By Imasha Costa, Arts & Literature Editor
Sonder: the realisation that each passer-by is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. To a group of emerging writers in UCC, this was the perfect title for their newly published zine Sonder, which showcases poetry and short fiction, and reflects the mentality of empathy and compassion that is important to the writers within the group – a mentality which may resonate with a lot of people at this current moment.
Lara Ní Chuirrín, editor of Sonder, comments that “we first came together as a group under the guidance of writer-in-residence Danny Denton, in the winter of 2019. Since then, we have been working together, reviewing each other’s work, and getting pieces ready for publication. Collaboration during lockdown was a challenge, but finally in January 2021, Sonder was published”.
Danny Denton writes in the preface to the zine of how he met this group of writers that collected themselves “in a room, hidden away – in an attic somehow”. He also remarks that he was very aware that he was spending time with a bunch of “free minds, serious readers, passionate practitioners”. Together with contributors Bridget Reilly, E. Monroe, Jack Roche, Joy Curtis, Mark O’Leary and Lara Ní Chuirrín, the zine presents a mishmash of style, genre, and theme which, when combined, presents a refined design that is a feast of the eyes, imagination and the heart alike.
In bringing the zine together, the contributors also wanted to make an impact outside of the Cork literary scene and had decided that all proceeds made from the zine would go directly to MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland), which is Ireland’s only self-recognised refugee rights organisation. Not only has this year been difficult for the arts in Ireland but also for those who are trapped within the country’s Direct Provision system, where they are experiencing deteriorating, dehumanising conditions due to the disregard of the state during the Covid-19 crisis. Sonder, through this little gesture, hopes to fly the flag of solidarity in its own way.
To view more information or to buy the zine, which is only 10 euros, visit this website: