‘Off-topic’ programme for Dublin Writers Festival

Authors Sinead Crowley (left) and Michele Forbes with musician Adrian Crowley, participating in the Dublin Writhers Festival. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Authors Sinead Crowley (left) and Michele Forbes with musician Adrian Crowley, participating in the Dublin Writhers Festival. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Fri, Apr 18, 2014, 15:30

Featuring events with The Kinks’ Ray Davies, comedian Johnny Vegas and international ballet star turned writer Carlos Acosta, the Dublin Writers Festival aims to breathe new life into the literary events calendar when it gets underway next month.

The festival, which launched yesterday, will feature approximately 90 different events from over 130 established and emerging authors and artists. Bookended by two debut authors better known for their first careers - Acosta and Vegas - the nine day long festival promises to go ‘off-topic’ with a programme of events ranging on everything from food, to sexism in society, to an exposé on The Snowden Files from journalist Luke Harding.

Literary festival traditionalists need not be alarmed however, with plenty of big name authors also scheduled to partake. Home-grown talent is well represented. Established authors Joseph O’Connor, Sebastian Barry, Anne Enright and Hugo Hamilton will feature on the bill, as well as emerging talent such as Audrey Magee (recently shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction), Booker nominated Paul Murray, and broadcasters John Kelly and Sinéad Crowley, who both have books out this year. Ireland’s celebrated history with the short story will also be marked with authors such as Mike McCormack, Nuala Ní Chonchuír, Claire Keegan and Bernard MacLaverty participating in various events across Dublin.

A host of international literary talent will also visit the capital for the festival, from crime writer Arne Dahl to British author and journalist Edward St Aubyn to American authors Edmund White, Siri Hustvedt, Philipp Meyer and Philip Schultz. Festival Director Liam Browne said the team are really excited about the diversity of the 2014 programme: “The world of books is so varied and I hope that by dipping into the festival, audiences will see a snapshot of how exciting it is.”

Music features heavily in this year’s programme, with highlights including a public interview with Ray Davies, a talk on music from Super Furry Animals and Neon Neon frontman Gruff Rhys, and the return of the Faber Social event, ‘a mix of book launch, nightclub and gig’, hosted by The Slit’s punk guitarist Viv Albertine and St Etienne’s Bob Stanley.

Poetry and children’s fiction are also catered for. On the poetry front, Tom Paulin, BAFTA winner Simon Armitage and Peter Fallon will all make an appearance, while the young people’s programme has among its highlights the Dublin Story Bird event with Chris Judge and sessions with the UK spoken word artist Polarbear, illustrator David Roberts and Skullduggery author Derek Landy.

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