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Mary Denvir raised £2,123 from 40 supporters


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Closed 21/02/2019

raised of £20,000 target by 40 supporters

    Weʼve raised £2,123 to Love Mary, In appreciation of Mary Denvir and BookFinders

    Belfast, UK
    Funded on Thursday, 21st February 2019

    Don't have time to donate right now?


    Mary has closed Bookfinders doors after 34 years due to re-developement. Bookfinders, and especially Mary will be missed. This funding page will be open until February 21st. Please share this page if you can.

    A few years ago, Glenn Patterson, acclaimed novelist and current Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen's University, had this to say about Bookfinders Café:

    "There possibly are things in the world more beneficial for the study and writing of literature than Mary Denvir’s lentil soup, but for the life of me I can’t imagine what they might be. I’m not sure when exactly Mary’s second-hand bookshop grew a café at the rear (then again these days I’m not always sure exactly how old I am), but from the moment I ventured past the Irish section, past the cabinet containing the signed first editions, and into its Super-Ser-warmth there was no competition so far as I was concerned. In an area – an era – of franchises and identikit coffee houses, Bookfinders Café is one of a kind. A gallery on occasions, it is a regular venue for poetry readings as well as an ad-hoc information centre on literary events elsewhere in the city. It is also, very conveniently directly opposite the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, where I teach Creative Writing. Actually before the Heaney Centre opened, relieving the pressure on space in the School of English, Bookfinders was more or less home to the me and my Creative Writing colleagues. We still conduct many of our meetings there. And I still go there before most afternoon classes, to read, to sup soup, nourish mind and body."

    Glenn Patterson

    A Thank You to Mary Denvir

    Over 34 years as the proprietor of Bookfinders Café, Mary Denvir has given so much to all of us. Let's give something back.

    Bookfinders has been a University Road landmark for a generation. Mary opened her bookshop on May 1st 1985, and two years later decided to combine it with a café. Bookfinders as we have known it was born. For three decades, the café has been a hub for students and teachers, poets and artists, musicians and actors. Thousands of us have called in for a coffee or a lentil soup, or delighted in finding a rare first edition book tucked away on a shelf. During the dark days in Belfast, Mary created a space where partisan politics were left at the door. Bookfinders became a safe haven, and so it remained – a sanctuary and stronghold of local culture, a melting pot of conversation and creativity.

    Mary herself is much loved by those who know her, and touches the lives of those who have just met her. She has always devoted time to, and taken interest in people's creative endeavours; supporting us all through studies, failures, and successes. Each day, Mary would open Bookfinders waiting with a smile for us to have a seat and take the weight of the world off our shoulders. The café was always filled with colourful characters.

    It was a heart-wrenching moment when, earlier this month, Bookfinders closed its doors for the last time. As that day approached, a few of us started thinking about ways in which we might convey our gratitude to Mary. This fund, we thought, might be a start, to ensure her security, and possible future endeavours. Her clientele has meant so much to her over the years, and she’s poured so much into creating the Bookfinders community. The unsought closure comes as a huge blow, not least financially.

    We can never repay Mary for all she's done for us; for her generosity, her unfailing kindness, but we'd like to say thanks – and we hope you will too. 



    • Mary Denvir5 years ago
      Mary Denvir

      Mary Denvir

      5 years ago
      Update from the Page owner

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    • Mary Denvir6 years ago
      Mary Denvir

      Mary Denvir

      6 years ago
      Update from the Page owner

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    6 years ago

    Mary Denvir started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 2/21/2019 16.40



    • Filly Campbell

      Filly Campbell

      Feb 5, 2019


    • Anonymous


      Dec 21, 2018

    • Brian McKaig

      Brian McKaig

      Dec 20, 2018

      Mary is a lovely, friendly lady and I greatly enjoyed browsing and buying books on many different topics of interest at Bookfinders over the years. I have fond memories of this unique bookshop.


    • shadd maruna

      shadd maruna

      Dec 19, 2018

      what an amazing place. such memories


    • Mark


      Dec 12, 2018

      Thank you for Bookfinders!


    • Jenni Doherty

      Jenni Doherty

      Dec 11, 2018

      Met Mary in 2006, via the late poetry legend Brian Bailey, performing with the 'Poetry Chicks' & solo. Such warmth, fun, inspiration always. Rise up! Jenni, Little Acorns Bookstore, Derry x


    • Beatrice


      Dec 9, 2018


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    Mary Denvir

    Mary Denvir

    Belfast, UK

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