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 One City, One Book

If Ever You Go...to Louis MacNeice's Dublin

Book cover: Collected Poems by Louis MacNeiceI was delighted to discover that this year's One City, One Book, If Ever You Go, A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song, includes one of my favourite poems, entitled Dublin by Louis MacNeice. This poem may seem like an odd choice, as MacNeice paints a picture of a city in decline, however, Dublin at this time, with 'her seedy elegance', (p. 8) holds a great fascination for me.

Anyone with an interest in genealogy, who has used census returns or street directories such as Thoms, will immediately recognise MacNeice’s Dublin. His description of a Dublin tenement with its,

…bare bones of a fanlight,
over a hungry door
. (p. 7) Read more »

If ever you go - Francis Ledwidge

 If Ever You Go...A map of Dublin in poetry and songIf ever you should go in search of a song or a poem it is incredible for such a small nation how rich and diverse and consistently good Irish output has been and thus, it is fitting that 2014’s Dublin: One City, One Book title is devoted to celebrating that rich heritage. Available in all Public Libraries and good book shops it is called If Ever You Go – A Map of Dublin in Poetry & Song after the poem by Patrick Kavanagh.

From Dean Swift to W.B.Yeats to J.M. Synge and James Joyce and Patrick Kavanagh to Brendan Kennelly, Dermot Bolger to Eavan Boland, the variety and sensitivity of the Irish poets’ voices have inspired many even beyond our shores. Anyone who has ever heard the late Seamus Heaney reading his poetry can only ever hear his voice reciting thereafter. Read more »

If Ever You Go...My Map of Dublin in Song

Bookcover: Noel Purcell: a biography by Philip BryanWhen I think of Dublin in song, the popular ballads that were the soundtrack to my childhood, spring to my mind, the songs I would have heard adults around me singing as they went about their work.

My favourite is The Dublin Saunter. I think of my parents, in their courting days on Grafton Street, when they had less cares in the world. This song was written by a Dublin man for a Dublin man. Leo Maguire (1903 –1985), a Radio Éireann broadcaster who ran weekly radio show, the Walton's Programme for thirty years.  He wrote over one hundred songs, including this one for Noel Purcell (1900–1985).  Noel is fondly remembered for his variations of the role of old sailor with a long white beard, in over fifty Hollywood films in 1950s and 1960s. He was given the Freedom of the city of Dublin where there is a road named in his honour. Read more »

My Daddy likes the Dubs

 One City, One book logoDublin’s Lord Mayor is called Carmencita,
Whose favourite food is tomato pizza.

So wrote Sarah Fallon from Malahide in 1988, in a poem included in an anthology called My Daddy likes the Dubs.  It is one of a number of collections of poetry written by Dublin children which are held in the Special Collections of Dublin City Library and Archive. As this year’s One City, One Book selection highlights poetry based on the theme of Dublin and Dubliners, we took a look at some of these child’s eye views of the city.

My Daddy Likes the Dubs is a collection of children’s verse compiled during the Dublin Millennium by Dublin Public Libraries. During 1988, the city celebrated its 1,000th birthday with a year-long programme of cultural events. At that time the Public Library Service encompassed all the Dublin regions, so the selection – chosen from over 3,500 submissions – includes the work of children from all over Dublin City and County. What is striking about the poems is the delight the children take in their city and their keen observations of their localities. It would be interesting to see if a collection like this, written today, would demonstrate this same knowledge of the geography of Dublin and the same pride in their local area. Read more »

Shortlist announced for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2014

Novels by Irish author Donal Ryan and David Park from Northern Ireland have been shortlisted for the 2014 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award, which was announced today, 9 April. The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan has been described as the definitive novel of the downturn. Ryan perfectly inhabits each of a range of characters, capturing their voices and in doing so, expertly delineates life in small town rural Ireland.  In Light of Amsterdam David Park takes three pairs of characters to Amsterdam, where he gradually weaves their stories toward moments of epiphany. It is another great read from the author of The Truth Commissioner, which was longlisted for the award in 2010.

Also on the list is previous winner Gerbrand Bakker. Bakker won the award in 2010 for his beautifully understated yet moving novel, The Twin, which was also translated from Dutch by David Colmer.

Books shortlisted for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Read more »

Start Off - Start Up - Start Now - Start Here

Go for it - start a businessAre you thinking of starting a business?

Once again this year, Dublin City Public Libraries in association with Dublin City Enterprise Board will run the Start Your Own Business Spring Programme 2014, from Thursday, 10 April – 15 May, 6.30 pm – 8.00 pm with a different speaker delivering each workshop. This year the focus is on “Getting Started” and covers a diverse range of topics pertinent to starting a business – An Introduction to Self Employment , Ideas Generation and Market Research, Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship, Digital Marketing Strategy, Financing Your Business and Writing the winning Business Plan.

What is ideal about this programme is that each lecture is a unit within itself and covers a different aspect of starting a business - this is great as it allows you pick and chose which lectures interest you. Read more »

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