Lani O' Hanlon has a family background in performance, theatre and dance and has worked as a dancer, a movement therapist, teacher and director. Author of Dancing the Rainbow - Holistic Well-Being through Movement (2007 Mercier Press) she has been writing fiction and poetry for the last eight years and has been awarded bursaries and mentoring by Artlinks and Co. Waterford and City Arts Office. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and has attended a six month fiction writing course with the Stinging Fly. Short-listed for Over the Edge New Writer of the Year-Fiction, Fish - Flash Fiction, Fish-poetry and The International Literature Festival-Dublin -Date with an Agent 2016, her work has been published in Southword, The Stinging Fly, POETRY (Chicago) Poetry Ireland Review, Mslexia, The Moth, Solas Nua, Skylight, and the Anthologies; Small Lives (Poddle) Raving Beauties, Halleluiah for 50ft Women (Bloodaxe) and read on RTE radio's Sunday Miscellany. She is currently working on a novella, a poetry chapbook with funding from Artlinks, and towards a first poetry collection with mentorship from poet and editor; Thomas McCarthy.
Lani has worked as an arts facilitator/director internationally and on the Skyros Programme and as a creative writing facilitator with the Waterford Arts Office, Waterford Healing Arts Trust, and as co founder, programme developer, facilitator and writer in residence on the annual Molly Keane Writers' Retreat in Ardmore.
Lani O' Hanlon's 'Going to the well' can be read as a reversal of Heaney's well known poem 'A drink of water' (from his collection Field Work) where the water of the well is plentiful and the reader is asked 'Remember the Giver'. In 'Going to the well' there is no water, a woman offers the protagonists a cup of money. We think, perhaps, of fracking and other pollutants of the water supply, and of the impoverishment of our society by greed. Clear fresh language here avoids polemic, and the poem has a controlled pressure of feeling in it.
Penelope Shuttle (Mslexia, Selection for Earthsongs)