The Open Ear
Started in 2010 by graduate students, The Open Ear publishes new work by the students, staff and alumni of Queen's University Belfast. The editorial team selects work by both new and established writers, from across disciplines.
Supported by the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen's since 2019, The Open Ear remains a student-led publication.
Featuring work by: Anne Bodel, Claudia Christensen, Anne Coughlan, Margaret Doyle, Jake Hawkey, Jess McKinney, Daniel Paton, John James Reid, Noah Swinney, and Sacha White.
Editorial board: Dane Holt, Scott McKendry, and Milena Williamson.
Publishing Fellow: Manuela Moser
Ten New Voices:
A special edition of The Open Ear, celebrating new work produced during the summer lockdown of 2020.
Featuring work by: Charles Lang, Charlotte Derrick, J. Taylor Bell, Jake Charles Hawkey, Sharon Dempsey, Andrew Soye, Aine McAllister, Ian Watson, Shannon Carlin, Bart Breathnach, Stephanie Buchler, and Marcella Prince.
Editorial board: Dane Holt, Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal, Mícheál McCann, Scott McKendry, and Milena Williamson.
Issue 8 Editorial:
The Open Ear began as a student-led venture at the end of 2010. In his introduction to Issue One, Paul Maddern catalogues the many talented writers who have contributed to the Queen’s University Belfast community, how they helped create ‘the same route by which we value and revel in language’. By publishing original creative writing from students, staff, and alumni of QUB, The Open Ear traces and re-traces this communal route, exploring both old and new ways to value and revel in language.
The Open Ear takes its name from Seamus Heaney’s poem Wraiths, which is dedicated to Ciaran Carson, and ends:
One twilit field and summer hedge away
We wait for the learner who will stay behind
Piping by stops and starts,
Making an injured music for us alone,
Early-to-beds, white-night absentees
Open-eared to this day.
We at The Open Ear aim to be the learner who stays behind, ‘open-eared’ and listening to the ‘injured music’ of poetry and narrative.
As of 2019, The Open Ear is thrilled to announce a new partnership with the Seamus Heaney Centre. The Open Ear is now in good company with the Centre’s many literary projects—The Yellow Nib, Blackbird, and most recently, the Seamus Heaney Centre podcast. We would like to thank Glenn Patterson and Rachel Brown for their enthusiastic support for The Open Ear. The editors are so excited for the future of this literary journal.
In Issue Two, Ciaran Carson introduces The Open Ear: ‘You are a reader, and perhaps also a writer, which is why you are reading what I am writing now, though of course
I will no longer be writing it in that future where you are reading it, now, whenever
that might be’. Ciaran, who was a friend, professor, and mentor for so many in the QUB community, has been much missed since he passed away in October 2019. His kindness, love of language, and storytelling prowess permeate through this community, into the minds of eager writers creating the texts of ‘now, whenever that might be.’
In closing, I will leave you, a reader – and perhaps also a writer – with Ciaran’s final words from his 2012 introduction to The Open Ear: ‘So it gives me great pleasure to introduce it. Now.’