Mark O’Connell wins £30,000 Wellcome Book Prize
Congratulations to Kilkenny-born author Mark O’Connell (38), who this week became the second Irish debut author in three years to win the £30,000 Wellcome Book Prize. To Be a Machine: Adventures among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death is the first full-length exploration of transhumanism, a movement that seeks to cheat mortality and use technology for human evolution. Neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan won in 2016 for It’s All in the Head.
The National Library of Ireland’s free exhibition, Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again, opens on July 6th. A partnership between the NLI, the Department of Culture and Bank of Ireland, it will draw on the library’s extensive Heaney archive and will be the first exhibition in the new Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre on Dublin’s College Green. Curated by Prof Geraldine Higgins of Emory University, working with the Heaney family, and designed by Ralph Appelbaum, the exhibition will take the visitor on a multisensory journey from Heaney’s origins through his remarkable poetic career.
President Michael D Higgins launched the four-volume Cambridge History of Ireland this week in Dublin Castle and former British prime minister John Major will make a speech at the London launch in the Irish Embassy. In Saturday’s Irish Times, two of its editors, Thomas Bartlett and Jane Ohlmeyer, explain why they believe the project is so significant.
Harry Clifton pays tribute to fellow poet Thomas Kinsella on his 90th birthday, while Julie Parsons celebrates The Butcherr Boy by Pat McCabe. Martina Evans reviews The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story by Christie Watson; plus Declan Burke on Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey; Jonathan McAloon on Grace After Henry by Eithne Shortall; Catherine Taylor on Stinging Fly Stories; Paschal Donohoe on Radical Markets; Sarah Gilmartin on West by Carys Davies; Ruth Fitzmaurice on Matchstick Man by Julia Kelly; Matthew Adams on Connect by Julian Gough; Houman Barekat on Things Bright and Beautiful by Anbara Salam; and Caitriona O’Reily on new poetry collections by Aidan Mathews and Sean O’Brien.