A City Imagined: Belfast Soulscapes


July 2021

The third and final volume in Gerald Dawe’s acclaimed ‘Northern Chronicles’ series, following on from In Another World: Van Morrison & Belfast and Looking Through You: Northern Chronicles, A City Imagined explores the unique atmosphere of Belfast and its writers, who inspired Gerald Dawe’s writing career.


A City Imagined is a paean to the city of Belfast and its writers. Written in his highly regarded wry and lyrical style, Dawe’s memoir sketches the outlines of his life as he starts to understand the city in which he was born, before embracing some of the local writers whose early work had such an influential part in nudging him in the direction of writing – poets, in the main, whose first books were read with the enthusiasm of a young man beguiled by the language and music of poetry.

Building on the critical acclaim of In Another World: Van Morrison & Belfast and Looking Through You this third and final volume of the Northern Chronicles trilogy completes a fascinating and rich portrait of the celebrated poet’s tangled and ever-evolving relationship with his native city.


About The Author
Gerald Dawe is a former Professor of English and Fellow Emeritus, Trinity College Dublin. He has published ten collections of poetry and several volumes of essays, including The Wrong Country: Essays on Modern Irish WritingThe Sound of the Shuttle: Essays on Cultural Belonging & Protestantism in Northern Ireland, In Another World: Van Morrison & Belfast, and Looking Through You: Northern Chronicles. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including the Macaulay Fellowship in Literature. He lives in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin.

Praise for A City Imagined

A City Imagined is a definitive statement tempered by emotional overtones that soften the often dark reality lurking in the clouds, ultimately becoming a dreaded reality. Dawe’s odyssey has given many literary ghosts a new presence, none more so than his moving tribute to Padraic Fiacc.’
Eoin O’Brien, author of The Beckett Country and The Weight of Compassion & Other Essays

‘I have just finished A City Imagined. Mere words can’t express how much I enjoyed, admired and in equal measure was moved by it. Dawe is by no means a laudator temporis acti  [praiser of things past] but the overriding emotion I was left with was a kind of sorrow and regret for what once was, so if forced to choose I’d say A City Imagined was a sort of elegy – not alone for the city of Belfast he has imagined but for civility and harmony now mostly and possibly irretrievably lost.’
Paul Cartledge A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture Emeritus, University of Cambridge

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Weight 0.22 kg



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