Thurles native Imelda Cummins -DeMelkon has just released her second book ‘Modern Irish Essays and Reflections’ and is looking forward to it being enjoyed by the multitudes in Tipperary, Ireland the US.
Born and raised in Thurles Imelda is daughter of the late Martin and Mary Cummins of Cloughmartin, Thurles. Living in the United States and working as a freelance writer, her first book, The Modern Voice of an Irish Immigrant, was released in 2012 and went on to win a Pinnacle Achievement Award, a Reader Views Literary Award and an Honorable mention at the 2012 New York book festival.
Additionally, it was featured in June of 2012, in the New Title Showcase at Book Expo America, held at the Javits Center, New York- an annual event within the book industry.
Imelda, who holds dual citizenship and returns to visit Ireland as frequently as her life allows, emigrated to the United States in 1987. She and her husband, a Master Jeweler/Gemologist, run a business together in Virginia but her first love has always been writing. She regularly contributes articles and essays to newspapers in her region and many of the issues covered inspire conversation and discussion. The couple’s only child is now attending university, so the once hands on Mom now finds herself with plenty of time to pursue her passion with words.
She is a past pupil of the Ursuline in Thurles, both Primary and Secondary, and before leaving Ireland she taught for a few years at Rockwell College and other area schools, where her subject of special interest was Speech and Drama and the promotion of public speaking and debate.
Imelda told The Tipperary Star that she remains in contact with her alma mater and includes a visit to the convent on all her trips home. During her two most recent visits, when she returned for the funerals of both her parents, she especially appreciated the warm welcome and support offered by the nuns.
Living in the United States she finds echoes of home through her involvement in education, church and local events. Her late father, Martin Cummins, was very vocal about local issues in Thurles and as President of the local Chamber of Commerce, found a structure that gave him a forum to facilitate change. Cherishing her father’s influence and example, she feels very strongly about the power of words, either spoken or written and welcomes the opportunity to bring issues of interest to a public forum. She had the honor of being the parent speaker at her son’s High School graduation last summer and enjoyed the opportunity to share the joy at an event that was the culmination of twelve years of strong parental involvement and guidance.
Her new book, titled ‘Modern Irish Essays and Reflections’ is a collection that promotes reflection on everyday life. The book explores the universal need for acceptance and the challenges that promote growth and awareness. Imelda documents the experience of living in an adopted country and shares how it is possible to bridge cultural differences. This book continues in the honest and open style of her first book and readers are invited to share in very personal experiences in the continuation of a life lived with influences from both sides of the Atlantic divide.
The questions the author poses are common to us all and provoke thought and discussion on what each of us ultimately values. She takes the reader on a trip down memory lane as she recounts her younger self’s experience attending the Ursuline primary school. She remembers the church calendar events that inspired young girls to be proper young ladies and the awe she, as a child, felt as preparations were made for a visit from the Reverend Mother. She speaks of a friendship, (that spanned most of her childhood) that her mother had with a local itinerant woman, and how that relationship inspired her to understand that we all live with the same hopes and aspirations, no matter where we call home. Another essay shares the journey of grief resulting from the death of both parents and her struggles with its finality are portrayed as universal, as indeed they are.
Ultimately the reader is challenged to actively participate in their own life and to accept the responsibility for a life with purpose. The style of writing allows for the perfect blending of the ordinary with the profound and allows the reader to feel a personal connection to the words. Imelda is currently writing her third book, her first foray into fiction, which is a collection of short stories.
The book is available at The Bookworm, Liberty Square, Thurles and at Tate Publishing.com