy. Now I’m really lucky, I’m one of the people who can sustain it at the moment.”
The next UL One Campus, One Book event will be a discussion on visual and literary art in spring 2016, where Sara will talk about the influences on and relationships between her writing and visual art.