David Marcus to be remembered at Cork short story festival


CORK-BORN literary editor David Marcus, credited with discovering some of the country’s leading writers, is to be commemorated at the world’s oldest short story festival next month.

Marcus, the “Godfather” of the Irish short story, edited more than 30 anthologies of short stories and poetry and first published the work of writers such as John McGahern, Colm Tóibín, Joseph O’Connor and Anne Enright.

The former literary editor of the Irish Press, born in Cork in 1924, died aged 85 in 2009. The first year of his passing will be marked at the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival in Cork, with a memorial reading dedicated to him. Actor Jack Healy will read excerpts from Marcus’s autobiography, Who’s Ever Heard of an Irish Jew?at the Cork Synagogue on South Terrace as part of the festival line-up.

Artistic director of the festival Patrick Cotter said Marcus was “beloved” in Irish literary circles.

“He played a crucial role in the encouragement of the short story over the past 50 years, so his death and remembrance reading at this year’s festival are important,” he said.

Record crowds are expected for the festival, established in memory of Cork writer Frank O’Connor. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival, which culminates with the awarding of the world’s largest cash prize for a short prose work.

Organisers are hoping to double attendance figures to 2,000 with readings, workshops, interviews and a walking tour. They have secured some big names for the event including Louis de Bernières, author of novels Birds Without Wingsand Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Poet Tess Gallagher – who has published several collections of stories in addition to herpoetry – will perform a reading of her work alongside Ita Daly, a member of Aosdána and one of Ireland’s most respected novelists.

The festival runs from September 15th to 19th and includes readings from this year’s Frank O’Connor Award shortlist. It closes with the presentation of the Seán Ó Faoláin Prize and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.

For the full schedule line-up and tickets, visit www.munsterlit.ie