back endHave just started John McMillan’s latest novel Upstream. It’s the story of a married couple living in the West Country (south west England) told from the perspective of the husband Jim Mitchell, a struggling author. Thoroughly enjoyed his other books The Soul of the City and Summer In The Heat. John is from Armagh but has lived in England since 1970. There’s still a little time left to purchase a copy of Upstream as a Christmas present! Go to

I have been struggling with My Antonia by Willa Cather. I am on page 205 and should have finished it a week ago. When I start a book I normally commit to it but reading this ponderous novel provokes the thought, so what, I don’t care what happens next. So, it’s Bye, Bye Willa and Hello, John!

6th December. Spoke in Enniskillen at the official launch of County Fermanagh’s book about 1916, Fearless But Few. Theme of my speech was a refrain from an old republican song:
“Who fears to speak of Easter Week?
Who dares its fate deplore?”

21st November. Spoke at the Women’s Garden of Remembrance, Roddy McCorley Club, Glen Road, at a commemoration for IRA Volunteer Paul Fox and Cumann na mBan Volunteer Laura Crawford, who died on active service forty years ago, on 1st December, 1975. Speech will be published in the January edition of An Phoblacht, then here.

17th November. Did reading from West Belfast in Dundalk’s beautiful library. All books sold!

16th November. Interviewed on LMFM in the Drogheda studio about West Belfast.