An Focal launches creative writing zine in latest print edition

University of Limerick’s (UL) campus newspaper, An Focal, is set to launch its first ever creative writing magazine.

Clockwork was spearheaded by Arts Editor Aislinn Kelly, who recognised a need for a safe space for UL students to publish their writing.

“When I first came to UL, I felt there was no real place for students to publish their creativity. I know we have a few magazines in UL, and we have An Focal, but I really wanted a more informal place for people to post their art and poetry.”

The zine, inspired by the Boomtown Rats song Like Clockwork, has seen a huge influx of support from student writers. 

“You would be so taken aback by the artists and poets. Some of them are not doing it as their main discipline in college, but there certainly is a huge artistic community within UL. It’s great to tap into that,” Aislinn added. 

The zine’s theme of Renewal was inspired by student chronicles of lockdown and isolation, bringing light back into everyday life post COVID-19. 

“There’s great courage for people to write poetry, I think. I have always written journals and diaries, but it takes a lot to actually want to come out into a public forum like Clockwork.”

Ms Kelly commended students for their honestly: “They really tapped into the most raw feelings we’ve all experienced over the last year and articulated them brilliantly.”

The latest edition marks the first physical publication of An Focal since the pandemic hit in March 2020. 

As previous editions were published online due to, there was a “push” by editors this year to have one instalment in print.

Editor Cian Dalton welcomed the first print edition, saying: “You can see where all the work is going in. Once you have that piece of paper, that stack of newspapers in your hand, it will be tangible then as well.”

“It’s great to see it online, but to actually have something in print, is just – there’s nothing better as a journalist,” he added.

The latest edition of An Focal can be found across UL campus, student villages and in the Student Life building from Tuesday November 30.

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