A year-long celebration of the life and works of the poet WB Yeats gets underway this evening with a poetry reading in Sligo’s oldest bar.  Photograph: George Grantham Bain Collection/Library of Congress.

A year-long celebration of the life and works of the poet WB Yeats gets underway this evening with a poetry reading in Sligo’s oldest bar. Senator Sus(...)

If the Dublin of Michael Smith’s upbringing was central to his work, so too were the landscapes, people and poets of Spain – a country he returned to again and again and whose poets he served as a dedicated and sympathetic translator.

Michael Smith’s gift were many – as poet, translator, teacher, founder and guiding spirit of an influential press and literary journal. He was also me(...)

Former student Declan Kiberd (above)  described Michael Smith as “an audacious Latin teacher who treated every text as written from felt experience and not just as a basis for learning language”. Photograph: Alan Betson

The poet Michael Smith has died in Dublin at the age of 72. As well as his own poetry, most of which is located in the working class Dublin of his ch(...)

Léan, almost four years old, with her grandmother Eilís Dillon (right) and her aunt Máire, in 1978

This week I’m remembering my grandmother Eilís Dillon, who died 20 years ago, on July 19th. An author of novels, plays and essays, she is best know(...)

Meditating on mortality: Klaus Maria Brandauer in Krapp’s Last Tape. Photographs: Das Letzte Band

There are three events that Sean Doran recalls, over the course of a varied international career as an artistic director, when he thought he had fi(...)

Author Salman Rushdie, who was guest speaker at this year’s Dalkey Book Festival, at Coliemore Harbour in Dalkey yesterday. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

“That was really deep,” a member of the audience said, emerging into the blazing sunshine after a discussion between literary heavyweights Amos Oz (...)

More morose than Morse: Sean Rigby as PC Strange, Shaun Evans as Endeavour, Jack Laskey as DS Peter Jakes, Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday and Anton Lesser as Chief Supt Reginald Bright

A gentle, beautifully made whodunnit with nice costumes and no gory forensics is just right for a Sunday night, when you need to be diversted f(...)

The Books That Define Ireland, by Tom Garvin and Bryan Fanning, looks at 30 classic Irish texts, from history and social issues to the fictional w(...)

Having your own iPad app is a kind of digital coming of age for classic works of literature. TS Eliot’s poem The Waste Land was one of the first to be(...)

Genius: James Joyce around 1918, while he was writing Ulysses. Photograph: C Ruf/Archive Photos/Getty
James Joyce and me

Not long ago, while visiting my son in San Francisco, I noticed that the toilet paper in his bathroom bore the legend: “Do you suffer from bathroom an(...)