GET YOUR BOOKMARKS ready, because the Dublin: One City One Book title for 2014 has been announced.
This year’s choice was the novel Strumpet City, which tied in with the centenary of the Dublin Lockout, but next year’s selection is something completely different.
Dublin City Libraries and Dublin UNESCO City of Literature have announced that they have selected If Ever You Go: a map of Dublin in poetry and song as the One City One Book choice for April 2014. The project has been running since 2006.
This is the first time a poetry book has been chosen for One City One Book, and Jane Alger, Director of Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, told TheJournal.ie: “That’s the very reason we chose it – we’ve had novels all the time and this is something completely different.”
She said that Irish writers “are so strong in poetry and so well-known for poetry that we wanted to bring poetry to people’s attention”. She added that people can tend to have certain views about poetry and “we want to change some of those views”.
“We want to bring poetry into people’s lives,” said Alger.
Poetry and song
If Ever You Go: a map of Dublin in poetry and song is described as “a collection of poems, ballads and songs from a range of literary luminaries connected with Dublin”.
It is arranged street by street, carrying the reader “on a virtual tour of the City of Words”.
Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian, said that this is an exciting first for One City One Book. “The poems, songs and ballads in the collection are also ideal for the public readings, performances and theatrical events which animate One City One Book,” she said.
There will be a full programme of associated events throughout the month of April to mark the choice of the book.
If Ever You Go is edited by Pat Boran and Gerard Smyth and published by Dedalus Press, and will be available to borrow from libraries and to buy in bookshops from February 2014.
The book includes writing from both historical and contemporary figures, including Swift, Synge, Yeats, Joyce, Kavanagh and Ó Direáin as well as Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, Dermot Bolger, Paula Meehan, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Derek Mahon.
It also includes songs and ballads from the city’s colonial past, as well as verses by leaders of the 1916 Rising. Plus, elements of the modern city such as the Spire and Luas tram are also featured – as well as the post-Celtic Tiger challenges faced by the capital.
Will you read the One City One Book choice next year?