Dublin to bid for City of Literature title


PROPOSALS TO make Dublin a Unesco City of Literature will be unveiled to the public today.

Dublin is bidding to become only the fourth Unesco City of Literature in the world after Edinburgh, Melbourne and Iowa city.

It has the Iowa Writers’ Workshop which has helped nurture some of the major American writers.

The application is due to be sent to Unesco in the coming months with a view to Dublin becoming a world City of Literature next year.

The proposals will be unveiled at the Dublin Book Festival in City Hall at 3pm by Deirdre Ellis-King, Jane Alger and festival director Alan Hayes.

Mr Hayes said it was regarded as a “fait accompli” in literary circles that Dublin will be granted Unesco status given the city’s heritage, but the application still has to be sent in.

“We want to consult with the widest number of people possible, and we want the public to know what is going on,” he added.

“Unesco status could be a rallying cry for literature in Ireland.”

The criteria for designation as a City of Literature include an “urban environment in which literature, drama and/or poetry play an integral role”.

The festival opened yesterday with a debate about the 90th anniversary of Dáil Éireann involving Gerry Adams, Michael D Higgins and Conor Kostick.

Also taking part yesterday was best-selling author Alice Taylor who was interviewed by Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh.

Irish Timesjournalists Caroline Madden and Laura Slattery will be speaking today about their newly published book, The Money Book: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Your Finances (but were afraid to ask)at 12pm.

It will be followed during the day by a discussion on Irish poetry involving Theo Dorgan, Pat Boran and Paul Perry and a debate on the future of publishing in Ireland with Jean Harrington, Patsy Horton, Steve McDonogh and Michael O’Brien.

There will also be a discussion on the future of America involving Carole Coleman, Mark Little and Niall Stanage at 4.30pm.

Tomorrow, Enda O’Brien, who celebrates 50 years as a writer this year, will be interviewed by poet and author Éilis Ní Dhuibhne as part of T he Irish Times In Conversation Series. That lecture is booked out.

There will also be a discussion on women’s literature to mark International Women’s Day with Eileen Casey, Celia de Fréine, Anne Hartigan and Ann Leahy.