independent

Saturday 16 November 2019

Posthumous launch is fitting tribute to Denis Collins

A capacity crowd turned up for the launch of the only book of exclusive Denis Collins poetry ever published

Producers of the Denis Collins poetry book, Kevin Lewis and Phillip Cullen, making a presentation to journalist and broadcaster Olivia O’Leary, who performed the launch
Producers of the Denis Collins poetry book, Kevin Lewis and Phillip Cullen, making a presentation to journalist and broadcaster Olivia O’Leary, who performed the launch
Philip Cullen, Pat Collins, Olivia O’Leary, Minister Paul Kehoe, Maeve Collins, James Browne TD, Triona Irving, Cllr Lisa McDonald and Kevin Lewis

Brendan Keane

Wexford County Hall in Carricklawn provided the venue for the launch of a very special poetry book featuring the work of the late creative arts supporter, Denis Collins.

'Gone For Coffee' is a collection of works composed by Denis and which also features accompanying artwork by artist Kevin Lewis.

The book, which was Denis' brainchild, was completed by Kevin and filmmaker, Philip Cullen, after Denis passed away earlier this year.

Kevin had been asked by Denis to create paintings to match poems for a book he hoped to published and before he passed away he had selected 23 of Kevin's art pieces for inclusion.

After he died, Kevin and Philip completed the book in honour of their friend.

RTE broadcaster, Olivia O'Leary, officiated at the launch with Philip acting as MC.

Ms O'Leary read three poems while other works from the book were read by poets, Fintan Murphy, Margaret Galvin and Mark Roper.

Over 300 people gathered in County Hall for the event highlighting the high regard in which Denis was held.

Speaking to this newspaper about the launch Philip Cullen said the feedback on the night was fantastic.

'There is great appreciation that the book has come to fruition,' he said.

'Many people have said to us that they feel like they have a little piece of Denis to themselves,' he added.

In addition to Ms O'Leary a number of other people also addressed the launch including Kevin Lewis who outlined to the attendees how privileged he was to be involved in a book featuring his late friend's poetry.

Cllr Lisa McDonald, who was very supportive of the project, addressed the launch on behalf of Wexford County Council.

Justin Cullen, from Frankenstein Bolts, performed one of Denis' poems, titled 'Quiet', to an original music piece and Lonesome Pine performed two of Denis' favourite tunes on the night.

The launch was the embodiment of the arts and as such was very apt as Denis Collins was a champion of all art forms ; a fact highlighted by his brother, Pat, who gave an address on behalf of the Collins family.

Towards the end of the night Philip Cullen acknowledged those who helped make Denis' dream a reality.

'Gone for Coffee' is the only book of exclusive Denis Collins' poetry ever published and as such will forever serve as a fitting tribute to the legacy of a man who championed Wexford arts like no other.

Wexford People

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