Galway gears up for Cúirt 2016
Some great pairings at this year's Cúirt International Festival of Literature include Jennifer Johnston and Belinda McKeon, Louise O'Neill with the American writer Rachel B Glaser, and Kevin Barry with Canadian author Patrick de Witt. The week-long festival begins Sunday, April 17th in venues across Galway city.
As usual for Cúirt, the line-up is an interesting mix of Irish and international authors. Galway native Lisa McInerney, the Zimbabwean author Petina Gappah – both on the longlist for this year's Baileys Prize – join Donal Ryan, Miriam Toews, Joanna Walsh, Charles Bock and John Banville among a host of other writers and performers.
Emerging talent is well represented with Rob Doyle, Sarah Marie Griffin and Thomas Morris, while new writing will be profiled through the poet Kevin Higgins's Over the Edge events and the launch of the 2016 Ropes Literary Journal. Workshops will be given by Stinging Fly editor Declan Meade, Simon van Booy and Karen Solie. History, politics, music, storytelling, food and theatre events across the week promise something for everyone. The full programme can be accessed here.
Fish Short Story winners
A Dublin author has won this year's Fish Short Story Prize, judged by Kevin Barry. Aengus Murray's Frogs; The City took first place from a field of 1,400 entrants. He receives a prize of €3,000 and a creative writing workshop with Claire Keegan at the West Cork Literary Festival this summer. Murray's story joins nine others chosen by Barry to feature in the 2016 Fish Anthology. Second prize went to When They Kissed They Really Kissed by The Man in the Black Pyjamas (Dublin), with third place awarded to Conceptual by Cait Atherton (UK).
Commenting on Murray’s story, Barry said: “I was really sucked into its world – I found it utterly convincing. It’s a kind of a fable that leans in towards reality and then quickly pulls back from it again. It’s got a really lovely voice; its tone or note is very well got indeed. The story is as funny and sad as its memorable narrator. Like the best stories, its workings are mysterious. You don’t know how it all holds together, but it does.”
Gavin Corbett will read will from his latest novel Green Glowing Skull in Trinity College this Thursday, March 31st. The event takes place in the JM Synge Theatre in the Arts Building at 7pm. Introduced by author and Trinity lecturer Deirdre Madden, Corbett will discuss his work as part of his tenure in TCD as Arts Council Irish Writer Fellow for 2016. The event is free, open to the public, and will be followed by a Q&A session.
The play’s the thing
A Masque for Minerva with the Dublin Shakespeare Society takes place next month in the RDS, Dublin 4 to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare. A light-hearted masque in the Elizabethan style, the production aims “to highlight the beauty and the pathos in the writings of the greatest dramatist of his own or any other age.” The event will include excerpts from Shakespeare’s plays and poetry, with dance and musical accompaniment.
The Dublin Shakespeare Society was founded in 1907 and is the city's oldest non-professional theatre company. It is dedicated to promoting and encouraging a love of the Bard's works. Minerva takes place on Tuesday, April 5th from 7-9pm. Tickets are €10 and bookings can be made online or in person at the RDS library desk.
Cork World Book Fest
Kevin Barry, Nuala Ní Chonchúir and Mary Morrissy are among the writers taking part in a five-day festival at Cork City Library and Triskel Christchurch next month. Cork World Book Fest, from Tuesday, April 19th - Saturday, April 23rd, features a range of Irish and international authors including Ed Vulliamy, Andrey Mashinyan, Louis de Paor, Maram al-Masri, Rod Nordland, Deaglán De Breadún and William Wall.
Cllr Chris O'Leary, Árdmhéara Chorcaí, will open the 12th edition of the festival with The Poets Rising: World Voices' at Cork City Library at 7pm on Tuesday 19th. The featured poets for the opening event are from four different cultures: Bejan Matur from Istanbul; the renowned Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti; the Scottish Makar (national poet) Liz Lochhead; and Itxaro Borda, a young poet from Euzkadi in the Basque region. The event will be followed by Kevin Barry reading his 'Cork' story from the first volume of the arts anthology Winter Pages that he recently published with his wife Olivia Smith.
A trio of Tipp poets
Tipperary will celebrate All-Ireland Poetry Day on Thursday, April 28th with local poets Michael Coady, Paddy Moran and Seamus Hogan. The Dromineer Literary Festival, in association with the Nenagh Arts Centre, will host readings by the three poets, including recitations of their favourite poems by four women from Dromineer and Nenagh. Coady lives in Carrick-on-Suir and was elected in 1998 to Áosdána. His Oven Lane and Other Poems was recently republished in a new edition by Gallery Press. Paddy Moran has published three collections of poetry: The Stubble Fields (Dedalus Press, 2001); Green (Salmon Poetry, 2008); and Bearings (Salmon, 2015). Seamus Hogan's poetry collections Interweavings and New Poems were published by the Granville House Press, Paris. Hogan's next collection, Grey Smoke Against A Grey Sky, is forthcoming from Eblana later this year. The event takes place at Nenagh Arts, Banba Square, Nenagh from 7pm. Admission is €5.
Kevin Curran will read from his second novel Citizens at the April Culture Club run by Liberties Press. From Balbriggan, the author will take part in a Q&A discussion hosted by Liberties after the reading. With dual narratives set in 1916 and 2011, the book looks at two disenfranchised Irishmen and the different ways they choose to tackle their lives. Taking place on Wednesday, April 6th at 7pm in Liberties' Terenure base, tickets are €5, which includes coffee and wine. Tickets booked in advance may be redeemed towards any Liberties Press title on the night. For further information or to book email email@example.com.
Hunger strike lecture at UCD
The Irish Memory Studies Network and the UCD Humanities Institute will host a talk by Prof Joseph Lennon, Dreams that hunger makes: Memory and the origins of the hunger strike, next Monday April 4th, at 1.30pm, in UCD Humanities Institute. Lennon is the director of Irish studies and associate professor of English at Villanova University. His book, Irish Orientalism: A Literary and Intellectual History, won the Donald Murphy Prize from the American Conference for Irish Studies. Salmon Poetry published his first volume of poetry, Fell Hunger, in 2011. He has contributed chapters to books such as Memory Ireland and Enemies of Empire and periodicals such as the Times Literary Supplement, New Hibernia Review, Denver Quarterly, and Poetry Ireland. His current book project focuses on the origins of the modern hunger strike in the early twentieth century in England, Ireland, and India.
Derry: McCann, McCafferty, and Life-Writing
Dr Rosie Lavan of Trinity College Dublin’s School of English will give a talk entitled History is now and Derry: McCann, McCafferty and Life-Writing next Tuesday, April 5th, at 5pm, in the Trinity Long Room Hub’s Neill Lecture Theatre.
After reading English at St Anne’s College, Oxford, Dr Lavan trained as a journalist at City University, London. She worked on the business desk at The Times for two years, as a media assistant to a London MEP during the European elections in 2009, and for House of Lords Hansard. After this, she returned to Oxford for postgraduate study in 2010 and completed her doctorate, Seamus Heaney and Society, 1964 - 1994, in 2014. Dr Lavan joined the School of English at TCD last September. The talk will be introduced by founder-director of the Oscar Wilde Centre at TCD and poet, Prof Gerald Dawe.