Murder One, Shaw and Montague tributes, Irish Book Week and John Boyne scholarship

A round-up of Irish book news and events

Michael Connelly  will open Dublin’s Murder One crime writingh festival with a special preview event on October 28th  in City Hall with Declan Burke moderating. Sadly it is sold out, but you can read his interview with Declan Hughes in The Irish Times this Saturday. Photograph: Beowulf Sheehan

Michael Connelly will open Dublin’s Murder One crime writingh festival with a special preview event on October 28th in City Hall with Declan Burke moderating. Sadly it is sold out, but you can read his interview with Declan Hughes in The Irish Times this Saturday. Photograph: Beowulf Sheehan


Welcome news for fans of crime writing – Dublin’s first dedicated crime writing festival runs over the weekend of November 2nd-4th in Temple Bar’s Smock Alley Theatre.

Curators Bert Wright and Vanessa O’Loughlin have assembled a stellar cast of crime and thriller writers including Peter James, Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Clare Mackintosh, Lynda La Plante, Lisa Jewell, Ruth Ware, Mick Herron and Robert Goddard together with many of your favourite Irish crime writers including Liz Nugent, Jane Casey, Karen Perry and many more.

Sponsored by Dublin City Libraries, Dublin City Events and Dublin: Unesco City of Literature, Murder One will also feature panel events, a speakers corner and open mic opportunities, plus murder mystery events and forensics and writing workshops. The festival also aspires to broad church status and will accommodate the kindred genres of thrillers and spy fiction.

International bestseller Michael Connelly will open the festival with a special preview event on October 28th at 2pm in City Hall with Declan Burke moderating. Sadly it is sold out, but you can read his interview with Declan Hughes in The Irishj Times this Saturday.

Thereafter the main programme takes place in Smock Alley, from November 2nd-4th. With crime writing consistently the highest selling genre worldwide – and among the most-borrowed in Dublin City Libraries – the organisers believe that the time is ripe for a great literary city to expand its festival portfolio and Murder One, it is hoped, will in time take its place alongside other hugely successful festivals like the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate which was partly the inspiration for the Dublin festival.

Bert Wright said: “Irish crime writers are now rightly respected and admired the world over. England Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own crime festivals so it really was time for Dublin to step up to the plate. It’s all enormously exciting and we can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Pulitzer Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon is to examine the role of the poet in society at a free public lecture in Trinity next week. The annual Edmund Burke Lecture: ‘He Who Did Nothing: The Poet as Citizen’ will be given by Muldoon on Tuesday, October 30th, at 6.30pm, in the Edmund Burke Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin.

The annual lecture celebrates Trinity’s strong connection with the 18th-century philosopher, historian and politician Edmund Burke who graduated from Trinity in 1748. It is supported by a generous endowment in honour of Padraic Fallon by his family. Previous lectures were delivered by distinguished historian Margaret MacMillan; award-winning writer and journalist, Robert Fisk; Prof Roy Foster, Chair of Irish History, University of Oxford and Baroness Onora O’Neill, former chair of the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub Professor Jane Ohlmeyer said: “The Trinity Long Room Hub’s annual Edmund Burke Lecture is intended to celebrate the life and work of Edmund Burke by providing a prominent forum to contribute in his spirit with the issues that challenge us today as a society and by looking at the traditions, perspectives and values we need to draw on in the shaping of our future.”
Book tickets

The Royal Irish Academy in Dublin celebrates Shaw Day on Friday, November 2nd, as part of Irish Book Week.

Shaw’s arias will be performed from 1.10-1.50pm: soprano Síobhra Quinlan and pianist Annalisa Monticelli draw on the music criticisms of George Bernard Shaw, performing works contextualised by his writings on music. Admision €5.

Fintan O’Toole will give a one-hour tour, at 2.15pm, of the exhibition of his book Judging Shaw, currently on display in the meeting room, and tell us more about the man George Bernard Shaw and his brand, GBS. He will be available to sign books ahead of the tour. Admission free.

The inaugural Irish Book Week takes place from October 27th to November 3rd, a nationwide celebration of Irish books and bookshops. A collaboration between Bookselling Ireland and Publishing Ireland, the week will see events taking place throughout the country, celebrating Irish books and the central role bookshops play in Irish society and culture. The week aims to encourage people into their local bookshop, and to highlight the important role bookshops play in the fabric of Irish life – fostering cultural creativity, community spirit and generating economic activity.

Authors celebrating Irish Book Week include Donal Ryan, John Boyne, Paul Howard, Rory O’Connor, Hazel Gaynor, Fionnuala Kearney, Carmel Harrington, Julian Vignoles, Lynn Buckle, Conal Creedon, Conor O’Clery, Cethan Leahy and Shona Shirley MacDonald.

Ryan said: “I’m honoured to be chosen as ambassador for a week that celebrates books and booksellers. Books are precious, and shops full of paper and ink books are sacred places, fortresses of empathy and light in this darkening world.”

14-year-old children’s books ambassador Sarah Fitzgerald added: “Bookshops are an integral part of our communities and I am delighted to be supporting this super initiative Irish Book Week. Children who read think more, feel more, know more, listen more, empathise more, learn more, write more, understand more, succeed more and are more often happy. Who wouldn’t want to get behind this?”

Some of the events taking place throughout Irish Book Week:

Saturday 27th October
Waterstones, Cork - 4pm, reading with Lynn Buckle and Conal Creedon
WHSmith Arnotts, Dublin - Halloween themed storytime events

Sunday 28th October
Clifden Bookshop - 3pm, in conversation with Donal Ryan
WHSmith Arnotts, Dublin - Halloween themed storytime events

Tuesday 30th October
Eason O’Connell St, Dublin - VIP night with Rory’s O’Connor (Rory’s Stories)

Wednesday 31st October
Hodges Figges, Dublin 2 - Halloween family event with Shona Shirley MacDonald
Eason, Newbridge - 2pm, Hazel Gaynor, Fionnuala Kearney & Carmel Harrington

Thursday 1st November
Hodges Figgis, Dublin - 6pm, in conversation with John Boyne and Paul Howard
Blessington Bookstore - 7.30pm, An evening with Conor O’Clery
Waterstones Cork - 7pm, talk about Rory Gallagher by Julian Vignoles

Friday 2nd November
Blessington Bookstore, Wicklow - 3pm, signing with Michael Russell
Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Galway - 6.30pm, launch of Lost and Found 111

Saturday 3rd November
Barker and Jones, Naas - 11am, signing with Donal Ryan
Blessington Bookstore, Wicklow - 12.30pm, signing with Donal Ryan
Woodbine Books, Kilcullen - 2pm, in conversation with Donal Ryan
Waterstones, Cork - 4pm, reading with YA author Cethan Leahy

John Boyne scholarship
In the medieval city of Norwich, England’s first Unesco City of Literature sits UEA, which pioneered the teaching of creative writing in Britain under the author-academics Malcolm Bradbury and Angus Wilson. Ian McEwan was one of the first students on the MA creative writing course.

Since its start it has been teaching world-leading authors including Kazuo Ishiguro, he Nobel Prize Winner for Literature, John Boyne, Anne Enright, Tash Aw, Tracy Chevalier, Ayobami Adebayo and many more.

To help talented emerging writers to take up their place to study on UEA’s prestigious creative writing programme, the university has a growing scholarship programme. This includes the John Boyne Scholarship dedicated to supporting Irish writers. For more information on how to apply for both the MA creative writing programme and the John Boyne Scholarship visit here.

The scholarship is worth £5,000, which can be towards tuition fees or maintenance fees. The opening date for applications is November 20th and the deadline is November 20th, 2019. There have been three recipients to date .

The Linen Hall Library in Belfast has announced the launch of the 2018 Michael McLaverty Short Story Award. This prestigious award, which has run biennially since 2006, was set up to foster and encourage the tradition of the Irish short story.

Entrants must have been born in, or are citizens of, or resident in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. The prize is £2,000 for the winning story and £250 for each of the two runners-up.

Michael McLaverty (1904-1992) was one of the foremost proponents of the Irish short story. His archive was donated to the library by the literary executors of Michael McLaverty in 2005.

Adjudicators are award-winning writer Claire Keegan (Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster), and Patsy Horton, managing editor of Blackstaff Press.

Keegan said: “It is a pleasure to be associated with the Michael McLaverty Short Story Award, to honour the composition of new stories in remembrance and celebration of McLaverty’s own fine and even prose.”

Samantha McCombe, Linen Hall librarian, said: “It is part of the ethos of the Linen Hall Library to protect, encourage and promote Irish writing. The Michael McLaverty Short Story Award is one of the very significant ways we encourage new writing talent.”

The inaugural competition in 2006 was won by Patrick O’Hanlon. Subsequent winners of the award have gone on to publish further works, including: Aiden O’Reilly (2008 winner): Greetings, Hero; Michèle Forbes (2010): Ghost Moth; Edith & Oliver; Mandy Taggart (2012): The Man of the House; Annemarie Neary (2014): A Parachute in the Lime Tree; Siren; The Orphans. 2016 winner Kevin Doyle has recently published his debut novel To Keep a Bird Singing.

Doyle said: “Winning the Michael McLaverty Award was a defining moment for me as a writer. The prize is currently one of the major short story awards on the island of Ireland, held in honour of Michael McLaverty, a recognised master of the short story form. The prize money available to the winner is substantial - a fact not to be overlooked in this day and age - however the award’s prestige is undoubtedly its most valuable attribute. In the aftermath of winning I received wider recognition for my work. Indirectly, winning the award, led to my obtaining a publishing contract for my debut novel To Keep A Bird Singing (Blackstaff Press).”

The deadline for entries is midnight on Friday, January 11th, 2019.

Prof Linda Colley is to give the UCD Arts and Humanities annual lecture with the School of History, entitled Inscribing a Modern World: Constitutions Across Histories and Literatures, on Thursday, November 1st, at 6.30pm, in Theatre Q, Newman Building (Arts Block), UCD.

At a time when the Constitution is undergoing momentous change, Colley will reflect on its enactment and evolution to the present day. She will also trace the histories, dynamics, cultures and values underpinned by constitutions around the world.

In 1922, the Provisional Government in Dublin ordered the publication of a collection of 16 constitutions “from four continents” as inspiration for those at work on a new Irish constitution which, in turn, influenced the constitutional thinking of independence movements elsewhere in the British empire. Written constitutions are traditionally looked at in terms only of individual nations. But, like other writings, they have invariably spread across frontiers.

Colley, one of the world’s most eminent historians, will offer a fresh take on what written constitutions tell us about globally connected societies. This is a free event. Places are limited and booking is essential.

When John Montague died in December 2016, Ireland lost another poetic giant. As what would have been his 90th birthday approaches, Paddy Moloney and Tríona Marshall of the Chieftans join forces with Pulitzer prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon to perform The Wild Dog Rose in celebration of his remarkable life.

Performances, presented by Poetry Ireland in partnership with UCC, will take place in the National Concert Hall, Dublin on Friday, December 7th and in Triskel Arts Centre, Cork on Saturday, December 8thy.

Long-time friends and collaborators, Montague and Moloney released their album The Wild Dog Rose on Claddagh Records in 2011 to great acclaim. A powerful combination of Montague’s sonorous voice reading his luminous poems and the musical forces of the Chieftans, The Wild Dog Rose was described by the director John Boorman as “irresistible – the poet of loss and love consoled by the minstrel of delight.”

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