Theo Dorgan: Once Was A Boy

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Saturday 13 July 2024

5:00 pm


Bantry Library

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Join us for an afternoon of poetry with Theo Dorgan. In this vivid, unsparing, new collection, Theo reaches deep into his Cork childhood to examine, among other things, the wellsprings of what would become a life in poetry. At times with the forensic detachment of adult distance, at other times given over to reliving a child's conscious attention to his own life, these poems explore a past where everything is new in the living moment and yet, somehow, ‘everything will go on forever’.

Theo will be in conversation with Oonagh Montague

Admission: Free

If the family is where we learn to understand feelings and affections, school is the hard place where we meet the powers of the world, where we encounter and learn to deal with both the liberating and the oppressive powers of language. School, as the growing boy experiences it, is the place where we learn either to surrender or to stand free in the world, and freedom comes with embracing, understanding, the weight and responsibility of choosing your words, of speaking for yourself.


The poet’s beloved native city is a ghostly, sustaining, presence throughout – city familiar and mysterious, cradle of possibilities the young boy dreams of, gazing longingly through the classroom window. In that place, in those days, Theo made certain promises to himself. Once Was a Boy asks if those promises were kept.



Theo Dorgan

Theo Dorgan was born in Cork in 1953 and now lives in Dublin. His recent collections of poetry from Dedalus are Nine Bright Shiners (2014) and Orpheus (2018). His book...

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Oonagh Montague

Oonagh Montague is a writer from Cork, Ireland. A former journalist and editor of Arts Ireland, her short stories have been included in Winter Papers (Curlew Editions), the anthology Cork...

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