Sarah Leech, who was born in 1809, lived and worked most of her life as a spinner/weaver, near Raphoe, County Donegal. She was one of the so-called Weaver Poets, writing from a young age mostly in her local East Donegal, Ulster Scots dialect. Dr. Pauline Holand, co-author along with Celine McGlynn (Editor, Finn Valley Voice ) of a biography of Sarah Leech*, has written a short play based on a coming together that was to have a significant bearing on Leech’s subsequent development as a writer. This was the meeting between Sarah and an unidentified, though evidently well-to-do, well-educated Church of Ireland gentleman, who notated and edited a selection of her works for publication, initially in the Londonderry Journal and thereafter in her only anthology, Poems On Various Subjects (1828). It is said that the gentleman in question sought out the young poet on hearing a recitation of her popular satire, Elegy On A Loquacious Old Woman, which was circulating widely in the community at the time. Witty, spirited and forthright in her opinions.
It is proposed to stage the play as part of the opening of the Frances Browne Literary Festival at the Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey on Thursday, October 13 and at the Monreagh Ulster Scots Heritage and Education Centre, Carrigans, on Saturday, October 15, as part of an Ulster Scots Cultural Evening hosted by Angeline King, Writer in Residence at the University of Ulster. This is part of a variety of acts on opening night.
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.