Ian Duhig and Bernard O’Donoghue on TS Eliot Prize shortlist
Bookmarks: Lingo Spoken Word Festival; Dara Ó Briain’s science for kids; independent publishing workshop; top titles from French and Neville
All talk: Limerick hip-hoppers The Rubberbandits are set to cause a scene at Lingo. Photograph: Dave Meehan
Two Irish poets have made the TS Eliot Poetry Prize shortlist - Bernard O’Donoghue for The Seasons of Cullen Church, about his childhood in Co Cork, and Ian Duhig for The Blind Road-Maker. Trinidadian poet Vahni Capildeo, who last month won the £15,000 Forward Prize, for which Duhig was also shortlisted, is also in the running. The winner will be announced on January 16th. The £20,000 TS Eliot prize has been running since 1993, and past winners include Seamus Heaney.
The full shortlist
Measures of Expatriation by Vahni Capildeo (Carcanet)
The Blind Road-Maker by Ian Duhig (Picador)
Interference Pattern by JO Morgan (Cape Poetry)
The Seasons of Cullen Church by Bernard O’Donoghue (Faber)
Falling Awake by Alice Oswald (Cape Poetry)
Jackself by Jacob Polley (Picador)
Say Something Back by Denise Riley (Picador)
Every Little Sound by Ruby Robinson (Liverpool University Press)
The Remedies by Katharine Towers (Picador)
Void Studies by Rachael Boast (Picador)
Laureate na nOg PJ Lynch has been nominated for the CILIP Greenaway Medal 2017 for The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland's Good Fortune, as have Chris Houghton (Goodnight Everyone) & Oliver Jeffers (for Imaginary Fred, words by Eoin Colfer) while Brian Conaghan, Louise O’Neill, John Boyne and Claire Hennessy have been nominaed for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 for The Bombs That Brought Us Together, Asking for It, The Boy At The Top Of The Mountainand Nothing Tastes as Good respectively.
Lingo Spoken Word Festival
The flourishing interest in spoken-word performance is in evidence once again this weekend as Lingo: A Spoken Word Festival showcases some of the finest Irish and international spoken-word talent in venues across Dublin.
Since its inaugural event in 2014, Lingo has greatly expanded in size and ambition, growing to include performances in venues such as the Workman’s Club, Liberty Hall, Odessa and Whelans. This year’s highlights include acclaimed American hip-hop artist Sage Francis and a conversational evening in Whelans compered by the Rubberbandits’ Blindboy Boatclub.
This year a broad theme is the exploration of how the spoken word is at the heart of activism and protest, and to that end features Palestinian star Rafeef Ziadah and Ireland’s most glamorous orator-in-chief, Panti Bliss. Other homegrown talents include poet Sarah Clancy, trad performer Aindrias de Staic and dextrous Dublin wordsmith John Cummins. Events include workshops, open mic sessions and lectures.
The organising team – Linda Devlin, Erin Fornoff, Colm Keegan, Phil Lynch, Kalle Ryan and Stephen James Smith – are all poets and performers themselves, and have built the festival as a platform for the thriving spoken word community here, and to broaden that audience.
Thing looking up for Ó Briain
Comedian and presenter Dara Ó Briain is to follow up his success with Tickling the English, a humorous guide to his adopted homeland, with a book for children about the “fascinating” secrets of space. Beyond the Sky will be published in time for Christmas 2017 by Scholastic.
Ó Briain said: “I’m delighted to share my love of space and science with a whole new generation of astronomers and astronauts; and to show young people that the greatest sights in the universe can be sometimes be found by simply looking up.”
Writing best-sellers – a DIY guide
Amazon and Writing.ie are teaming up with bestselling authors Hazel Gaynor, LJ Ross and Mark Dawson for an independent publishing event on Saturday, November 19th at Dublin’s Davenport Hotel hosted by RTÉ 2fm presenter Rick O’Shea.
About 150 authors will be invited to the event, which will be streamed live on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing YouTube channel and shown in libraries across the country. The event will include a range of panel discussions and workshops, including editing, cover design, marketing and, of course, “How to Write a Bestseller”.
Ross rose to fame with her No 1 Kindle bestseller, Holy Island. Dawson, who wrote the incredibly popular John Milton series, recently celebrated the millionth download of his work. Gaynor said: “Kindle Direct Publishing changed my life from one of a frustrated, aspiring writer to a New York Times best-selling author of three novels, with a fourth on the way.”
Killer thrillers from Irish writers
The Trespasser, the latest by award-winning novelist Tana French, has become a New York Times best-seller, taking the fiction list’s No 2 spot in its first week of sales. It has also featured in the Top 10 on the Irish best-seller list since publication on September 22nd.
Following in French’s footsteps next year could well be Stuart Neville, whose next title, Here and Gone, written under the pen-name Haylen Beck, marks a new direction for the author as he swaps his native Northern Ireland for the US as a setting. The film rights to Vintage’s lead thriller for 2017 have already been optioned by Meridian Entertainment.
The adaptation will be coproduced by James Schamus, the oft-nominated writer of Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon who has directed an adaptation of Philip Roth’s Indignation, out next month.
Neville said: “Writing as Haylen Beck has allowed me to tell a different kind of story inspired by my travels in America. Here and Gone is the type of high-concept, flat-out thriller that I’ve always loved to read.”