MONROE, CT — The last edition of the Monroe Courier landed on doorsteps and front lawns over a year ago. What endeavors have the editors and reporters undertook since leaving the paper? Where are they now? Well, last week, one former editor self-published a book of poetry.
Kenneth Briodagh, of Orange, released “Stories and Sins” on July 25. The book is the culmination of years of writing and is available in paperback and ebook form on Amazon.
“‘Stories and Sins’ is a collection of poems that I’ve written over the last 20 years, give or take, that is about my love affair with stories and storytelling and my attempt to distill those stories down to their essence,” Briodagh said.
Briodagh worked as a reporter and editor for the Monroe Courier over a decade ago, when his last name was Hoffman. He changed it when he married his wife, Vanessa.
While at the Courier, Briodagh got to know the town and to appreciate the high level of community involvement.
“I came around to love it,” Briodagh said. “My impression was always of a very passionate, very loving, very proud community that was not afraid to express their pleasure and or displeasure at the way things were happening.”
When the Courier folded, Briodagh called it a “tragedy.”
“The Courier had been the paper of record in Monroe for such a long time, and it was really an important voice for the community to keep the community informed. It was such a shame when it was folded, which is why I was so happy to see that The Sun was rising.”
‘Stories and Sins’
While writing his book, Briodagh said he chose poems tied to this common theme of storytelling. He explained that “Stories and Sins” includes pieces about the emotions that inspire stories, the descriptive moments that represent a story, and full stories themselves.
“Storytelling is an important thing to me, an important idea. I think it’s been important to humanity for functionally all of our existence,” Briodagh said. “It’s how we tell each other about each other. It’s how we connect with one another across time and location and different backgrounds. It’s how we learn about one another.”
Briodagh’s poems reflect his favorite genres of fantasy, science-fiction, and speculative fiction. He said he hopes the universal themes in “Stories and Sins” bring people together through the tradition of mythological storytelling.
More of Briodagh’s writing is available on his website, StoryPhoenix.com. He said that he welcomes dialogue with readers of his book and is happy to provide aspiring writers with a platform to share their work or give advice on self-publishing. Those interested can reach Briodagh on Twitter and Facebook.