Gretta Curran Browne

Dublin People Article

Friday, January 27, 2012

Exhibition is a treasure trove of literary history

William Butler Yeats’s early school report from Godolphin Primary School in England said: “Only fair. Perhaps better at Latin than in any other subject. Very poor at spelling.” These were humble beginnings indeed for a future winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Thomas Moore of Moore’s Melodies fame was a strident opponent of America’s slave trade, leading to a duel with reviewer Frances Jeffrey.

The duel, in which no pistols were fired, led Lord Byron to refer to “Moore’s leadless pistol” and “on examination, the balls of the pistol, like the courage of the combatants, were found to have evaporated”.

These and many more golden nuggets of literary anecdote can be mined from a special exhibition currently taking place at the Nicholas of Myra Parish Centre, Carmans Hall, just off Francis Street in the heart of the Liberties.

The exhibition, entitled ‘Dublin Writers, born here, lived here, wished we were here’, is the work of the Liberties Heritage Association (LHA) and represents their contribution to Dublin as UNESCO City of Literature for 2011.

Local writers are also well catered for, including the blind poet and street singer Zozimus, the activist Deirdre Kelly, the thriller writer Gretta Curran Browne and novelist Joe O’Connor, whose two aunts went to school in the very building where this exhibition is taking place.

Anyone with an interest in Dublin and its writers will find something to capture their imagination in this treasure trove of literary history.

‘Dublin Writers, born here, lived here, wished we were here’ is open to the public until September 16 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).