Yanis Varoufakis and Arundhati Roy at International Literature Festival Dublin
Bookmarks: a round-up of the latest Irish literary news and listings
Yanis Varoufakis’s appearance will be one of the highlights of the International Literature Festival Dublin. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters
The International Literature Festival Dublin (ILFDublin) returns this weekend, running from Saturday, May 20th, to Monday 29th and featuring more than 60 events in about 20 venues.
Highlights include events with Yanis Varoufakis , Sally Rooney, Michael Longley and Arundhati Roy.
Garrett Carr and Pat McCabe join forces for Borderlands to explore Ireland’s 300-mile border. The main event of the children’s programme is Lemuel Gulliver, Adventurer Extraordinaire, a celebration of the 350th anniversary of Gulliver’s Travels in the form of a musical comedy with Dave Rudden and Jerry Fish. On Sunday, May 21st, Eileen Battersby interviews Slovenian author Dušan Šarotar and on Tuesday, May 23rd, I speak to Palestine’s leading writer, Raja Shehadeh.
I will be recommending and discussing my favourite books at The Dock in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, at 2pm today as well as offering as behind-the-scenes look at how these book review pages are put together. The event is part of a series organised by local bookshop, The Reading Room.
History hedge school
The History Ireland Hedge School will discuss Ireland and the United States from 1917 to Trump at the National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin, on May 23rd at 7pm.
The Irish Writers Centre and Women Aloud Northern Ireland were recognised for their cross-Border work with the prize for best collaborative work at the 2017 Saboteur Awards in London last weekend. WomenXBorders brought more than 100 women from the North and South together for International Women’s Day to participate in a day-long readathon, panel discussions on women in literature and a literary soundscape at the Irish Writers Centre on Parnell Square, Dublin.
Other Irish winners at the annual awards, run by the literary journal Sabotage Reviews, were Derry writer and regular Irish Times reviewer Freya McClements (best reviewer) and WomenAloudNI (best wildcard).
Valerie Bistany, director of the Irish Writers Centre, said: “The WomenXBorders event was a wonderful celebration of women’s writing and of the cross-Border literary scene on the island of Ireland. The Sabotage Reviews stand for inclusiveness and commitment to new voices in literature and we feel that this award is a reflection of our own commitment to those values.”
Speaking of awards, Irish Times reader Alan Pleass wrote in to point out that while the Gutter Bookshop, as reported, had been named Independent Bookshop of the Year (UK and Ireland) at the 2017 British Book Awards, this was not in fact the first time an Irish bookshop has won the award. That honour went to the late Fred Hanna in 1998, one of Ireland’s finest independent booksellers.
Parental Pathways, a parenting education and training centre, and Children’s Books Ireland will host an inaugural conference in Dublin, titled Children’s Literature: Building Resilience on Saturday, June 17th, in the National Library of Ireland on Kildare Street, promoting childhood mental health in a coming together of two worlds and two different disciplines – the literary and the therapeutic. Writers Roddy Doyle, Siobhan Parkinson, Kevin Stevens, Hilary Fannin and Patricia Forde wil join with psychotherapy professionals in conversation. Other speakers include Damien O’Connor (Brown Bag Films), Prof Amanda Piesse and Mary Pyle of Trinity College Dublin, Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell and Fergus Finlay, CEO of Barnardos Ireland. The conference is designed for adults who are interested in the rich diversity and power of children’s literature as well as those in both the literary and the psychotherapy fields.