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Cork Independent


Corks james sees work in print

Thursday, 25th August, 2011 8:00am

Cork writer, James O'Sullivan, will see his first collection of poetry released by Lapwing Publications in the coming days.The Tramore Road resident has been writing since he was very young, but only recently began to seek publication. A graduate of both University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology, James is the grandson of famed local performer, Billa O'Connell.25-year-old James, who is currently doing a PhD in Digital Arts and Humanities under Dr Orla Murphy and Professor Graham Allen at UCC, admits that his grandfather did have some influence on his work:  â€œMy grandfather has some very interesting stories to tell, but I'd be lying if I said that these had a major influence on my work. However, he himself has had an influence on my work, particularly in respect to my appreciation of my Cork heritage.“For me, Gougane Barra holds considerable symbolic significance. There is nowhere else in the world quite like this city of ours, and Gougane Barra is where Cork has its roots. I spent many happy days throughout my childhood traipsing about those hills, and it was my grandfather who would bring me there. So I owe him that.“There's a particular piece in the collection on Gougane Barra, as well as some other local spots. Much of the collection deals with my struggle with the notion of Irish identity - a struggle I've not had with my identity as a Corkonian. It just seems to sit well with me, this city of ours.”Despite the collection being James' first, he's adamant that its critical reception is of little concern to him:“People ask me if I think it will be well received. Honestly, I don't think so, but really, I'm not overly concerned. It's not about achieving some form of success - it's about getting my work out there. I'm fortunate that Lapwing saw something in my pieces, because a lot of others didn't. There are far too many barriers to publication in the poetic world - too few people reading contemporary work.“I don't consider myself a poet yet, and my work still has a long way to go before I'd consider it poetry. I'll be studying under Professor Graham Allen at UCC in the future, and I'm hoping I can use his discerning eye to improve my level of creativity. He's a talented poet and renowned literary critic, so I'm hoping to slip some of my future pieces on his desk for analysis.”The young writer will have a number of stand alone publications over the coming months, most notably in the Bray Arts Journal. He also hopes to brave a few public recitals:“I'm not much for public speaking to be honest. The nerves tend to get the best of me. But I'm hoping to give public performance a go before year-end.”Further information on James, as well as the collection, can be viewed at and

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