“Into the Black”, an essay, in The Tangerine

I’ve never thought of myself as an essayist. When this was accepted, I made the comment to someone that it was my first attempt at an essay proper since my Leaving Certificate (not today or yesterday…), essays, or more strictly, academic essays, never really forming a large part of a civil engineering degree.

I’ve read many essays, and essay collections over the years, admiring the learning and technique, and also recall proofreading materials for a friend teaching English for Academic Purposes, explaining the structure and content of academic essays to students for whom English would not be a first language.

All this probably helps explain why I have never properly attempted an essay, until now.

Inspired, as I explain in the essay, by my chancing upon a piece of art created by Fred Tomaselli, I wrote an essay, and am delighted that the good people at The Tangerine have decided to publish it.

Through the essay I explore memory and grief, and how they both influence, and sometimes overwrite the ability to appreciate another’s narrative.

I’m especially happy that the editors of The Tangerine were able to secure permission to use an image of the creation of Fred Tomaselli; Mar 16 2020, which forms the backbone of the essay.

Anyone wanting to buy a copy of the journal can do so at:


I’m extremely happy with how the essay has turned out, and how it has been produced in the journal.

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