Word for Word: Festival season goes 24/7

Colm Tóibín: one of several big names at the Civic Theatre on October 19th. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Colm Tóibín: one of several big names at the Civic Theatre on October 19th. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien


It seems the festival season is really not a season any longer: it pretty much goes on all year, with just a brief break for Christmas. Dromineer Literary Festival started in the Co Tipperary town on Thursday and continues today and tomorrow. Tonight Julian Gough, Donal Ryan, Paul Lynch and Alan McMonagle will be reading and talking with Paul O’Dwyer (Nenagh Arts Centre, 8pm, €12/€10). Tomorrow the festival celebrates the diversity of new writing with guests John W Sexton, Maighread Medbh, Patrick Deeley, Susan Millar DuMars, Kate O’Shea, Adam White, John Saunders and Michael Gallagher. Also tomorrow, the poet and sailing enthusiast Theo Dorgan and Nicki Griffin will read aboard Spirit of Killaloe, departing Dromineer Harbour at
3pm (€12/€10).

Red Line Book Festival, South Dublin Libraries’ celebration of books, literature and authors, runs from October 15th to 20th, in Tallaght. It includes a TEDx event ( an affiliated program of local, independently organised events), though its guests are “inspired thinkers and curious souls” rather than literary types. But plenty of novelists, poets and commentators are taking part in Red Line’s lively and varied programme, too, including the editor of these pages, Fintan O’Toole, who, along with Mary Kenny, will be at the Civic Theatre in Tallaght on October 19th at 2.30pm for Chapter Two of the Readers’ Day event (Chapter One, in the morning, features Dermot Bolger, Colm Tóibín, Donal Ryan, Deirdre Purcell and Harry Clifton). Tickets for both sessions are €6 and must be booked separately. LadyKillers features Irish female crime writers, including Alex Barclay, Arlene Hunt and Louise Phillips (Civic Theatre, Friday 18th, 8pm, €12/€10). There’s a multicultural Rhythm and Slam poetry evening organised by Migrant Writers and Performing Artists Ireland (Rua Red Arts Centre, Wednesday 16th, 6pm, free), as well as events with Catherine Dunne, Peter Sheridan, Kevin Power, Stephen James Smith and Gabriella Ghermandi.

Cathy Dillon is an Irish Times journalist.

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