World of colour: a  tray of baked Rainbow Bagels at The Bagel Store in Brooklyn. Photograph: Yana Paskova/The Washington Post via Getty Images

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Jean Marie Rukundo Phillemon, Marie Claire Mundi Njong, Siniša Koncic, Clodagh Emoe, Peter Rukundo, Emma-Lucy O’Brien (curator of Visual, Carlow) by the River Barrow during Carlow Arts Festival 2016

A new book of poetry by people in direct provision offers vivid pictures of their lives

Writer Elif Shafak is, along with Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, the writer to whom westerners look for an understanding of Turkey. Photograph: Lara Marlowe

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Friendships and indeed marriages have no doubt hinged on the sparse words that appear on the page set aside for them before the re(...)

A classic, as Mark Twain observed (quoting Prof Caleb Winchester), is a book everyone wants to have read but nobody wants to read

My shelves are cluttered with books I’ve been meaning to read for years, writes Cathy Dillon, but somehow can’t seem to finish – o(...)

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Nuala Ní Chonchúir: “She is a modern feminist who embraces the Irish language and does more for its credibility than a dozen geansaí -wearing gaelgóirs. Unflinching as it is, her work is infused with empathy.”

Irish Women Writers: ‘Ní Chonchúir doesn’t shrink from tackling life’s pain, compromises and savagery, but her rich, original imag(...)

On psychogeography and the philosophy of pedestrianism: from Hazlitt to Will Self

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Siobhán McDonald: “I wanted to try and convey the feeling of a cosmic event – of a meteor crashing through the atmosphere and landing on earth – and to connect with that event.”

Volcanos, Arctic landscapes and prehistoric bones provide Siobhán McDonald with the raw materials for her art, inspired by science(...)

Exquisite Editions at the National Print Museum showcases the best fine-print books

Boutique publishers are digging up all kinds of buried treasures

John Banville tackles perhaps the gallery’s most famous piece, Caravaggio’s The Taking of Christ (1602). His meticulous, erudite account somehow makes us see an overly familiar masterpiece anew.

Seamus Heaney, John Banville and others are inspired by the National Gallery’s art in a new anthology

Phillips often uses the materials of arts and crafts in her work, such as these pencils

Phillips reckons art can be a force for change, which is one of the reasons why she is on this year’s Turner Prize shortlist

Naomi Elster (left) and Lisa Burke, current editors of ‘HeadSpace’ magazine.

Three young women got together to produce ‘HeadSpace’, an arts magazine that provides a creative outlet for people dealing with me(...)

John Cooper Clarke:  probably the only person who could write a perfect haiku about how hard it is to write a haiku – and make it funny. Photograph: Ben A Pruchnie/Getty Images

A walk on the wild with the haiku set

Edna O’Brien was reported to be “a bit stunned” to hear Drewsborough, near Tuamgraney village in east Clare,  had gone for auction, “as she had loved the place”.  Photographer: Dara Mac Donaill

Ireland is happy to enjoy the cultural kudos – and tourism revenue – its once-shunned literary lions bestow on the country but the(...)

Corita Kent: a nun for 32 years in a Hollywood convent before she left to become a full-time artist

Kent subverted consumerism in her art and annoyed the church with her ideas

Flann O’Brien: taking up the pickaxe

Given its importance in 20th-century fiction, why has ‘Ulysses’ not influenced more Irish writers?

Collaboration: Alice Lyons and Orla McHardy made The Polish Language

Just as a music video adds a new dimension to a song, a poetry film can reimagine the poem – and sometimes takes it somewhere else(...)

Girls practice their cursive handwriting on a blackboard in 1935. Photograph; Harold M Lambert / Getty Images

Children in the US public school system don’t have to learn cursive but many educators say handwriting helps children’s cognitive (...)

In praise of Lynda Barry, whose books about creativity are themselves works of art

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Literary events guide

Photograph: Paolo Vescia/New York Times

With its fictional amalgam of Apple, Facebook and Google, Dave Eggers’s new book, ‘The Circle’, is a page-turner that also raises (...)

At Winter Tales, in  Dalkey: Frank McGuinness. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Literary events can be a bit thin on the ground around Christmas. So here’s where to look

Heading the Dún Laoghaire line-up: Margaret Atwood. Photograph: Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images

JP Donleavy at Stradbally, Margaret Atwood at Mountains to Sea, and other literary highlights around Ireland in September

The beautiful Art Nouveau stairwell of the Musee Horta in Brussels

It’s not all Eurocrats and expensive chocolates you know. The Belgian capital also has a wealth of beautiful Art Nouveau architect(...)

WORD FOR WORD: The spring season is already underway in the book world

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How Should a Person Be? By Sheila Heti Harvill Secker, £16.99

Geek but chic

Notting Hill Editions offer a nice slice of geek chic with their new books of essays, including The Eggman and the Fairies: Irish…

Mountains to Sea

Various venues, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin Various times and prices Sep 4-9

Various venues, Dublin Jun 4-10 01-6877977

Housed in the Wooden Building, Exchange Street Upper, the Olivier Cornet Gallery is the latest addition to Temple Bar’s thriving…

SHORT STORIES: Different Kinds of Love, By Leland Bardwell Dedalus Press, 128pp. €11.99

Dickens 2012

Various venues, Northern Ireland Until Dec

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