THE selection for next year’s Dublin: One City One Book initiative, which aims to get everyone reading, has been revealed as If Ever You Go: a map of Dublin in poetry and song.
The choice for 2013 was the book Strumpet City, which tied in with the centenary of the Dublin Lockout, but the 2014 selection is the first time in the project’s eight-year history that a poetry book has featured.
Jane Alger, Director of Dublin UNESCO City of Literature which hosts the initiative in April 2014 alongside Dublin City Libraries, said they chose it for this very reason, as in the past they had always selected novels.
She told TheJournal.ie: “Irish writers are so strong in poetry and so well-known for it 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”.
If Ever You Go: a map of Dublin has been described as “a collection of poems, ballads and songs from a range of literary luminaries connected with Dublin” and is arranged on a street-by-street basis, offering readers a virtual tour of Ireland’s capital.
A full programme of associated events throughout the month of April will mark the choice.
If Ever You Go, edited by Pat Boran and Gerard Smyth and published by Dedalus Press, will be available to borrow from libraries and to buy in shops from February of next year.
It 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.
There are also songs and ballads from the city’s colonial past, as well as verses by leaders of the 1916 Rising and more modern elements of Dublin, such as the Spire and Luas tram, and evocations of the city’s post-Celtic Tiger challenges.
See www.dublinonecityonebook.ie for more.