Sebastian Barry wins Independent Bookshop Week Book Award

Maeve Binchy walk; TCD archives conference; Words Ireland initiatives

Sebastian Barry at the Gutter Bookshop Dalkey after winning the Independent Bookshop Award. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Sebastian Barry at the Gutter Bookshop Dalkey after winning the Independent Bookshop Award. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Sebastian Barry has been announced as the winner of the annual Independent Bookshop Week Book Award for Days Without End, his novel which has already won the Costa Book Award and Walter Scott Prize.

Judged by a panel of authors, booksellers and journalists, this is the second consecutive year that the award has gone to an Irish writer – Anne Enright winning in 2016 for The Green Road. The winner of the Children’s award was A Poem for Every Night of the Year by Allie Esiri, and winner of the Picture Book category was Tidy by Emily Gravett.

Barry said: “If books constitute a magical religion that doesn’t persecute anyone, then obviously a bookshop is a radiant chapel of that religion. In this strange new world the importance of books and bookshops has taken a quantum leap. I am thrilled, strengthened and frankly improved by receiving this award from this Atlas-like sector of society – may independent bookshops thrive, and indeed be nurtured, till the end of time.”

Independent Bookshop Week takes place from June 24th to July 1st. About 50 independent bookshops across Ireland are participating. The IBW Bookshop Crawl is coming to Dublin on June 24th, the challenge being to visit as many bookshops on one day as you can. Authors Carmel Harrington, Catherine Ryan Howard, Ruth Long and Hazel Gaynor are organising a Dublin Crawl, and bookshops can organise their own crawls with fellow local booksellers, or simply encourage customers to create their own and to use the hashtag #bookshopcrawl

The Shopfloor Publishers project will see a number of Irish publishers spend a day working in bookstores. An exclusive Philip Pullman essay, Imaginary Friends, will only available for sale in independent bookshops. Harry Potter’as 20th anniversary is being marked by Dubray branches, Sheelagh na Gig bookshop in Cloughjordan and Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop in Galway. indiebookshopweek.org.uk

The Maeve Binchy and famous Irish Writers Walk is running, or walking, again after last year’s success, on Thursdays at 6.30pm and Fridays at 1.15pm until September 29th. The hour-long walk starts at the Writer’s Gallery in Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre, where visitors can view the work of 45 creative artists including Joyce, Bono, Beckett and of course Binchy herself. The walk ends in the beautiful Maeve Binchy Garden in Dalkey Library, where there is a memorial to the author’s memory. Tickets €12. dalkeycastle.com

The Literary Archives in the Digital Age conference in Trinity College Dublin’s Long Room Hub (7th-8th July) brings together literary scholars, archivists and librarians to discuss the changes to literary archives brought about by digitisation and digital methods of writing. Highlights include a keynote talk from modernist scholar Wim Van Mierlo (Loughborough University) entitled “Literary Heritage and the Archive,” a paper by Sam Slote of TCD on James Joyce’s editing of his own work, a presentation from archivists at the Folger Shakespeare Library (Washington, DC) and a panel featuring researchers on the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project. More details available at dublinliteraryarchives.com

Words Ireland is delighted to announce the launch of its National Mentoring Programme - the first of a broad range of initiatives for writers rolling out in 2017 and 2018. Words Ireland is offering 11 paid opportunities for established writers to become mentors. It’s offering 11 free opportunities for emerging writers to develop their literary talents in the areas of adult fiction, children’s/YA fiction and poetry. The deadline for applications is July 10th. wordsireland.ie Words Ireland is also piloting the Venues Initiative that will see a number of literature curators work with regional venues to stage more literature events. This will develop new audiences as well as valuable employment opportunities for Irish writers.

The 2017 West Cork Literary Festival takes place in Bantry from July 14th-21st. The line-up of guests includes Graham Norton, Colm Tóibín, Laureate for Irish Fiction Anne Enright, John Boyne, Paula Meehan, Eimear McBride, Dame Marina Warner, Dermot Bolger, Ian McGuire, Tomi Ungerer, Carol Drinkwater, Min Kym, American poet Maggie Smith, Emma Jane Kirby, Mia Gallagher, Mike McCormack, Billy O’Callaghan, Eileen Battersby, Laureate na nÓg PJ Lynch, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Jon McGregor, Shane Connaughton, Trish Deseine, Melissa Harrison, Sarah Perry, and many more.

In a week packed with readings, workshops, interviews, seminars and children’s events, audience members can also enjoy a dip into Bantry Bay at the Festival Swim, attend a reading on the LÉ Samuel Beckett navy vessel, zen out with yoga on the lawns of Bantry House, walk the landscape of the Wild Atlantic Way, or call into the West Cork Letter Cafe to write to a loved one.

Those wishing to hone their writing skills can attend seminars on diary writing, book reviewing, how to attract a literary agent and writing restaurant reviews. Writing workshops will be given by by Alissa Nutting, Vona Groarke, Lara Marlowe, Dave Lordan, Jan Carson, Dean Bakopoulos, Doireann Ní Ghríofa and Phoebe Smith. Cork singer songwriter John Spillane, who tutors the Festival’s song writing workshop, will close the week with an evening of song and story in the intimate setting of Ma Murphy’s. westcorkliteraryfestival.ie

CILIP has announced the 2017 Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals: the Man Booker of the children’s publishing world. Both Medals are taken by American winners for the first time in their history.

Ruta Sepetys takes the 80th anniversary Carnegie Medal for children’s writing for Salt to the Sea, a refugee story connected to the biggest maritime disaster in history. Ruta is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee herself, and has family connections to the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff. Coincidentally, Monday marks the start of Refugee Week in the UK.

Lane Smith takes the 60th anniversary Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration. He beats triple winner and former laureate Chris Riddell with There is a Tribe of Kids, a picture book about collective nouns. He credits UK illustrators as his inspiration starting out in as a young illustrator in the US.

Poet Paul Muldoon and his house band Rogue Oliphant lead a star-studded literary and musical tour of Ireland. Launched today, Thursday 15 June, at the Abbey Theatre, the tour is presented by Poetry Ireland, and featured guests include Kevin Barry, Eavan Boland, Paul Brady, Lisa Dwan, Anne Enright, Martin Hayes, and Duke Special.

Hosted by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet andNew Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon, Muldoon’s Picnic has been described by Muldoon himself as “an omnium-gatherum” of words and music and by Time Out as a “music-and-literature extravaganza”. Either way, it’s a great night out!

Rarely staged outside its home at the Irish Arts Centre in New York, Muldoon’s Picnic will be on tour from August 26th till September 3rd, with dates in Navan (26 Aug), Galway (29 Aug), Cork (31 Aug), Carrick-on-Shannon (1 Sep), Belfast (2 Sep) and Dublin (3 Sep).

On each night of the tour Muldoon and his house band Rogue Oliphant (including Cait O’Riordan of The Pogues, Chris Harford and Ray Kubian) will be joined by special literary and musical guests, including Kevin Barry, Eavan Boland, Paul Brady, Lisa Dwan, Anne Enright, Martin Hayes, Jennifer Johnston, Michael Longley, The Lost Brothers, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Patrick McCabe, Lisa McInerney, Sinéad Morrissey, Paul Murray, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Declan O’Rourke, Camille O’Sullivan, and Duke Special.

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