James Kelman: “I always wrote about the people in the pub or the bookie’s.” Photograph: Roberto Ricciuti/ Getty

James Kelman is sipping black coffee in the cafe of Glasgow’s Mitchell Library; the largest public reference facility in Europe, that houses(...)

Artist Claus Havemann, who doanted his painting Irish Eyes to the National Library, is photographed by his daughter Krestine Havemann at the library on Tuesday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The National Library of Ireland officially accepted the donation of a painting by Danish artist Claus Havemann at a special event in the library on Tu(...)

Niall MacMonagle: Windharp: Poems of Ireland Since 1916, the anthology I have just edited, began, without my knowing it, in 1988, when in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I pinned a copy of John Montague’s gloriously evocative, one-sentence lyric poem Windharp above the kitchen sink. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Etymologically, “anthology” suggests a delightful adventure. It is, after all, the gathering of a bunch of flowers. But, remembering WB Yeats’s introd(...)

Rick O’Shea: ‘Being really well-prepared and well-briefed is the key to doing any interview.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

Rick O’Shea, the likable and popular broadcaster, is looking across the RTÉ canteen table at me as if he’s slowly transforming into a seal pup who (...)

Playwright Ross Dungan began his creative life as a comedian, and it comes as no surprise; even his greeting is laced with self-deprecation and iro(...)

Transparency theory:  Fiach Mac Conghail, director of the Abbey Theatre, addressing the Theatre of Memory symposium last week. Photograph: Alan Betson

Imagine for a moment that the headline on the Irish Times news story about the Abbey had been “Panel endorses Abbey Theatre’s ‘world-class’ status”. (...)