’In many ways the Abbey has inadvertently provided a platform for a conversation that’s needed to happen for a very long time’ Belinda McKeon on The Women’s Podcast. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

“One of my concerns with a programme like this is the message it’s giving, not just to the current generation of artists, but to emerging generatio(...)

Belinda McKeon in the Stag’s Head pub, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

In a recent essay, Belinda McKeon mused on the nature of the game writers are in, on what she called “the art of going the distance”. Towards the e(...)

Bert Wright: “Of all recent Irish novels, none addresses the dilemma of the Irish writer caught between the rock of tradition and the cold hard place that Ireland has become more urgently than Paul Murray’s The Mark and the Void”

After half a lifetime spent curating literary events, there is one audience question to which I remain violently allergic. It usually comes at the end(...)

 John Banville: a shrug of the shoulders? Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Oliver Otway Orme, the narrator of John Banville’s 16th novel, is a painter who has ceased to paint. “Ha! What I wrote down first, instead of painter,(...)

Desire. Is any force in the world more powerful, more traumatising or more capable of making us act like psychopaths? It is the central theme of Be(...)

Sixty people turned out for the photo shoot supporting a Yes vote in front of the Freedom Tower in New York. Photograph: Snorri Sturluson

When I moved to New York four years ago, I was convinced the US would have marriage equality before Ireland. How fast things can change. If Ireland(...)

Illustration: Thinkstock

Ireland will get its first Laureate for Fiction in January 2015, chosen from a longlist of 34 writers announced recently. The €150,000 laureateship(...)

Impac shortlisted: Kevin Barry. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Last month, over a seven-day period, a flurry of lists appeared that, if nothing else, got people tutting, griping and generally talking about (...)

‘It is a bitch of a job,” Mike McCormack says cheerfully of the writing life. The Mayo man spent last weekend on a whistle-stop reading tour of the(...)