This book was written to entertain, delight and remind the citizens and tourists of Cork that we live in a very historic and interesting city. Our interest is held by, not alone the buildings both old and new, but also by the people, the way we live our lives. This year, 2005, Cork is celebrating its status as the European Capital of Culture.
When we look a the word 'culture', we're aware of its emotive nature - it can mean different things to different people. I suppose we, as Cork citizens or visitors would generally agree that 'culture' would have something do with poetry, drama and art. However when you examine where all this drama and art can have take its inspiration, you will see the way we live our lives is a source of inspiration.
For me, poetry is a way to use words (without the constraints of grammar and syntax) to express how I see the city of Cork and the pride I feel in the everyday use of the city - be a visit to the local city market (called the English Market), glancing at boat arrivals, or noticing the wild flowers growing on the walls. Even the coffee drinkers get a mention, to show the European trends which have crept into our city in the last ten years. It has been an exciting journey to wander about the city, writing in a random fashion without any particular curtailments. This writing began with a particular theme in mind - to write a poem about the pubs in the city, their history, their characters. However, the city itself seemed to reach out with its vibrant variety of layers of city living, that I succumbed to its call. Thus, for me the phrase that 'culture is community and community is culture' is an important and inspiring one.
The end result, this book, has many flavours and tastes the Cork city life that should hold reader's interest. If you don't like the text, the illustrations may hold your interest.
Illustrating the pieces was something I wanted to do because I'm aware the visual experience is just as important as the imaginative. When I read fairytales and nursery rhyme books to my children, I always enjoyed the illustrations long after the text became tiresome. (Having read the same piece about 40, 000 times would explain the tiredness).
This is a book to read at your leisure and savour the tastes and flavours of Cork city life. There is a poem 'Virtual Tour' to help you along - in your chair or actually on foot.