00:00 Saturday 05 March 2011  Written by Leo McMAHON

Launch of poetry collections by Chuck and Tina

IT was West Cork on the double at the City Library recently with the launch of two books of poems, 'Island Alchemy' by Chuck Kruger, Cape Clear Island and 'She Be' by Tina Pisco and both published by Bradshaw Books, Tigh Fili, Cork.

Performing the launch of Island Alchemy, historian, teacher and writer Diarmuid O'Driscoll said that since American-born Chuck moved to Cape Clear Island with his wife Nell 25 years ago, he had made a niche for himself as a writer having published a book of essays on the Gaeltacht isle, as well as a novel, two collections of short stories and a previous collection of poetry plus innumerable broadcasts and photographs.

'The most striking feature of all Chuck's writing, and especially this collection of poetry, is his sense of place and more often than not, that place is Capeand he gets to the essence of what a place is, its features, its uniqueness, its magic'.

'In these poems, we see the stars, the moon, sunrise and sunset, fog, light, waves, storms, birds, dolphins, whales, cliffs, rocks, ditches, reek-making, cow milking and so on. But Chuck also has the poet's eye - 'rosc' as it was known in ancient Ireland - the eye that picks out what is beautiful and wondrous in nature and human behaviour and goes further and makes a connection to it, for himself and for the reader too'.

'James Joyce said Dublin could be reconstructed from the detail of the pages of Ulysses.

Now you won't reconstruct Cape from the poems in this collection but you will see and feel the essence of Cape and of Chuck too' Diarmuid concluded.

Returning thanks, Chuck Kruger regaled the audience as he recited the poems 'Cow', 'Moonlight Dance', 'Pagan Thoughts and a Shag', 'Confirmation' and 'Grace the Night' from Island Alchemy, a collection of 41 new poems and 12 selected from his first collection, Sourcing, in 2007.

Tina Pisco

Aidan Stanley of RTE and producer of The Book on One in launching She Be, said he first met Tina Pisco through TV film maker David Bickley and said her prose came to his attention at the Fish Anthology in Bantry.

Tina Pisco thanked Aidan, her friend for 15 years and publisher Maire Bradshaw, all the team at Tigh Fili, Liam Ronayne and the City Library, poets and editors Ian Wild and Kathy D'Arcy and her inspiration and partner John Noonan for typesetting and the beautiful book design.

Having been scribbling at poetry for the past 15 years, She Be, she said, was her first published collection because as a professional writer she had been more concerned with deadlines and cheques, but now she was performing her poetry and duly did so at the launch with the wonderful accompaniment of harpist Aine Bakker from Clonakilty of three love poems 'Leaving Blackrock,' 'Reves de Venise' and 'I've already loved you forever.'

She Be is a collection about life, love and laundry. There are 47 poems on the themes of Woman, Thinker, Lover and Writer.

Tina Pisco, who was born in Madrid and lived mostly on mainland Europe before moving to near Clonakilty in 1992 where she has written short stories, novels, a screenplay for a documentary and published a collection of newspaper articles called A West Cork Life and a cookbook. She is writer-in-residence at Tigh Fili Arts Centre, MacCurtain Street, Cork.

Guests who were welcomed at the wine reception included Fiachra and Nuala Callanan and Cliff Wedgebury and Bradshaw Books was also represented by Jamie O'Connell.

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