Borris House Festival; Naomi Klein in Dublin; Éigse festival; What is a Republic?

Literary listings: New director at Trinity; poetry in Galway; Brendan Kennelly at 80; poets on tour; Paula Meehan at NLI

The Canadian author and social activist Naomi Klein is one of the big draws of this year’s International Literature Festival Dublin, taking place in venues across the capital this May. Photograph: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

The Canadian author and social activist Naomi Klein is one of the big draws of this year’s International Literature Festival Dublin, taking place in venues across the capital this May. Photograph: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

 

Frontier crossing in Carlow

Joseph O’Neill, Deborah Levy and Lenny Abrahamson are among the speakers at this year’s Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas. Part of the Carlow Arts Festival 2016, the programme runs from June 10th - 12th, with speakers from India, Eritrea, Pakistan, USA, Wales, Ethiopia, North Korea, Israel and England reflecting this year’s theme of “crossing frontiers”. Now in its fifth year, Borris will host musicians, writers, historians, war correspondents, photographers and broadcasters. The British playwright and rapper Kate Tempest will discuss her debut novel The Bricks that Built the Houses. Irish authors are well represented with, among others, Kevin Barry, Sara Baume, Lisa McInerney, Rob Doyle and Danielle McLaughlin. Other highlights include events with the Pulitzer prize-winner Michael Chabon, novelist Kamila Shamsie and Viv Albertine, the former guitarist and songwriter of ’70s post-punk band The Slits. Weekend and day tickets are now on sale at www.festivalofwritingandideas.com. Individual talk tickets will be released next week.

Naomi Klein in Dublin

The Canadian author and social activist Naomi Klein is one of the big draws of this year’s International Literature Festival Dublin, taking place in venues across the capital this May. Visiting Dublin for the first time in 10 years to discuss her latest work, This Changes Everything: Capitalism Versus The Climate, Klein will speak at an event on Thursday, May 5th in the RDS, Dublin 4. Other speakers confirmed so far for the festival include the children’s author Jacqueline Wilson, the Nobel prizewinning journalist Svetlana Alexievich and a panel discussion with Avi Lewis and Cara Augustenborg about their climate change film This Changes Everything. The full programme will be announced later this week at ilfdublin.com.

New director at Trinity

The novelist and critic Ian Sansom has been appointed associate professor in literary practice at Trinity College’s School of English. Professor Sansom, who takes up the role later this year, will also be responsible for the development of Trinity’s Oscar Wilde Centre as its director. Samson studied at both Oxford and Cambridge where he was a fellow of Emmanuel College. A frequent contributor to the Guardian and the London Review of Books, he previously taught at the University of Warwick and Queen’s University Belfast.

Poetry in Galway

Galway Arts Centre is offering aspiring poets a choice of three poetry workshops in May, all facilitated by the poet Kevin Higgins. Each workshop will run for eight weeks, commencing the week of May 9th. They will take place on Tuesday evenings, 7-8.30pm; Thursday afternoons, 2-4pm; and on Friday afternoons, 2-3.30pm. The Tuesday evening and Friday afternoon workshops are open to beginners as well as those who’ve been writing for some time. Thursday afternoon is an advanced poetry workshop, suitable for those who’ve participated in workshops before or had poems published. The cost is €90, with an €80 concession rate.

Higgins is an experienced workshop facilitator and several of his students have gone on to achieve publication success. His most recent book, 2016 - The Selected Satires of Kevin Higgins, was published by NuaScéalta earlier this year. Song of Songs 2:0 - New & Selected Poems will be published by Salmon in spring 2017. To reserve a place, contact Galway Arts Centre on 091 565886 or email info@galwayartscentre.ie.

Brendan Kennelly at 80

The Poetry Programme on RTE Radio 1 has a nice mix of Irish and international poetry on its agenda this month. The show on Saturday, April 2nd will focus on The Rising Generation issue of Poetry Ireland Review, speaking to editor Vona Groarke and two of the contributing poets, Ailbhe Darcy and Afric McGlinchy. There will be poetry in Irish by Simon Ó Faoláin and Afric Mac Aodha, in addition to a feature on the poetry of William Blake. Rita Ann Higgins launches her new collection, Tongulish (Bloodaxe) the show on April 9th, with Rafiq Kathwari reading from his collection In Another Country (Doire). The poetry of Brendan Kennelly will feature in a special programme on April 16th to mark the Kerry poet’s 80th birthday. The shows are broadcast each Saturday from 7.30pm on Radio 1.

Irish poets on tour

Two Irish poets, Eleanor Hooker and Clodagh Beresford Dunne, will give readings, lectures, and interviews in Pittsburgh, USA, from April 12th- 21st. The programme is supported by Culture Ireland’s international culture programme for 2016. At the invitation of American poet Jan Beatty, Hooker and Beresford Dunne will travel to Washington DC with Carlow University’s (a liberal arts college in Pittsburgh) Madwomen in the Attic writing community, to participate in the National Poetry Festival, Split this Rock. Hooker will present a paper entitled, Grandmother as Protagonist: The Poetry of Paula Meehan and Michael Hartnett. Beresford Dunne will speak on Intercultural Relations between Irish and American Poetry: The Poetry of Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon.

Éigse arts festival

Colum McCann, Donal Ryan, Jane Clarke and Michael Coady are among the line-up at this year’s Éigse Michael Harnett Literature and Arts Festival, which takes place from Thursday, April 14th - Saturday, April 16th in Newcastle West, Limerick. McCann’s reading on the Saturday evening will be accompanied by the music of Colm Mac Con Iomaire. The Michael Hartnett Memorial Lecture, entitled Saving Words, will be delivered by Limerick author Donal Ryan. John McAuliffe and Doireann Ní Ghríofa are this year’s winners of the Michael Hartnett Poetry Award for The Way In (Gallery Press 2015) and Clasp (Dedalus Press 2015) respectively. The two poets will share a prize fund of €4,000 which is sponsored jointly by Limerick City and County Council and the Arts Council. They will receive their prize and read from their work on the festival’s opening night, with judge Rita Ann Higgins giving the keynote speech. For more information on these and other events, visit the festival’s revamped website at www.eigsemichaelhartnett.ie.

What is a Republic?

The playwright and radio presenter Vincent Woods will host a series of interviews on the Irish Republic at NUI Galway this April. The series will include interviews with public figures exploring the contemporary relevance of the ideas and ideals that led to the formation of the Irish state. The first interview will take place on Wednesday, April 6th with socialist and republican activist Bernadette McAliskey, the youngest woman ever in the British House of Commons on her election in 1969.

Other interviews in the series take place on Wednesday, April 13th with Thomas Kilroy, April 20th with Fr Peter McVerry and April 27th with Robert Ballagh. Questions addressed during the interviews will include: What is a republic? Is Ireland a republic? Is the Republic of Ireland the kind of republic imagined by those involved in the Irish revolution and proclaimed in 1916? What is the role of religion, art, literature, and politics in creating an Irish civic society of the kind envisaged in that proclamation? All interviews will be held in the Ó hEocha Theatre, Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway from 6.30-8pm. Events are free and open to the public.

Marking the final year of Paula Meehan’s holding the Ireland Chair of Poetry, a public conversation will take place between Meehan and critic Jody Allen Randolph in the seminar room National Library of Ireland, on Wednesday 13 April at 7pm. To reserve a place, contact Niamh McCabe at irelandchairofpoetry@gmail.com

Email sarah.gilmartin@gmail.com with your literary news and listings

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