Going his own way: Paul Muldoon around the time of Madoc. Photograph: Frank Miller

When Paul Muldoon posted a selection of poems to Seamus Heaney in April 1968 he was just 16 years old. Muldoon’s teacher in Armagh had taken him to a(...)

There’s the guts of 80 years between the youngest and the oldest eater in this long stone building. The logs in the fire are slow burners, more (...)

Patrick de Witt is one of the guest speakers at this year’s Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Galway. Photograph: Eric Luke

Galway gears up for Cúirt 2016 Some great pairings at this year’s Cúirt International Festival of Literature include Jennifer Johnston and Belinda (...)

The award-winning writer Aidan Higgins, who has died aged 88, has been variously praised for the experimental nature of his work and for being both a(...)

I’m not sure we learn anything from the arts – except that we need them more than ever. They are a way of knowing unlike all the others, a knowing th(...)

President Higgins is escorted by  Sean Rainbird, director of the National Gallery of Ireland, and the Italian ambassador, Giovanni Adorni Braccesi, to the reading. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

It was one of those events where you sensed a greater than usual interest in the announcement about the location of the emergency exits. A(...)

Aisling Law, a descendant of Maud Gonne, in Rossnaree House, Slane, Co Meath. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Rossnaree House near Slane, Co Meath, is a rambling country pile, with a dog called Rocky and a tabby cat in the porch, and a stop-you-in-your-trac(...)

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 writes crime novels under the Benjamin Black pseudonym. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

The first Imagine Crime Writing Award will be presented to Irish novelist John Banville during this year’s Imagine Arts Festival in Waterford. Waterfo(...)

 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,(...)