My Weekend: In my dreams I sneak out and meet pals for quiet pints and put the week to bed

Writer and editor Danny Denton, who lives in Passage, is involved in an upcoming project called ‘A City & A Garden’
My Weekend: In my dreams I sneak out and meet pals for quiet pints and put the week to bed

Literary editor Danny Denton (The Stinging Fly) launching A CITY + A GARDEN - a state-of-the-art sonic experience, combining story and song with the world around us. It's part of the Safe Harbour Festival.
Picture: Clare Keogh

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m a dad, a husband, a writer and an editor. My first novel was The Earlie King and my next novel is All Along The Echo, out next spring. I edit The Stinging Fly, an Irish literary magazine.

I’m from Passage West, and recently moved back there after decades living in other places. I’m absolutely thrilled at the moment to be the literary curator for’A city & a Garden’, which will be broadcasting out over Cork and Dublin in June.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

We have a son, a toddler, who essentially wears us thin to exhaustion in the most joyous ways, so come Friday evening with him in bed, the thing that usually happens is that we tidy up after him/us and collapse onto the couch and wait for bedtime.

But in my head, in my dreams of the county opened up again, after family time Friday evenings I sneak out and meet pals for a couple of quiet pints, and put the week to bed there, and then get home to bed for midnight, and up fresh on Saturday.

Lie-ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

Happy enough to get up in the morning and make a fist of the day; we haven’t needed an alarm clock since Luan was born!

Does work creep into your week-end at all?

Absolutely not. Try to be really disciplined (as a writer/editor you have to be) and put the hard hours in during the week so that the weekend can just be for family and relaxing and having fun.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

God, the thoughts now! After the house arrest of the last year! Well Japan, Argentina and Mauritius – my holy Trinity of dream holidays – are all too far away for a weekend break, so I’ll say San Sebastian in Spain, the first holiday my wife and I went on, and a place we’ve been meaning to return to. And of course I’d take wife and sprog, and we’d fill our boots with delicious food (and wine for the adults) the whole weekend long.

Danny Denton.
Danny Denton.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

Walking the line in Passage is a big one, and getting to Rochestown Woods or Rocky Bay, weather depending, are nice ones too. We try to do something like that every week-end, or at the very least set up the picnic blanket in the back garden and chill out a bit. Further away, I absolutely love West Cork and Connemara for reconnecting with the wilderness within and without.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Yea! Who doesn’t?!

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

Played a lot of gaelic football up until a couple of years ago, so covid notwithstanding I’m hoping to see a lot of Passage GAA up in Manning Park over the years. Aside from that I’m a big, big reader, enjoy film a lot, and try to get out walking or on the bicycle (no lycra) regularly.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

Either or. I’m happy out to be entertained, but can cook a small bit and certainly believe in myself as a maker of outrageously daycent party playlists…

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

I think we’re spoilt in Cork, so many great place. Love Pink Moon and Alchemy for coffee, love Liberty Grill, Miyazaki, KCs (of course)… I wonder though would there be anything more ‘special’ than a hape of pints in the Friary or The Oval or Callanan’s?

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

Quietly, calmly! Probably watching whatever show we’re into at the time, or watching a movie. We recently watched Mad Men from start to finish, and I dunno was it a Covid thing, but New York felt so vivid in that show. Every Sunday evening it felt like I was being transported to New York in the sixties…

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

As mentioned, no alarm required! Luan can wake up anywhere from half six to, if we’re lucky, a lovely lie in of about quarter to eight…

Pictured: Visual artist Deirdre Breen, Literary editor Danny Denton (The Stinging Fly) and Creative Director Mary Hickson (Festival Director of SFSH) launching A CITY + A GARDEN - a state-of-the-art sonic experience, combining story & song with the world around us. Pictures: Clare Keogh
Pictured: Visual artist Deirdre Breen, Literary editor Danny Denton (The Stinging Fly) and Creative Director Mary Hickson (Festival Director of SFSH) launching A CITY + A GARDEN - a state-of-the-art sonic experience, combining story & song with the world around us. Pictures: Clare Keogh

MORE ABOUT A City & A Garden

Commissioned by Sounds from a Safe Harbour Festival, in association with Body & Soul, A City & A Garden is presented as part of Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh, a nationwide, ten- day season of arts experiences brought to you by the Arts Council, from June 11 to 20.

Admission is free. There are two Locations: Cork City Streets and the National Botanic Gardens, Dublin

Have you ever considered the myriad lives lived, and the stories and songs and sounds of the streets you walk every day? A City & A Garden invites you to walk again the urban environments you know, but discovering, through your headphones, a different kind of journey, shifting perspectives of place, connectedness, environment, and history.

Through smartphone technology, visitors will discover the stories and songs that lie hidden in the trees and bricks of our city spaces; interwoven narratives and soundscapes that envelop you as you walk a Cork city street, say, or the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin.

It brings together some of Ireland’s most exciting writers and musicians to realise this ambitious multi-disciplinary project. Literary curator Danny Denton (editor of The Stinging Fly) has selected four exceptional writers - Gavin Corbett, Louise Hegarty, Lisa McInerney and Melatu-Uche Okorie - to create new stories. Creating responses to these stories, the team will expand to include Seán MacErlaine (sound designer and Musical Director), Deirdre Breen (visual artists and multidisciplinary designer), WP Cork Developers, voice-over artists, and a host of talent to help bring the tales to life.

For more see http://soundsfromasafeharbour.com/

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