Architects of Air’s Mirazozo. Photograph: Jason Nakrani

  1 Be prepared Punters queuing to get in to the opening concert at Kilkenny were somewhat disconcerted by the sight of an army lorry (...)

Leon Walsh Vaughan, Kemal Souleyman and Zach Bay Hammond watch Kojak perform at the Caravan Club Extravaganza as part of the AKA in Kilkenny over the weekend. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

A couple of days at the Kilkenny Arts Festival can be akin to a close encounter with mind-altering substances. Want to change the way you see t(...)

Sax Allemande get set to perform their Irish debut at the opening night of Kilkenny Arts Festival on Friday evening. The events run until August 16th. Photograph: Pat Moore.

The central theme of this year’s Kilkenny International Arts Festival may be Eternal Harmony: the Music of JS Bach, but yesterday’s opening concert wa(...)

Robert Pinsky: “There is a very active vital life of poetry in the US, quite contrary to the stereotype that all Americans are vulgar yahoos who don’t care about art.” Photograph: Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe/ Getty Images

The term “poet-in-residence” suggests a leisurely period of domicile: a year at a university, perhaps, or a season in some crumbling mansion by the(...)

Passion: Zhu Xiao-Mei learned how to play Bach in a Chinese labour camp

She is tiny, elegant, dignified. Her hair, immaculately bobbed, glows like silk. Her silk outfit, charcoal with a touch of saffron at collar and sl(...)

Sunjeev Sahota who wrote ‘The Year of the Runaways’. Photograph:  Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images

The Year of the Runaways - Sunjeev Sahota At a chunky 450-plus pages, Sunjeev Sahota’s The Year of the Runaways is a big book. The title is a b(...)

Graham Norton in Bantry. Photograph: Darragh Kane

  1 Stories come from the strangest places What inspires Danielle McLaughlin to write a short story? A character? A situation? At a fr(...)

British rider John Whitaker taking Foxendale in hand after a difficult crossing at the triple in the Bord Bainne Speed Challenge at the 1989 Horse Show

These days it’s known as the Discover Ireland Horse Show – and it’s about a great deal more than just horses. There’s music, food, trade stands, an(...)

Vanessa Redgrave, daughter of Sir Michael Redgrave, in her father’s coat, sitting on the stop of the stage door of the Olympia Theatre Dublin. Photograph: Jack McManus

We all have days when we don’t look so good. But who is this waif and stray sitting on the steps of Dublin’s Olympia Theatre in the winter of 1960?(...)

  The Mark and the Void: “By the end of reading William D Cohan’s House of Cards you feel like you’ve been trapped in a lift with six Monty Burnses,” says Paul Murray. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Most people loved Paul Murray’s novel Skippy Dies. The energy of its cast of impulsive adolescents, the exuberant detail of its school setting, the fi(...)