Thursday, 23 May 2013

A Chunk of This City's Soul

Launched last week, Ireland's newest stamp celebrates Dublin as a UNESCO City of Literature. It features a short story written by Dublin teenager Eoin Moore as part of the Fighting Words creative writing programme. The stamp was unveiled at the Fighting Words Centre in the north city centre, a place founded by Sean Love and Roddy Doyle and beautifully designed by Grafton Architects to house creative writing classes and workshops for children and teenagers. See Eoin pictured below with our literature-loving president, Michael D. Higgins at the unveiling in the centre. Eoin's story evokes Dublin's energy and pulse, and eloquently describes the particular way the city has of brimming with history while spilling over with life: simultaneously being old and new, looking to the past while being full of youth. As someone living away and missing Dublin more than just a little, this story really touched me and the part I love best is:

Every High King and scholar, every playwright and poet, every politician and every rebel, every merchant, student, and busker who ever set foot in the city holds or held onto a chunk of this city’s soul; every one of them stepped to the city’s heartbeat. I listen to the streets at night and I can feel the city’s lifeblood pumping through me; I can feel myself flowing through it.

Designed by Irish-born, Amsterdam-based designers The Stone Twins, the stamp is incredibly simple and stronger for it. Free of any imagery (which is far from typical of stamps), text and nothing else is placed against a bright yellow background. You'll see the stamp at its actual size below, and see that the story's a little hard to read. I for one don't think that matters so much (though it's a great story to read): the text-heavy stamp packs a punch in terms of being given over solely to words and nothing else. We are people who place words at the centre of everything, and it shows.

Images 1 | 2 | 3