Rising interest in the events of 1916


LOOSE LEAVES:Books on 1916 continue to flow in advance of the centenary of the rising, and November of this year sees three symposia on the subject, with scholars of literature, history, the visual arts and related disciplines getting stuck into debating the cultural and historical events of that year and their aftermath.

Jay Winter from Yale, Robert O’Neill from Boston College and Michael Wood from Princeton are among those taking part. The symposium at NUI Galway on November 6th, with the theme of “1916 and After”, will outline the state of scholarship related to the culture and history of 1916 in the global context of the first World War, the Easter Rising and subsequent events. The one at Trinity College Dublin on November 13th will focus on imperial cultures, examining ways in which the events of 1916 pinpoint longer changes in the world system of empire. Delegates at Queen’s University Belfast on November 20th will discuss radicalism and sovereignty, and explore the formation and effects of intellectual and political movements in 1916. Fearghal McGarry, Eve Patten, Nicholas Allen, Róisín Kennedy and Kate O’Malley are among those participating. The project is being organised with support from the Moore Institute at NUI Galway.

James Joyce’s Ranelagh links to the fore of festival

The James Joyce connection to the Dublin suburb of Ranelagh will be to the fore at its sixth arts festival, which opens on Friday night – Culture Night – and runs until October 3rd. One of the many addresses the nomadic Joyces passed through during the writer’s youth was 23 Castlewood Avenue. The Joyces moved there not long after the birth of the writer (pictured), but his father, John, wanted to live by the sea – and farther from the relatives of his wife, Mary Jane Murray – and by 1887 they had moved to Bray, in Co Wicklow.

Castlewood Avenue links Ranelagh to neighbouring Rathmines, both of which are referred to in Finnegans Wake. This will be elaborated on by Diarmuid Curraoin on September 27th at 8pm at Sandford Park School. John Banville will be in conversation with the poet, playwright and broadcaster Vincent Woods at the same venue at 8pm on September 29th.

You don’t have to have a Ranelagh link to take part in this festival, but it’s amazing how many people have a connection when they think about it. When we asked Wexford-born Banville if he had one, it turns out that, yes, it’s where he gets his car fixed.

The Poetry Speakeasy is one of the most popular parts of the festival. This year it is also a celebration of the 69th issue of Cyphers, which was founded in 1975 – an excellently long life for a literary magazine. It’s edited by Pearse Hutchinson, Leland Bardwell, Macdara Woods and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, the latter two of whom will preside at the speakeasy, during which any poets can read from their own work. This is also at Sandford Park School, on October 1st at 6.30pm. ranelagharts.org.

Latest issue of the ‘Moth’ flies into view

The quarterly magazine the Moth, a forum for arts and literature that was launched at the Flat Lake festival this summer, has just published its second issue. Its Co Cavan-based editors, the poet and freelance editor Rebecca O’Connor and the artist Will Govan, have a mix this time that ranges from an interview with Michael Harding to an extract from Julia O’Faolain’s forthcoming memoir. It costs €4.