“Once Was A Boy” Chosen As Cor...


“Once Was A Boy” Chosen As Cork’s ‘One City, One Book’ 2024 

Breda Forrest
Breda Forrest

09:03 22 Jan 2024

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Cork City Libraries has announced Theo Dorgan's poetry collection 'Once Was A Boy' as its choice for ‘One City, One Book’ 2024 – the annual initiative to showcase the city's literary scene and encourages everyone to read the same book. The book, which is a collection of poems about Dorgan's childhood in Cork, is published by Dedalus Press.

He was born in Cork and grew up on Redemption Road on the northside of the city. He went to school in St. Vincent's Convent and the North Mon., and subsequently studied at UCC. Dorgan tutored and lectured there, before becoming the Literature Officer with Cork’s Triskel Arts Centre. He re-founded the Cork International Film Festival with Mick Hannigan and went on to become Director of the national poetry organisation Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éirean. Elected to Aosdána in 2000, he was appointed to the Art Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon 2003-2008.

Dorgan has ten poetry collections to his credit, but is also a translator, essayist, editor, documentary screenwriter, translator, and broadcaster. He is married to the poet and dramatist Paula Meehan and now lives in Dublin. In a recent interview with the Irish Times, he described his beloved native Cork as having an all-pervasive presence in his heart, naming it ‘the matrix of my first mind’.

Every year since 2017, the ‘One City One Book’ title has been the most borrowed book in Cork City Libraries. Fringe events are planned for throughout the year, and include creative writing workshops, readings, and interviews. Books by Frank O’Connor, Billy O’Callaghan, Yiyun Li, Catherine Kirwan, Tadhg Coakley, Danielle McLaughlin, Cónal Creedon and Madeleine D’Arcy have previously featured as Cork’s ‘One City, One Book’, with support from the Creative Ireland Programme.

Senior Executive Librarian at Cork City Libraries, Patricia Looney says ‘We are Celebrating the ninth year of ‘One City One Book’ which showcases the brilliant literary life of the city and Cork writers’. It ‘creates a unique sense of place and celebrates the city and its people. It builds a sense of community throughout the city by encouraging everyone to read the same book. We are excited to feature a poetry collection as ‘One City, One Book’ for the first time.’

The launch of ‘One City, One Book’ will take place in the City Library on Grand Parade today, Monday, 22nd January at 6.30pm, with Theo Dorgan and the Lord Mayor Cllr Kieran McCarthy.

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