Writers’ response to climate change a theme of Cúirt festival

Key environmental issues will be discussed at week-long literary event in Galway

The response of authors to threats to ecosystems and indigenous cultures and the impact of climate change is one of several themes of this year’s Cúirt international festival of literature which has opened in Galway.

British writers Jay Griffiths, Richard Hamblyn, Gaia Vince and Paul Kingsnorth will discuss key global issues on an environmental panel in An Taibhdhearc theatre next Saturday, during a week-long programme of readings, music, workshops and visual art in Galway city and county.

Griffiths has travelled to the Arctic, Australia and West Papua to study indigenous peoples and cultures, while Hamblyn's work reflects connections between science and art. His book The Invention of Clouds (2001) won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Gaia Vince, winner of the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books, has interviewed people who are tackling environmental issues, including a man who is making artificial glaciers in Nepal, an individual who is painting mountains white to attract snowfall, and a man who is making islands out of rubbish in the Caribbean.


Paul Kingsnorth co-founded the Dark Mountain Project, a network of writers, artists and thinkers who "produce and seek out writing, art and culture rooted in place, time and nature". The Wake (2014), his debut novel, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Writers and poets

Writers and poets Simon Armitage, Vona Groarke, Mary O'Malley, Pete Mullineaux, Eimear McBride and Damon Galgut are among many participants in this year's programme at various venues in Galway city.

The "shared space between words and land" is the theme of an exhibition by visual artist Dolores Lyne in the Black Gate cultural centre.

Cúirt "labs" for young people run throughout the week, while performer Miquel Barcelo will provide "pop-up literature"in various venues.

A night of spoken word, music and song in the Roisin Dubh will raise funds next Sunday for the Galway Rape Crisis Centre

A celebration of the work of musician Seán Tyrrell and publication of a new collection of poems by Kevin Higgins mark some of the opening events on Monday evening (May 24th).

More information at Galway’s Town Hall Theatre (091-569777) or www.cuirt.ie

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins is the former western and marine correspondent of The Irish Times