A great Writer's Festival? Bet on it


THE SOCIAL NETWORK:The poet Colm Keegan, from Clondalkin, read some of his new poems at the launch of the Dublin Writers Festival 2012, on Wednesday evening in the Workman’s Club on Wellington Quay.

Keegan’s new book, Don’t Go There, will be launched in the Unitarian Church on May 31st. He was joined by fellow poet Fintan O’Higgins, from the Liberties. O’Higgins is planning a secret poetry event in the coming weeks. “It will change the face of performance poetry in Dublin,” he told me. “It will be competitive poetry with an element of gambling.”

New Zealander Dairne O’Sullivan, who has lived in Dublin for the past 20 years, brought her book club to the launch. “We’re only the foot soldiers,” quipped Aisling Grimley, from the South Circular Road, as she and Breffnie O’Kelly, from Percy Place, filed in behind O’Sullivan.

This year’s festival will feature the philosopher Alain de Botton; Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa; academic and atheist Richard Dawkins; and singer-songwriter Josh Ritter, who will be in conversation about his debut novel, Bright’s Passage. The festival runs from June 4th to 10th at various venues across Dublin.

Who we spottedDublin City Arts Officer Ray Yeates; David Maybury of Poetry Ireland; Aoife Murray of Children’s Books Ireland; festival programme director Liam Browne.