Dundee Libraries Creative Writing Lab are launching a short story zine, Patchwork Memories – in Celebration of the Dementia Library, during National Short Story Week.
Anna Stewart, Library and Information Assistant, says:
“Dundee Libraries Creative Writing Lab formed during our Library Festival in 2012. Since then, we’ve met once a month in Central Library to discuss ideas and share writing. This year, we thought it was time to put the group’s writing into print, and the stories in this collection were written to celebrate Dundee’s Dementia Library. The Dementia Library opened in 2015 and was a finalist in the Scottish Dementia Awards that year. It’s a unique and peaceful space dedicated to the many people living with dementia in our city. Members of the public can access relevant information and books, as well as reminiscence material to help stimulate memories.
“It seemed appropriate then, that Memory should be the theme for our collection of short stories. Memories exist in our movements, in our likes and dislikes, they live inside our bodies, stick to our senses; and sometimes, when everything else fades away, we remember things that should’ve long been forgotten. The loss of memory makes us all the more conscious of the past, and often painfully of the present, counting down the hours or minutes that it will take for memory to slip away again. Where do our memories go when we’ve lost them, and how vital are they to our sense of who we are? Does our memory prove that we exist? These questions can be explored through art, and writing is as good a medium as any to search our memory, to mine our subconscious, because we perceive the world through a lens of remembered moments, even when there is memory loss. The short story collection the Creative Writing Lab have produced treat memory as a living thing, they aren’t specifically about dementia because life is what makes memory happen, and all of these stories are about people and their lives.
“Having worked with the group for a number of years, it has been encouraging to see how dedicated the writers are to improving their craft, and how much they’ve learned from one another. They’ve worked on their stories for many months, always listening to the valuable feedback they’ve received from other members, and with open minds they’ve considered and revised their work to produce this short story zine. Their stories, mostly fictional, but inspired by the subconscious and shared experience of memory, will be launched during National Short Story Week and will help to highlight the wonderful resources we have available in the Dementia Library.