Dublin Writers’ Festival 2012


Various venues, Dublin Jun 4-10 01-6877977 dublinwritersfestival.com

“The Dublin Writers’ Festival . . . presents the masters of international writing and bright emerging voices. We want to hear and meet them because they are telling our story.” So writes the Lord Mayor, Andrew Montague, on the festival website, and that’s about the size of it.

Festivalgoers will have the opportunity to hear writers as varied as the revered South American novelist Mario Vargas Llosa (above left), talking about his fictional portrait of Roger Casement; the always engaging Jeanette Winterson (far left), whose memoir, Why be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, has garnered much praise; the philosophical Alain de Botton; the phenomenally popular fantasy writer Christopher Paolini; and the apty named author of The Sisters Brothers, Patrick De Witt.

And that’s just for starters. There are music-related guests such as Josh Ritter (whose first novel, Bright’s Passage, is out now) and James Fearnley, who will recall his hell-raising days in The Pogues as chronicled in his memoir, Here Comes Everybody; and of course lots of Irish writers (events include an exploration of the life and times of James Connolly).

Poetry isn’t forgotten: Tony Harrison and Wendy Cope are among those reading from new collections, and it’s nice to see the graphic novel being represented by Bryan and Mary Talbot, who will speak about their wonderful Dotter of her Father’s Eye.

Given that this genre is on such a roll, one hopes there will be more at future festivals. In the meantime, take your pick. It will be quite hard to go wrong.