West Cork Literary Festival line-up revealed
Ennis Book Club Festival; Bookshop of the Year; Asking for it on campus; Hogwarts Spring Gala
Colm Tóibín: West Cork Literary Festival headliner. Photograph: Steve Pyke
Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright, Mike McCormack, Lisa McInerney and Sara Baume are among the headliners at the West Cork Literary Festival, which takes place in Bantry from July 14th to 21st. Poetry is represented with the new Ireland Chair of Poetry, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, her predecessor Paula Meehan and former Poetry Ireland editor Vona Groarke. Marina Warner will read from her short stories inspired by fairy tales. Cork author Billy O’Callaghan, Costa Short Story award runner-up for The Boatman, will read from his first novel The Dead House, and Dermot Bolger will read from his latest novel, The Lonely Sea and Sky. Also attending are Ian McGuire, Jon McGregor and Sarah Perry, whose novel The Essex Serpent is the Waterstones Book of the Year 2016. Brendan Barrington, editor at Penguin Ireland, and of the Dublin Review, will be Editor in Residence. Alissa Nutting, Dean Bakopoulos, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Vona Groarke, Lara Marlowe, Dave Lordan, John Spillane and Phoebe Smith will run workshops. The Children’s Festival features Jan Carson, Laureate na nÓg PJ Lynch and the Book Clinic. westcorkliteraryfestival.ie
The Irish Times Book Club podcast is on tour this weekend, leaving the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin’s Parnell Square for the glór theatre in Ennis, Co Clare, as part of the Ennis Book Club Festival on Saturday, April 4th, at 9.30pm. I shall be interviewing Man Booker Prize and Impac Prize shortlisted author Michael Collins, the unofficial laureate of the US Rustbelt, where many of his novels are set, about his career and his understanding of the United States and the Trump era. An ultra-runner, last year he ran a marathon a day for a month, from Grosse Ile quarantine station in Quebec to Toronto, to raise awareness and funds to commemorate the deaths of tens of thousands of Irish Famine refugees in Canada in 1847. He wrote a series of articles about it for The Irish Times and will be reflecting on the experience. ennisbookclubfestival.com
The Gutter Bookshop, Dublin, the Bridge Street Bookshop, Wicklow town and the Blessington Bookshop, Co Wicklow, are the three Irish shops shortlisted in the British Book Awards’ Independent Bookshop of the Year category. The regional winners will be announced on March 15th at the London Book Fair. and the overall winner on May 8th.
Asking for It by Louise O’Neill has been chosen as this year’s title in the UL One Campus, One Book initiative, which encourages students and staff to read the same novel and talk to one another about it. “The issue of consent addressed in the novel is relevant to everyone, regardless of age,” co-organiser Lawrence Cleary said. “The novel is written to be digested easily, but at times hits you right in the gut. This makes Asking For It the perfect type of novel to discuss at this event.” O’Neill said: “It’s such a huge honour that Asking For It has been chosen for UL’s One Campus, One Book initiative. The university campus is too often a battleground when it comes to issues around sexual consent and it is truly heartening to see UL choose a novel that attempts to address some of these issues.” O’Neill will also take part in an event entitled How I Write, Ireland on April 5th, focusing on her writing processes and strategies.
Ireland’s first Hogwarts Spring Gala takes place in the Morrison Hotel, Dublin on March 31st in aid of Spinal Injuries Ireland. The gala will see fans of the Harry Potter world dress up as wizards, witches and Muggles on the night and take part in games and magical entertainment. Tickets are available to buy from Eventbrite or by emailing Hogwartsspringgala@gmail.com.