Reviews in Saturday’s Irish Times include Breandán Mac Suibhne on On Every Tide by Sean Connolly; Sally Hayden on The Last Colony by Philippe Sands; Catherine Taylor on the best new fiction in translation; Tom Hennigan on We The Oppressors by Jack Davy; Declan O’Driscoll on The People Immortal by Vasily Grossman.
Other reviews are NJ McGarrigle on The Black Dog by Kevin Bridges; Niamh Cullen on Blood and Power: The Rise and Fall of Italian Fascism by John Foot; Tom Lordan on Scotland After Britain: The Two Souls of Scottish Independence; Rory Kiberd on Industry of Magic & Light by David Keenan; Mary O’Donnell on Ben Okri’s The Last Gift of the Master Artists; Sarah Gilmartin on Sojourn by Amit Chaudhuri.
This week’s Irish Times Eason offer is Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult, €4.99 with your newspaper this weekend, a saving of €6.
Books at One, a collective of locally managed community bookshops, has opened its newest shop on Meath Street in Dublin, their first shop in the capital. Books at One is a unique social enterprise, working in areas of social disadvantage or rural isolation and provides employment, work experience and volunteering opportunities while also providing retail space for local authors, artists and craftspeople. Books at One shops act as social and creative hubs where people can come together through a shared love of reading.
The core idea behind Books at One is to promote a culture of reading, to give local people an opportunity and a reason to shop locally for books and to be an informal meeting place for people of all ages. Similar to its sister stores in Louisburgh and Letterfrack, the newest Books at One location will offer a range of activities such as story time, creative writing workshops in collaboration with Fighting Words, book clubs and conversational circles. The Meath Street shop will act as the ‘GAA pitch for book lovers’ offering the local community another space away from home, work or sport and encourage people from all backgrounds to connect through books.
The Meath Street shop was officially opened by book lover and RTÉ presenter, Ryan Tubridy. Ryan was joined by locals from the area.
Joanne Hunter, general manager of Books at One, said, “We are delighted to bring our newest Books at One shop to the Dublin 8 community and look forward to the shop becoming an integral part of the community in the Liberties. Our objective is that in the future every county in Ireland will have a Books at One, where people can use the community bookshop as a third space, away from home, school and work and connect with others through their shared passion for reading and creativity.”
The shortlists have been announced by An tOireachtas, in conjunction with Foras na Gaeilge, for the Irish-Language Book of the Year Publishing Awards: Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin (Book of the Year for Adults), Gradam Réics Carló (Book of the Year for Children) and Gradam de Bhaldraithe (Book of the Year for publications translated into Irish).
Sixteen books in total have been shortlisted – six in the category, ‘Irish-Language Book of the Year for Adults’; five in the Children’s Book category and five in the category for translated works.
The publishing houses shortlisted include An tSnáthaid Mhór; Barzaz; Cló Iar-Chonnacht; Cló na nGael; Dalen Éireann; Éabhlóid; Foilseacháin Ábhair Spioradálta; Futa Fata; Leabhar Breac; LeabhairCOMHAR and Móinín.
“I congratulate the publishing houses appearing on this year’s shortlists as well as the authors, illustrators and translators involved in all of these exceptional books”, said Máirín Nic Dhonnchadha, CEO of An tOireachtas. “An tOireachtas are delighted to award due credit to the exceptional calibre and outstanding quality of new Irish writing and publishing reflected in all the books shortlisted this year. There has never before been so much choice for Irish Language literature enthusiasts and I wish to commend all Publishing Houses for their invaluable work in their high standard of publishing year after year”.
Foras na Gaeilge Chief Executive, Seán Ó Coinn, said “I congratulate the publishers, authors and illustrators on being nominated for the shortlists of the Publishing Awards. Our publishers, writers and illustrators depend on each other as a community in order to provide reading material for Irish speakers. With development and growth in the publishing sector, more Irish language books are being read year after year. However, the long-term success of Irish language publishing continues to depend on governments, north and south, to recognise the importance of literature as part of the fabric of developing a minority language. Now is the time to support the publishing sector to allow for continued growth and expansion to add to the excellent work they are currently doing.”
The winners will be announced at a special ceremony in Dublin in early October. A collective prize fund of €17,000 will be awarded. Details of all publications are available at antoireachtas.ie.
Brought to you online for the past two years, Murder One, Ireland’s International Crime Writing Festival returns from October 4th-9th with a host of in-person events at Dún Laoghaire’s dlr LexIcon Library and Cultural Centre, many of which will be live streamed online.
Lucy Worsley will be discussing her latest biography of Agatha Christie while Mick Herron, talks to fellow crime author Declan Hughes about his latest novel, Bad Actors. Ann Cleeves tells us about her latest Vera Stanhope mystery, while Lisa Jewell also headlines. In addition to these British visitors, the festival will showcase the cream of Irish crime writing talent with Steve Cavanagh, Catherine Ryan Howard, Brian McGilloway, Andrea Mara, Edel Coffey and Sinead Crowley among those appearing on a range of hot-topic panels. In keeping with the hybrid format extensively used during Covid, US writers Laura Lippman and Jean Hanff Korelitz will be giving online interviews.
Founder Sam Blake said: “Murder One is supported this year by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Libraries as well as The Arts Council and Dublin City of Literature – it’s a festival all about readers and post pandemic, when reading became such an important distraction, we want to re-introduce you to the irreplaceable experience of live author events while retaining an online presence to widen access for those who find it difficult to attend festivals.”
Director Bert Wright said: “Murder One had only just secured a toe-hold on the festival circuit when Covid hit so it was discouraging to have our momentum so abruptly curtailed in that way. Fortunately, our audience was happy to support us online and hopefully this enthusiasm will carry over to what we think is a stellar programme in our new venue in Dun Laoghaire. It promises to be enormous fun.”
Capital Crime, London’s only crime and thriller festival, returns this year from September 29th to October 1st, and will feature over 160 authors, including celebrated Irish writers Claire McGowan, WC Ryan, David Fennell, Jane Casey, Kitty Murphy and Catherine Ryan Howard. Taking place in the beautiful Battersea Park, with a Goldsboro Books pop-up bookshop in the iconic Pump House Gallery, the first ever Fingerprint Awards ceremony, alongside an array of London’s tastiest local street food vendors and bar area, it promises to be a weekend of fun, innovation and celebration of crime fiction.
Sarah Byrne of The Well Review has announced a new five-week digital masterclass, The Poetry of Kendrick Lamar, that focuses on the Pulitzer Prize winning artist. Early bird registration is now open along with two full scholarships. If you’d like to be considered for one, please email directly. Since 2020, The Well Review has offered hybrid courses to support writers with the creation of new work. This is the first time a course has focused on the work of a musician. You can take this weekly course live on Zoom or at your own pace through video lectures, prompts and feedback. For the next five Fridays, Sarah will share little video diaries on Instagram about this masterclass including details on guests, learning styles and Lamar’s work. For further detaisl and to register, please visit the website.
Dublin Theatre Festival presents the world premiere of Verdant Productions’ adaptation of The Blackwater Lightship, Colm Tóibín’s novel about a broken family, making a family of your own and the cost of caring for each other. It will run for seven days only at the Gaiety Theatre, previewing on September 27th and opening on 29th.
Adapted and directed by David Horan, the production features Ruth McCabe as Dora, Karen Ardiff as Lily, Rachel O’Byrne as Helen, David Rawle as Declan, Donncha O’Dea as Larry, Will O’Connell as Paul and Billie Traynor as Essie. dublintheatrefestival.ie
The autumn line-up for the much anticipated salon events at MoLI (Museum of Literature Ireland) in celebration of the Scottish Year of Story has been announced featuring some of the most important established and up-and-coming names in Irish and Scottish writing and music.
The third event in the Myth/Story/Song series takes place on September 22nd at 8pm in MoLI, with limited availability. Inspiring Places and People will focus on the importance of place and landscape in writing and song, and will present writers and musicians who are deeply inspired by their native soil. The event will feature writers Kathleen Jamie, Leyla Josephine and Roddy Doyle in conversation, alongside Scottish piper Brìghde Chaimbeul, who will collaborate with Irish folk singer Radie Peat (Lankum) on new works, as well as performing music from their catalogues.
The finale event will take place on October 20th at 8pm – Iconic Stories and Storytellers. This series will present some of the most important and established storytellers from Scotland and Ireland for readings and conversation including Kirsten Innes and Jenni Fagan with one writer yet to be announced and musicians against a backdrop of performances by two legendary singers, Eddie Reader and John Francis Flynn. moli.ie
Poetry Ireland and Trócaire have announced the winners of the 2022 poetry competition which had the theme, A Better Tomorrow.
The winner of the Adult Published category is Lani O’Hanlon (Waterford) and the runner-up is Lorraine Carey (Kerry). The Adult Unpublished category winner is Sighle Meehan (Galway), with runners-up Rory Duffy (Westmeath), Emma Tobin (Kildare) and Marguerite Doyle (Dublin).
Jane O’Hanlon from Poetry Ireland said, “I would like to express sincere thanks to everyone who supported the Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition this year. The winning poems speak eloquently to urgent contemporary issues and yet manage to express hope in and for a ‘better tomorrow’.”
The annual poetry competition raises awareness about current global citizenship, justice, ecological and equality issues. This year’s theme explored how we can build a better tomorrow, all contributing as part of a global community.
Joanne McGarry, Trócaire’s campaigns and volunteer manager, said: “With entries from over 29 counties across the island of Ireland this year, and from as far afield as Canada, Australia, Nigeria and the US; we’d like to thank everyone who entered, the standard was superb. These wonderful poems highlight social justice and in turn increase awareness and understanding of the world we live in.”
Poetry Ireland and Trócaire will celebrate the winners of the competition with an in-person event on Culture Night, Friday, September 23rd, in the Seamus Heaney Lecture Theatre, Cregan Library on DCU’s St. Patrick’s Campus.
Independent publisher Quartet Books is looking for new writing talent to add to its existing publishing pipeline over the next 12 months. The now Dublin-based publisher, which was recently acquired by businessman Ian Hyland, aims to sign in excess of 10 new authors in Ireland and Britain.
The publisher is seeking draft pitches from new and experienced writers. It is also relaunching many of its well-known titles from established mainstream and eclectic authors, and aims to expand to an international audience. Interested writers (fiction and nonfiction) can submit their work by email to email@example.com. For further information, visit quartetbooks.co.uk.