Lenny Abrahamson is a native of Dublin. He studied philosophy at Trinity, where he co-founded the Trinity Video Company with Ed Guiney, who has gone on to produce all of Abrahamson’s work. This entry into filmmaking led to his first short, 3 Joes, which won a number of awards at European festivals. After time spent undertaking post-graduate study and directing a number of commercials, Abrahamson returned to film with his first feature Adam and Paul in 2004, Garage in 2007, What Richard did in 2012, Frank in 2014, Academy Award nominated Room based on Emma Donoghue’s novel of the same name in 2015 and The little Stranger in 2018. Abrahamson films have won him a total of 6 IFTA’s and an Academy Award- Best Director nomination. Despite having a timeless quality derived from a style indebted to European directors such as Robert Bresson, the Dardenne Brothers and Bruno Dumont, his films remain distinctively Irish. This spare nature is brilliantly balanced to provide audiences with just enough information to draw their own conclusions.
Actors Paul O'Hanrahan, Mick Greer, Chris Bilton together with musician John Goudie make up Balloonatics Theatre Company.
Their show takes the form of a dramatised reading which serves as a platform for theatrical performances designed to animate Joyce’s text so as to enhance its appeal to students and newcomers to Joyce. At the same time, the juxtaposition of work from Dubliners and Ulysses offers scope for comparison that will challenge and intrigue those already familiar with Joyce’s work. The 75-minute duration of the piece provides time for questions afterwards.
Balloonatics is a Dublin-based theatre company which emerged out of an award-winning production of Circe, from Joyce’s Ulysses, at the 1983 Edinburgh Festival, in which Mick Greer took the lead role and Paul O’Hanrahan directed. From early days as Cambridge University students, the pair have acted together many times since on a range of Joyce adaptations including Nightfall from Finnegans Wake and the Cyclops episode from Ulysses. Cyclops was produced at the Joyce centenary in Dublin in 2004, the Old Vic Theatre in London in 2005 and a year later at the Merriman Summer School, in Lisdoonvarna, County Clare.
Paul and Mick teamed up again in Dublin to present Joycean theatre for Bloomsday 2012 and gave a seminar on ‘Performing Finnegans Wake’ at the International Joyce Symposium in Trinity College, Dublin. In 2014 they performed two stories from Joyce’s Dubliners on an EFACIS tour of universities in Portugal including Lisbon, Porto and Braga.
John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945, the youngest of three siblings. He was educated at Christian Brothers schools and St Peter’s College, Wexford. After college John worked as a clerk for Ireland’s national airline, Aer Lingus, before joining The Irish Press as a sub-editor in 1969. Continuing with journalism for over thirty years, John was Literary Editor at The Irish Times from 1988 to 1999.
Banville published his first book, a collection of short stories titled Long Lankin, in 1970. When he turned 70 in 2015 one might have thought he would start to slow down, but on the contrary, he seems to go into a higher gear, having two new books released in 2017 and doing some teaching stints. He is an author who is already translated into many languages, and one of the leading literary voices in Ireland with international scope and appeal to many different. The fact that he is strongly influenced by Yeats creates a link to our previous translating project Yeats Reborn (2013-2015); however, Banville's charm is of course the beautiful prose in which he interweaves philosophy and aesthetics. So the EFACIS board decided that we would launch the Banville Project: Literature as Translation.
Sara Baume’s debut novel, Spill Simmer Falter Wither, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and has been widely translated. In 2017, her second novel, A Line Made by Walking, was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize, a prize set up specifically to celebrate experimental fiction. She is a graduate of the International Writing Program run by the University of Iowa and the recipient of a Literary Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation in New Mexico. She lives on the south west coast of Ireland, where she works as a visual artist as well as a writer; her first solo exhibition took place in London in 2018.
Photo Credit: Sarah Davis Goff
Sam Blake is a pseudonym for Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin, the founder of The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy and the national writing resources website Writing.ie. She is Ireland's leading literary scout who has assisted many award winning and bestselling authors to publication. Vanessa is Chair of Irish PEN and founder of the Murder One international crime writing festival. She has been writing fiction since her husband set sail across the Atlantic for eight weeks and she had an idea for a book.
Find out more about Sam Blake at www.samblakebooks.com, follow her on Twitter @samblakebooks, or Vanessa @inkwellHQ www.inkwellwriters.ie. For practical information on writing written by writers, events, competitions and submission opportunities, check out www.writing.ie.
Born in Dublin in 1959, Dermot Bolger is one of Ireland’s best known writers. His thirteen previous novels include The Journey Home, Father’s Music, The Valparaiso Voyage, The Family on Paradise Pier, A Second Life, New Town Soul, The Fall of Ireland, Tanglewood and The Lonely Sea and Sky, published in May 2016.
His first play, The Lament for Arthur Cleary, received the Samuel Beckett Award and one of his Edinburgh Fringe First Awards. His numerous other plays include The Ballymun Trilogy – which charts forty years of life in a Dublin working class suburb; Walking the Road, about the death of the Irish poet, Francis Ledwidge, during World War One; The Parting Glass and a stage adaptation of Joyce’s Ulysses, which has toured China.
He is also a poet; his ninth collection of poems, The Venice Suite: A Voyage Through Loss, was published in 2012, and his New and Selected Poems, That Which is Suddenly Precious, appeared in 2015.
He devised the bestselling collaborative novels, Finbar’s Hotel and Ladies Night at Finbar’s Hotel, to which many of Ireland’s best known writers anonymously contributed chapters.
As an 18-year-old factory hand, he founded the radical Raven Arts Press which first published many of his contemporaries. He closed this press in 1992 to co-found New Island Books – one of Ireland’s leading publishers. He has edited numerous anthologies, including The Picador Book of Contemporary Irish Fiction. A former Writer Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin and Playwright in Association with the Abbey Theatre, Bolger writes for most of Ireland’s leading newspapers and in 2012 was named Commentator of the Year at the Irish Newspaper awards.
Poet, writer and broadcaster Pat Boran is one of the best-known of his generation of Irish poets.
He has published more than a dozen books of poetry and prose — among them Waveforms: Bull Island Haiku (2015), The Next Life(2012) and A Man is Only As Good: A Pocket Selected Poems (2017), as well as the humorous memoir The Invisible Prison (2009), the popular writers' handbook The Portable Creative Writing Workshop,now in its fourth edition and Then Again (2019).
He is a former presenter of The Poetry Programme and The Enchanted Way on RTÉ Radio 1, and works part-time as a literary editor in which capacity he has edited numerous anthologies of poetry and prose, including, with Gerard Smyth, the bestselling anthology If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song, the Dublin: One City, One Book designated title for 2014, and, with Eugene O’Connell,The Deep Heart’s Core (2017).
He is a member of Aosdána, the Irish affiliation of artists, writers and musicians.
Maureen Boyle lives in Belfast. She began writing as a child in Sion Mills, County Tyrone, winning a UNESCO medal for a book of poems in 1979 at eighteen. She studied in Trinity in Dublin and in 2005 was awarded the Master’s in Creative Writing at Queen’s University Belfast. She has won various awards including the Ireland Chair of Poetry Prize in 2007 and the Strokestown International Poetry Prize in the same year. In 2013 she won the Fish Short Memoir Prize. In 2017 she received the Ireland Chair of Poetry’s Inaugural Travel Bursary for work on Anne More, the wife of John Donne and she has just received a sixth award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to support the publication of her debut poetry collection, The Work of a Winterand to write for her second collection. She taught Creative Writing with the Open University for ten years and teaches English in St Dominic’s Grammar School in Belfast.
The Work of a Winter contains poems written over sixteen years. They range over history, family relations and stories, observations of birds and nature. They are often narrative, and many attempt to give voice to women and men whose voices we haven’t been able to hear whether from poverty or gender or social standing: a grandfather who worked in the Mill in Sion; Micheal O’Cleirigh, one of the annalists of the first history of Ireland or a woman who is being forced to give up her child in a home on the Ormeau Road. It reflects the idea that poetry can give intimate imaginative access to people’s lives.
Photo courtesy of Malachi O'Doherty
Colette Bryce is a poet from Derry, Northern Ireland. Her first collection The Heel of Bernadette (2000) received the Aldeburgh Prize and the Strong Award for new Irish poets. She won the UK National Poetry Competition for the title poem of her second book, The Full Indian Rope Trick (2004), which was followed by Self-Portrait in the Dark in 2008. From 2009-2013 she was Poetry Editor for the journal Poetry London. She received the Cholmondeley Award for poetry in 2010.
The Whole & Rain-domed Universe (2014), which draws on her experience of growing up in Derry during the Troubles, received a Christopher Ewart-Biggs Award and was shortlisted for the Forward, Costa, and Roehampton poetry prizes. Selected Poems (2017) was a PBS Special Commendation and winner of the Pigott Poetry Prize 2017.
In recent years, Colette has held writing fellowships at the universities of Newcastle, Manchester, Notre Dame and TCD, and most recently the 2018 Heimbold Chair in Irish Writing at Villanova University, PA. A new collection of poems, The M Pages, will be published by Picador in 2020.
Aifric Campbell is an Irish writer based in the UK. Her novel On the Floor was long listed for the Orange Prize 2012. Previous novels: The Loss Adjustor (2010) and The Semantics of Murder (2008). Short fiction in The Book of Men, The Irish Times, New Irish Short Stories.
Aifric grew up in Dublin and moved to Sweden where she read Linguistics and lectured in Semantics at the University of Gothenburg. After 14 years in investment banking she decided to focus on the fiction she’d been writing since childhood. She received her PhD in Critical and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia in 2007 where she has also lectured. Her writing has won awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, a Thayer Fellowship at UCLA and various writing residences at Yaddo in New York. Aifric teaches at Imperial College, London and has previously taught at the Unversity of East Anglia and the University of Sussex. Her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, The Irish Times, ELLE, Tatler, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Business Post. She lives in the UK.
Aifric spent 14 years at Morgan Stanley where she became Managing Director on the London trading floor. Her first novel, Semantics of Murder (2008) was inspired by an unsolved murder of a brilliant mathematician in LA. The Loss Adjustor (2010) tells the story of a woman who is haunted by the loss of her childhood friends. Short fiction: New Irish Short Stories (2011), FILM: C.K. (2012) inspired by the real life case of an Amsterdam accountant who embezzled 16mill euros and disappeared. Aifric holds a PhD in Creative & Critical Writing from the University of East Anglia.
Marina Carr’s plays to date are ULLALOO, 1989; LOW IN THE DARK, 1991; THE MAI, 1994; PORTIA COUGHLAN, 1996; BY THE BOG OF CATS, 1998; ON RAFTERY’S HILL, 1999; ARIEL, 2000; WOMAN AND SCARECROW, 2004; THE CORDELIA DREAM, 2006; MARBLE, 2007; 16 POSSIBLE GLIMPSES, 2009. Her two plays for children are MEAT AND SALT, 2003 and THE GIANT BLUE HAND, 2004. The RSC produced the world premiere of her reimagining of HECUBA at the Swan Theatre in September 2015, and in August 2015 the Abbey Theatre produced a major revival of BY THE BOG OF CATS. Her reimagining of ANNA KARENINA played for two months in the Abbey Theatre’s main house finishing at the end of January 2017.
Her work has been produced by The Abbey Theatre, The Gate, Druid, The Royal Court, Wyndhams Theatre, The RSC, The Tricycle, The MacCarter Theatre, San Diego Rep, Milwaukee rep.
She is translated into many languages and produced around the world.
She also wrote a new, contemporary translation of RIGOLETTO for Opera Theatre Company, which toured Ireland in 2015, and wrote an original oratorio as part of a commission for Wicklow County Council that brought together choirs from throughout County Wicklow with solo singers and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in November 2016.
Prizes include WINDHAM-CAMPBELL PRIZE, THE SUSAN SMITH BLACKBURN PRIZE, THE AMERICAN/IRELAND FUND AWARD, THE E.M FORSTER AWARD from the AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND LETTERS, THE MACAULAY FELLOWSHIP, THE PUTERBAUGH FELLOWSHIP. She is a member of AOSDANA.
She has taught at TRINITY, at VILLANOVA, at PRINCETON. Currently she lectures in the English department at DUBLIN CITY UNIVERSITY.
She is published by THE GALLERY PRESS, NICK HERN BOOKS and FABER & FABER.
Ruth Carr was born in Belfast where she lives and works as a freelance tutor and editor, concerned with raising the profile of women in literature. In 1985 she edited The Female Line, the first anthology of women’s writing to come out of Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland Women’s Rights Movement, Belfast, relaunched as an e-book with herpress in 2016). She compiled the section on contemporary women’s fiction in The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing IV/V (Cork University Press, 2001), was a co-editor for The Honest Ulsterman poetry magazine for about 14 years, and she has written an essay on Word of Mouth Women’s Poetry Collective (of which she was a founding member) in the recently published Female Lines (New Island, 2017). Her poetry has appeared in a wide range of anthologies and journals and she has read to audiences in places including Derry/ Londonderry, Strabane, Armagh, Dublin, London, Lancaster, Moscow, Oslo and of course, her home city, Belfast. She has published three collections: There is a House and The Airing Cupboard (Summer Palace Press, 1999 & 2008) and most recently, Feather and Bone (Arlen House, December 2017). ". [Her] poems combine a disciplined craftsman’s feel for imagery and rhythm with personal qualities that I can only sum up with inadequate clichés like warmth and deeply-felt humanity." Louis Muinzer .
Feather and Bone Mary Ann McCracken was born in Belfast in 1770, Dorothy Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth in 1771. Their paths never crossed yet their lives shared similar preoccupations and activities - reading, letter writing, enthusiasm for the ideas of The Enlightenment, the education of the poor, the abolition of slavery and lifelong devotion to a more conspicuous brother. In writing about them I have kept to the facts - where there are facts - but I have drawn on my imagination to respond to these two women’s deep and lengthy lives. There are lots of gaps - this is not a biographical history. These poems are essentially a personal response to two remarkable women.
Photo courtesy of Malachi O'Doherty
Jan Carson is a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has a novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears and short story collection, Children’s Children, (Liberties Press), a micro-fiction collection, Postcard Stories (Emma Press). Her novel The Fire Starters is forthcoming from Doubleday in April 2019.
Sarah Clancy is a page and performance poet from Galway. Her most recent collection 'The Truth and Other Stories' and was published by Salmon Poetry in 2014. She has two previous collections to her name, Stacey and the Mechanical Bull (Lapwing Press, Belfast, 2011) and Thanks for Nothing, Hippies. (Salmon Poetry, 2012).
She has been placed or shortlisted in several of Ireland’s most prestigious written poetry competitions including The Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize, The Listowel Collection of Poetry Prize and The Patrick Kavanagh Award. Her work has been anthologised in ‘Windharp: Poems from Ireland since 1916’ Edited by Niall Mc Monagle and in ‘Even the Daybreak 35 years of Salmon Poetry’ Edited by Jessie Lendennie’ and included in Poetry Ireland Review’s Rising Generation issue. Her work has been published in the United States, Canada and the UK, and in translation in Poland, Slovenia, Mexico and Italy.
In performance poetry she won the Cuirt International Festival of Literature Grand Slam Championships in 2011, she was runner up in the North Beach Nights Grand Slam Final in both 2012 and 2013 and was runner up in the All- Ireland Grand Slam Championships in 2013. In 2015 she won the Bogman’s Cannon Irish People’s Poet award. She is on twitter @sarahmaintains and her books can be ordered here.
Evelyn Conlon is a novelist and short story writer who has been described as one of Ireland’s major truly creative writers. Observant and suffused with wit, her work has been widely anthologized and translated, including into Tamil; her selected short stories Telling is now available in Chinese. She is editor of four anthologies, including Cutting the Night in Two, and Later On, which became a centerpiece for a series of lectures titled The Language of War at the University of Bologna. Conlon’s most recent novel Not the Same Sky, has been described in The Irish Times as “rich, intelligent and complex … carefully researched, beautifully written and utterly compelling”. Eilís Ní Dhuibhne adds that despite the horror of the underlying Famine theme, expectations are refreshingly confounded, and as in all her work, Conlon “chooses not to patronise her characters”. The title story of her collection Taking Scarlet as a Real Colour was performed at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival. Her radio essays are heard frequently on RTÉ, and she is an adjunct professor with the Carlow University, Pittsburg, MFA Writing Program. Evelyn is a member of Aosdána.
With an exciting blend of eclectic fiddle and guitar music, Zoë Conway and John Mc Intyre bring to the stage sympathetic arrangements of traditional Irish music, compositions and songs, old and new. The husband and wife folk duo possesses a rare facility to draw pieces into their repertoire from other genres such as classical, jazz and world music and express this material in way which not only displays the sheer range and knowledge of both instrumentalists but also exhibits the wonderful versatility of their instruments.
They have released two recordings to date - the newest release is a superb collection of live European performances, Live in Concert, released in spring 2017. The album showcases their mesmerising musical interaction on-stage, and also reveals some of their more virtuosic repertoire outside of the Irish traditional genre. Relaxed and atmospheric, the respect and understanding that they have of traditional Irish music and song also shines through.
Their debut duo album, entitled Go Mairir I Bhfad (Long Life To You), received a glorious 5 stars from national paper, The Irish Times. For this unique album, they commissioned twelve leading Irish composers to each compose a piece specifically for Zoë and John, for fiddle and guitar, with the aim of collectively presenting a snapshot of traditional Irish music alive today. The renowned composers who took part in the project were Liz Carroll, Steve Cooney, Frankie Gavin, Andy Irvine, Charlie Lennon, Donal Lunny, Máirtín O’Connor, Peadar Ó Riada, Mícheál Ó Súilleabhán, Tommy Peoples, Niall Vallely and Bill Whelan.
They have also been collaborating with award winning musicians, Julie Fowlis and Eamon Doorley, and in Autumn 2018 released a new collection of songs inspired by Irish and Scots Gaelic poetry entitled, 'Allt'. Emotive and powerful melodies coupled with thoughtful and understanding accompaniment, this album recorded live in the round, captures the spirit and the energy of a live performance. The release of these albums has brought international attention to the duo, and so they are increasingly in demand in Ireland and abroad for performances, talks and workshops.
Zoë, no stranger to the stage, has performed with an impressive list of international artists including Riverdance, Damien Rice, Lou Reed, Nick Cave, Rodrigo y Gabriella to mention but a few. In contrast to this, she has been an important figure within classical music circles in Ireland and abroad, as her crossover discipline has allowed her the pleasure of appearing as soloist with acclaimed orchestras such as The Irish Chamber Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and German WDR Symphony Orchestra; pieces recited include her own compositions and works composed for her by world renowned Irish composer, Bill Whelan.
John grew up in the Cooley Mountains of north County Louth where he took up guitar at 8 years of age. He began his career as electric guitarist with the successful indie band, The Revs with whom he performed on many famous stages and festivals including Oxygen, and Slane in Ireland, Reading and Leeds in the UK, and toured extensively in USA, Australia and Europe. He has worked alongside many world renowned producers, and is now also producing and recording in many genres. John studied classical guitar and piano for many years, and from early childhood was immersed in the language, songs and traditional dance music of south west Donegal - his father's homeplace.
Together, Zoë Conway and John Mc Intyre have been described as “simply one of the best folk duos on the planet” (BBC), and audiences in Ireland and beyond keep coming back for more. They have performed for rock stars, millionaires and dignitaries around the world, including Irish Presidents Mary Mc Aleese and Michael D. Higgins. Zoë is a 'Folk Instrumentalist of the Year 2018' nominee from RTE Radio 1 Folk Awards. They were awarded Best Live Show from popular YouTube channel, Balcony TV, and have received in excess of a combined half a million views online. "An ceol is binne agus is cruinne dá gcuala mé riamh."
Further information is available on their website: https://www.zoeandjohn.com/.
Cónal Creedon is a novelist, playwright and documentary filmmaker.
Appointed Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing at University College Cork (2016).
His published books include: Pancho and Lefty Ride Out (1995), Passion Play [‘Book of The Year’ BBC4 Saturday Review](1999), Second City Trilogy (2007), The Immortal Deed Of Michael O’Leary (2015), Cornerstone, an anthology of student writing. (ed.) UCC/Cork City Libraries (2017).
His prose has been translated into German, Bulgarian, Italian, Chinese with English extracts published in China.
Cónal’s stage plays include: The Trial Of Jesus (2000), Glory Be To The Father (2002), After Luke (2005), When I Was God (2005), The Cure (2005). His plays received critical acclaim in Shanghai, China, when they featured at World Expo Shanghai (2010) and The JUE International Arts Festival Shanghai (2011). The USA premieres were produced at The Irish Repertory Theatre, New York (2009) and the Green Room Theatre, New York (2013). The New York productions were critically acclaimed.
– Two Irish National Business To Arts Awards (2000)
– Best Director 1st Irish Theatre Awards New York (2009)
– Best Actor at 1st Irish Theatre Awards New York (2013)
– Best Actor
– Best Supporting Actor
– Irish Times Theatre Awards (2000)
– Best Playwright at 1st Irish Theatre Awards New York (2013)
Creedon has written over 60 hours of original radio drama — broadcast on RTÉ, Lyric FM, BBC, BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service. His work has achieved recognition in the One Voice Monologue Awards (BBC), The Francis McManus Awards (RTÉ), The PJ O’Connor Awards (RTÉ) and has represented Ireland in the BBC World Service World Play Radio Drama Competition. Critical reviews of Cónal’s radio work include commendations in the Irish Times radio critics list of Best Radio of the Year for 1994 and 1997.
Cónal has produced, written and directed a number of film documentaries: The Burning of Cork (2005), Why the Guns Remained Silent in Rebel Cork (2006), If it’s Spiced Beef (2007), The Boys of Fairhill (2009). His documentary, Flynnie: The Man Who Walked Like Shakespeare (2008) was shortlisted for Focal International Documentary Awards UK London. Creedon’s documentaries were broadcast by RTÉ TV – and had numerous public screenings including at the Irish Pavilion in Shanghai China, during World Expo 2010.
Don't be fretting now about the past gone glories of Irish literary genius since we're lucky to have walking among us Sprachsalz festival [Austria] but heard the man read his work. The brilliance was self-evident and undeniable. The audience were in raptures over the beauty of his sentences and rapier-like wit. He writes about the human condition in ways that find you deep down where you just have to laugh and weep. Read this author and your faith will be restored in both literature and life. Alan Kaufmann  – Jew Boy, Drunken Angel, The Outlaw Bible Of American Poetry]
The members of the Merriman Summer School were utterly enthralled by Cónal Creedon’s presentation of a selection of his writings - a presentation that was warm, deeply insightful, and so humorous and entertaining about the human condition. He was by far one of the most able speakers at the school. William J Smyth, Emeritus Professor of Geography, UCC 
Cónal Creedon gave a tour de force reading of his work as it applies to the theme of 'love and marriage' at the 2015 Merriman Summer School in Ennis, Co. Clare. The audience reacted to Conal's brilliant writing. Professor Linda Connolly, Director Merriman Summer School 
Cónal Creedon was a massive hit. A festival highlight and I hope he will come back. Pat McCabe – Flat Lake Festival 
Cónal Creedon brought the house down at this year’s Flat Lake Festival - any comic would envy the laughs he elicited from the audience. Eoin Butler-Kennedy – The Irish Times [July 2011]
Creedon is a skillful reader…managing to keep the crowd engaged is a challenging feat for many writers who are often able to captivate with the written word [but] less so with the spoken word. Creedon is able to capture the simple moments of people's lives with honesty and humour. Shanghai International Literary Festival - The Shanghai Daily – Shanghai City Weekend – Trista Marie [Lit. Review THAT’S Shanghai]
Conal Creedon’s reading at the Rock on The Fall’s Road – stole the show and the hearts of everyone who heard him that afternoon. A highlight of the West Belfast Feile. Danny Morrison – Director of West Belfast Festval Feile na Phobail.
Author and journalist Martina Devlin has written 10 books. Her latest is Truth & Dare, a short story collection in which she brings to life some of the women who shaped Ireland – from Maud Gonne to Countess Markievicz to Hanna Sheehy Skeffington. Her novels include About Sisterland set in the future in a world ruled by women, The House Where It Happened about Ireland’s last witchcraft trial (optioned for film) and Ship of Dreams about the Titanic disaster, with which she has a family connection.
Her work has won a number of prizes including the Royal Society of Literature's VS Pritchett Memorial Prize and a Hennessy Literary Prize, while she has been shortlisted three times for the Irish Book Awards. She writes a weekly current affairs column for the Irish Independent and has been named National Newspapers of Ireland commentator of the year. She is vice-chair of the Irish Writers Centre and a PhD candidate at Trinity College Dublin researching Somerville and Ross.
Gerard Donovan was born in Wexford, Ireland, and grew up in Galway. He graduated from NUI and the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. His debut novel Schopenhauer's Telescpoe (2003) was long listed for the Man Booker prize, his third novel, Julius Winsome, currently available in over a dozen languages, is soon to be a major motion picture. His next publication will be a collection of short stories set in Ireland, followed by a novel set in early twentieth-century Europe which he is currently writing.
Rita Duffy was born in 1959 in Belfast. She received a B.A. at the Art & Design Centre and a M.A. in Fine Art at the University of Ulster. She is one of Northern Ireland's groundbreaking artists who began her work concentrating primarily on the figurative/narrative tradition. Her art is often autobiographical, including themes and images of Irish identity, history and politics. Duffy’s work has grown and evolved but remains intensely personal with overtones of the surreal. Homage is paid to the language of magic realism and always there is exquisite crafting of materials.
She has initiated several major collaborative art projects and was made an Honorary Member of the R.S.U.A. for her developmental work within the built environment. Her work is increasingly shown in solo and group exhibitions around the world. She is an associate at Goldsmiths College, London working on an artistic exchange with Argentina and N. Ireland. Her Belfast studio practice continues to develop and her public art projects are increasingly preoccupied with international themes. Currently she hold a Leverhulme Fellowship with the Transitional Justice Institute, looking at the role art has in post conflict societies. Duffy’s work is being increasingly collected at home and abroad with work in numerous public and private collections. To date she has achieve a long list of awards, "medals" and bursaries for her public and privately commissioned work.
Catherine is the author of ten published novels including The Things We Know Now, which won the 700th anniversary Giovanni Boccaccio International Prize for Fiction in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Eason Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. She has also published one work of non-fiction: a social history of Irish immigrants in London in the nineteen-fifties, called An Unconsidered People. Catherine’s novels have been short listed for, among others, the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award and the Italian Booksellers’ Prize. Her work has been translated into several languages. She was recently long-listed for the first Laureate for Irish Fiction Award. Catherine Dunne’s most recent publication, a novel entitled The Years That Followed, was published in 2016. It was long listed for the International Dublin Literary Award 2018. Catherine Dunne lives in Dublin.
Photo by Noel Hillis, https://www.noelhillis.ie/index.
Anne Enright is an Irish author and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her novel The Gathering won the 2008 Man Booker Prize which was followed by the Irish Novel of the Year award in 2008. In 2011 her novel The Forgotten Waltz won the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. In her writing, Enright often investigates themes like the family, love and sexuality, the Irish past and it affects Ireland's present.
Enright is an alumnus of Trinity College Dublin and the University of East Anglia. Aside from being a full-time writer, she has previously worked for and presented television programmes, and has also taught creative writing at University College Dublin and New York University when she was the inaugural Laureate of Irish Fiction in 2015.
Her latest publications include The Forgotten Waltz and The Green Road.
Maurice Fitzpatrick is a film director and lecturer from Ireland who was educated in Trinity College Dublin. He lived in Japan 2004-11. He has made two documentary films for the BBC: The Boys of St. Columb's (also an RTÉ production) which tells the story of the first generation of children to receive free secondary education as a result of the ground-breaking 1947 Education Act in Northern Ireland, whose participants included St. Columbs' Nobelists John Hume and Seamus Heaney; and a second film for the BBC, an examination of Brian Friel's play, Translations which shows how Translations came to spearhead a cultural movement in both Northern and Southern Ireland to achieve a measure of cultural pluralism in advance of a political settlement. In 2017, he wrote, directed and produced a documentary feature film, In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America, which is a feature documentary which includes interviews with President Bill Clinton, President Jimmy Carter, many US Senators and Congressmen, as well as Irish leaders and British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and John Major. Inspired by Martin Luther King, rising from the riot-torn streets of Northern Ireland to enlist American Presidents from Carter to Clinton, this is the story of the extraordinary work of Nobel Prize-winner John Hume to harness and leverage US support to help to secure peace in Ireland. Narrated by Liam Neeson and scored by Bill Whelan, the film chronicles John Hume’s approach to politics in Northern Ireland in co-ordination with senior political figures in the US. John Hume in America has been has been welcomed by Thomas O Neill, former Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, as ‘the most succinct narrative on the history of Northern Ireland spanning from Bloody Sunday to the Good Friday Agreement’. The film has screened at over twenty film festivals and at four parliaments. He is also the author of a book entitled John Hume in America (Irish Academic Press. 2017; University of Notre Dame Press 2019), launched by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. He is Poynter Fellow at Yale University.
Mia Gallagher is the critically acclaimed author of two novels: HellFire (Penguin, 2006), awarded the Irish Tatler Literature Award 2007, and Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland (New Island, 2016), longlisted for the 2016 Republic of Consciousness Award. Her debut short-story collection, Shift (New Island, 2018) includes ‘Polyfilla’, recently shortlisted for the 2018 Irish Book Awards.
Mia’s short fiction has previously been anthologised and published in Ireland and abroad, shortlisted for Hennessy (1991) and Bowen/Trevor (2011) awards and awarded the START 2005 Chapbook Award. Her reviews, articles and essays have been published in the Irish Times, The Guardian, The Stinging Fly, Architecture Ireland and Circa, amongst others. Collaborations include Electric Blanket, a sound installation with composer Jack Cawley and theatre-maker Ciarán Taylor; Ya Slip Ta Bang, a sonic bike project with UK artist Kaffe Matthews, based on the text of HellFire; and ‘Library Thing’, an essay for Dublin’s Goethe Institut Library, available online and as a single-edition hand-crafted book. As a theatre artist, Mia’s work has toured nationally in Ireland and travelled to the Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, France and the UK.
Mia has enjoyed the role of writer-in-residence in many different contexts, at home and abroad. She has received several Literature Bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland and is a contributing editor to the Stinging Fly. In 2018, she was elected as a member of Aosdána, an affiliate of Irish artists recognised for their contribution to Irish culture and society.
Hugo Hamilton was born the child of German-Irish parents in Dublin, Ireland, in 1953. He only attended schools where the teaching took place in his father's language, Gaelic. As the family spoke no English at home – Hamilton spoke German with his mother –, he learnt the language in which he writes today on the streets. Before he began writing short stories and novels, he worked as a journalist and travelled widely throughout Europe.
To date, Hamilton has published five novels and a collection of short stories. Three of the novels are set in Germany and reflect – determined by the influence of both German and Irish culture – the viewpoint of an outsider. His double cultural background, his "dual" identity have led Hamilton to become one of the "European" voices of his generation. His mother's death stimulated Hamilton to investigate – in "war-love" – his "divided identity" and the "almost-fiction of his own Germanness". Hugo is a member of Aosdána and has been awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany) for his unique contribution to literature and understanding between Germany and Ireland.
Steafán Hanvey hails from Downpatrick in Northern Ireland. His exposure to all things musical began in utero as he is the son of musicians. In the 1970s, his household was renowned for its traditional “sessions” – musical evenings where local musicians gathered to play and sing until the wee hours of the morning. Still in short trousers, Steafán was often called upon to regale the guests with a rendition of “Will You Go, Lassie, Go.”
Performance was also part of school-life, where his teachers would have him sing ballads of immigration, lost love, and blooming heather to his classmates. Throughout this time, his ears were also filled with the music of Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Makem & Clancy, Tommy Sands, Simon & Garfunkel, Nina Simone, Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan. Rock music filled his early teen years, and by 16, he felt ready to front his first band, 50/50 – a heavy rock outfit – where he was joined by his childhood friends, Kenny & Carl Papenfus (later of Relish fame).
After three years with the band, Steafán took time out to attend university. As an exchange-student, his third year brought him to Seattle where he studied sound-engineering, produced demos for local bands, and witnessed the birth of grunge.
In the summer of 1995, love and further studies brought him to Helsinki, Finland. Working with Janne Viksten, one of Finland’s most celebrated engineers, he recorded a mini-album, Sole, which dealt with falling in love, falling on your ass, and picking yourself back up … in order to fail better the next time. After intensive gigging around Finland, Steafán looked west again. He relocated to Dublin, and in 2004 played NYC and Montreal. The following year, he played at Boston’s NEMO music festival. Meanwhile, back in Europe, he was opening for acts such as The Hothouse Flowers and Relish.
In 2006, he released his debut album, Steafán Hanvey and The HoneyMoon Junkies. (This was mixed by Kieran Lynch who had worked on U2’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and Elvis Costello’s When I Was Cruel. The album was then mastered in London by Jon Astley, who had worked with the likes of The Who, George Harrison, and Norah Jones.)
The release of The HoneyMoon Junkies led to national television and radio appearances. The singles “A Hundred Days of Snow” and “My Woman” received strong airplay in Ireland and Finland. HOTPRESS, Ireland’s leading music publication, called Steafán’s debut: “a rare delight”, and opined that it was of an “impressive quality” with “song-craft … shot through with a wide-eyed optimism”. “A Hundred Days of Snow” was “an uplifting swirl of dissonance and sunshine”. The Irish Times noted that “Steafán’s voice oozes warmth and a confessional charm”, while his album was “a lean, longing collection”. Daily Ireland called it “remarkable” and that “the beautiful clarity of his voice was bewitching”. Gerry Anderson of the BBC remarked that “Steafán has earned his place at the table.”
The critical acclaim for The Honeymoon Junkies encouraged Steafán to focus on audience-building in North America. Five tours saw him perform in the Rockwood Music Hall, Pete’s Candy Store, Arlene’s Grocery in NY, and also at the Lizard Lounge, Club Passim, and Showcase Live in MA. He also headlined at Chicago’s Uncommon Ground and Elbo Room.
In February 2013, Steafán released his sophomore album Nuclear Family (eOne) in the USA & Canada. It’s a collection of ten songs that reflects on the constructive and destructive forces inherent in most normal families. (Recorded in Paris, Helsinki, Dublin and mixed by Franz Ferdinand & The Cardigans producer, Tore Johansson, who has also worked with Martha Wainwright & New Order, the record was mastered in London by Mandy “The Exchange” Parnell (Feist/Nick Cave/Bonnie Prince Billy), and features guest appearances by Liam Ó Maonlaí (Hothouse Flowers), Bertrand Belin, Jukka Jylli, and the Papenfus brothers, Carl & Ken of Relish.)
In tandem with the release of Nuclear Family, Steafán launched Look Behind You! ™ – a multi-media project that details how a father and son have negotiated the personal and political landscapes of Northern Ireland. Melding image and voice, anecdote and memory, it showcases his father’s prize-winning photojournalism along with radio-edits of his interviews with some of Northern Ireland’s best-known figures. These are complemented and contextualised by Steafán’s songs and story-telling. To date, Look Behind You! ™ has been performed to critical-acclaim in over thirty academic institutions in the USA, Canada, and Europe. Steafán puts its success down to the fact that the audience is intrigued by how the project “conflates the public and the private, and dares to promote the maxim that the end of art is peace. Basically, although I have never written explicitly about Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland has written me. Funny that.”
Anne Haverty's first novel One Day As A Tiger (1997) has been described variously as 'a brilliant depiction of rural life' (Literary Review), a 'work of rare enchantment' (Sunday Telegraph), 'brimming with confidence and originality' (New Statesman) and 'A work of heroic imagination, huge and Dostoevsian'. A tragi-comedy about an unlikely sheep farmer and his love for a genetically modified lamb and for his brother's wife, it won the Rooney Prize and was shortlisted for the Whitbread (Costa).
The Far Side Of A Kiss (2000) is very different though it too is concerned with the pathos of love. Set in London in 1820 it is based on Liber Amoris, in which the writer William Hazlitt described his obsessive and bitter infatuation with the girl Sarah Walker. In The Far Side Of A Kiss Sarah is rescued from silence and obscurity to give her side of the affair. Sad though her story is, Sarah tells it with 'an extraordinary lightness of touch and considerable wit'. The Far Side Of A Kiss was long-listed for the Booker.
The Free And Easy (2006) is an ironic portrayal of the Ireland that flourished in the early years of this century. It was the time of the Celtic Tiger when Ireland, along with much of the rest of the western world, experienced an unprecedented prosperity fuelled by easy credit - and loved every minute of it! Into this dazzled-by-itself world comes Tom Blessman, a naive American and emissary of his knowing but equally naive grand-uncle to play out a tragi-comic role. 'A subtle, funny and mordant take on Ireland past and present from one of the country's most stylish contemporary writers.'
The poetry collection The Beauty Of The Moon (1999) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. "A singing voice for 'our dejected age'" (Derek Mahon)
A Break In the Journey (2018), poems. 'Here is a poet with the savoir-faire, sophistication and accomplishment to let a poem be...' (Paul Perry).
'Has a real freedom and lightness' (John McAuliffe)
A new version of her classic biography of Constance Markievicz, titled Irish Revolutionary, was issued in 2016.
Anne Haverty's teaching positions have included Visiting Professor at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan and Writing Fellow at TCD and she reviews regularly for national newspapers.
Born in Tipperary she was educated at TCD and the Sorbonne and is a member of Aosdana. A new novel, Fidelity, is forthcoming.
Eleanor Hooker is a poet and short story writer from Tipperary. She has published two critically acclaimed poetry collections with the Dedalus Press: A Tug of Blue (Oct. 2016) and The Shadow Owner’s Companion (Feb. 2012). Her third collection is forthcoming. She is working on a novel.
Eleanor’s poetry is concerned with the shadow-self, identity inclusion and the surreal – if the unconscious is a persistent whispering behind the door, Eleanor attempts to hear that voice and map the interior dream-world it describes, against the exterior world of lived reality. Living by water and as a helm on Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat, water inevitable rises in many of her poems.
Eleanor holds an MPhil (Distinction) in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin, an MA (Hons) in Cultural History from the University of Northumbria, and a BA (Hons 1st) from the Open University, UK. Eleanor is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London (FLS). She was founder of the Dromineer Literary Festival in Tipperary and Programme Curator 2004 -2017. She hosts an international reading series Rowan Tree Readings. Eleanor began her career as an Intensive Care Nurse, and Midwife.
Eleanor has read at international events in Ireland, Hungary, the USA and India. Her poetry has been translated in Irish, Dutch, Hungarian, Romanian and Polish. Video recordings of her poetry are included in University College Dublin's Special Collections, for the Irish Poetry Reading Archive. Sarah van Camp has translated a selection of her poems as part of her MA in Translation Studies at the Antwerp Campus of Leuven University.
Her poems appear in literary journals internationally, including: Poetry (Chicago), Poetry Ireland Review, PN Review, The Stinging Fly, Poem: International English Language Quarterly (University of Roehampton, London), Punch Magazine (India), Kalligram (Hungary), Other Terrain and Backstory Journal (Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia), Cherry Tree: A National Literary Journal @ Washington College (USA), North (UK), the Irish Times newspaper, the Irish Examiner newspaper. Her poetry has been broadcast on RTÉ and on Prosody, a US poetry programme hosted by poet Jan Beatty
Her poems have been listed in a number of competitions, among them: 2017 Winner in the Poetry Society Members' Competition, Poetry Ireland/Trocaire Competition (1st Prize), the Open House Poetry Competition, 2017 Longlisted in the Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition, Troubadour Competition UK (Highly Commended), Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition (Highly Commended), Listowel Original Short Poem (Shortlisted), nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.
Eleanor was winner of 2016 Bare Fiction Prize (UK) for her Flash Fiction The Lesson Her flash fiction The Man in Bed Eight was published in the Irish Times newspaper. Her short story Digging Holes was second prize winner in the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Story competition. Her fiction has been published in The Woven Tale Press and Banshee literary journals.
A filmpoem made by her son, George Hooker, of her poem Insight: i.m. Michael Hartnett was premiered on July 9th 2017 at Picturehouse Central, London as part of straight 8's (8mm film) competition’s UK premieres.
Her website www.eleanorhooker.com
Her debut collection The Shadow Owner’s Companion was shortlisted for the Strong Shine Award for Best First Collection in Ireland. Of the collection, the judge, poet Billy Ramsell wrote -
“Yes its verses render an affable day-lit milieu; sun-lapped journeys by water (and a few hair-raising journeys too), a grandfather’s chest aglow with rubies, the succour of a loved one’s name manifesting on a phone-screen.
But this reality has its dark parallel, a zone of nightmares, of semi-waking revenants of three-eyed fish, bug-eyed horrors and a talking baby: ‘The ghost is back mum, / I can’t breathe when she is near / Make her go away’. […]
Such poems bring the clammy uncertainties of childhood re-seeping into the brain’s folds with a persistence I’ve not seen matched in recent years.”
Poet Thomas McCarthy, in his review in Poetry Ireland Review, wrote of the The Shadow Owner’s Companion
“The achievements are certainly not orphans in this book; it is teeming with both major and minor poems of really notable excellence and quirky intelligence. […]
Hooker has a brilliantly nurtured and culturally stretched imagination. The Shadow Owner’s Companion is a wonderful collection of poems, bringing both learned and elemental evidence to the printed page for the first time. This is very special work indeed.”
Reviews of A Tug of Blue –
Bill Tinley - The Furrow July/August 2017
"In A Tug of Blue, her second collection, one is immediately struck by how defamiliarised the world of her poems seems, an effect achieved as much by the texture of the language she uses as by the unsettling angles at which she approaches her subject matter. [...]
Hooker identifies the pulses of unease and despair, but her poems do not reach for ready consolations. [...]
...there is a Plath-like weight to her phrasing - 'I eat the dark so she can see me' - that presents to us the strangeness of what appears familiar' "
Nessa O'Mahony, Poetry Ireland Review, August 2017
"This sense of being haunted, or of lving in waking nightmares, recurs in many poems. [...]
Hooker perusades us through the sheer beauty of her imagery, for all its Poe-like darkness. [...]
Hooker's gift is a troubling one; one is charmed and haunted by her poetry in equal measure."
Jonathan Davidson - Poetry Review UK (Spring 2017)
"Hooker's poetry flourishes at the intersection between the natural and human worlds, especially within the ecosystem of Lough Derg, with its fish and its ravens."
Paddy Kehoe – RTÉ Books, October 2016
"Uneasy with their own introspection, poems such as Weathering, Upended and Mirrored remind one of Paul Celan and Samuel Beckett in their logical nightmare-scapes. Throw in Edgar Allan Poe for good measure, as Eleanor Hooker has a similar taste for exquisite terror. [...]
Eleanor Hooker’s fervid imaginative powers have bestowed upon her fortunate readers vividly adventurous and challenging poems which demand to be read and read again”
Biddy Jenkinson writes, when she can; gardens, paints and whistles( badly) when she can't. She lives, when possible, in a house, on a hill in Wicklow. The surrounding field is filled with plants and shrubs, to suit bees - bumble bees in particular - and birds.
She is grateful to Coiscéim for publishing several books of her poetry, the latest 'Sceilg na Scál' in 2017. Coiscéim has also published three collections of her short stories. Two of these collections are detective stories imagining, as detective, An tAthair Pádraig Ó Duinnín, compiler of the Irish Texts Society's Foclóir Gaeilge agus Béarla.
Her plays have won prizes and have - less often - been staged. She would like to mention Aisling Ghéar, Belfast; Aisteoirí an Spidéil, Conamara; Lab na Mainistreach, Daingean Uí Chúis; Guthanna Binne Síoraí, Dublin as companies to which she is indebted.
She has no taste for writing - however fine - that adds to the world reserve of gloom. Her own ambition is to pull the devil by the tail and get away with it.
Rosemary Jenkinson was born in Belfast and is a playwright and short story writer. She has taught English in Athens, Nancy, Prague and Warsaw. Plays include The Bonefire (winner of the 2006 Stewart Parker BBC Radio Award), Johnny Meister + The Stitch, Basra Boy, White Star of the North, Planet Belfast, Here Comes the Night, Michelle and Arlene, May the Road Rise Up and Lives in Translation. She was the 2017 artist-in-residence at the Lyric Theatre Belfast and 2010 writer-on-attachment at the National Theatre Studio in London. Her plays have been performed in Belfast, Dublin, London, Edinburgh, New York and Washington DC.
Her collections of short stories are Contemporary Problems Nos. 53 & 54(Lagan Press 2004), Aphrodite’s Kiss (Whittrick Press 2016) and Catholic Boy(Doire Press 2018). The Irish Times singled out Catholic Boy for ‘an elegant wit, terrific characterization and an absolute sense of her own particular Belfast’. Stories have also appeared in The Stinging Fly, The Fish Anthology and The Glass Shore.
Writing for radio includes Castlereagh to Kandahar (BBC Radio 3) and TheBlackthorn Tree (BBC Radio 4).
Essays on the nature of writing, Northern Irish identity and women’s writing have appeared in Female Lines, The Irish Times and on BBC World Service. She received the 2018/19 Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Claire Kilroy's debut novel All Summer was described in The Times as 'compelling ... a thriller, a confession and a love story framed by a meditation on the arts', and was awarded the 2004 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Her second novel, Tenderwire was shortlisted for the 2007 Irish Novel of the Year and the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. It was followed, in 2009, by the highly acclaimed novel, All Names Have Been Changed and by 2012's The Devil I Know. Educated at Trinity College, she lives in Dublin and is currently working on her fifth novel.
Mac Lochlainn was born in Belfast in 1966. He writes in both Irish and English and his bi-lingual
collections have received national and international awards. He has been writer in residence at Queens
University, Belfast and the University of Ulster. He has been a fellow at the University of
Massuchussetts, Boston. Mac Lochlainn also works as a broadcaster and presenter and has presented
award winning documentaries on minority languages, poetry and music for BBC and TG4 .
Mac Lochlainn’s city is his muse- his poetry (and it’s unique approach to translation) explores issues of
bi-lingualism and ‘fragmented’ identites in a modern Belfast that is emerging from the dark militarised
era of ‘Troubles’, a city that is trying to find it’s place in an unstable European context. His work looks at
the social consequences of years of violence on his home city and asks questions about it’s past and
future in the era of ‘Brexit’ uncertainties without a sitting devolved Assembly.
Selections of Mac Lochlainn’s poems have been translated into several European languages. He has
been an ambassador for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He has worked and toured with many
organisations including: Irish embassies, The British Council, and Literature Across Frontiers.
Bernard MacLaverty was born in Belfast but now lives in Glasgow. He has published five collections of short stories and five novels inluding Booker prize shortlisted Grace Notes (1997). He has written versions of his fiction for other media - radio plays, television plays, screenplays and libretti. He wrote and directed a short film ‘Bye-Child’ which won a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best First Director and a BAFTA nomination for Best Short Film. He is a member of Aosdána.
Deirdre Madden is one of Ireland’s leading authors. In understated, but resonant, prose she returns again and again to themes of memory, identity, the complexity of family relationships, the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and the integrity of the artistic life. Her work has won many prizes and has been widely translated into other languages.
Deirdre Madden was born in 1960 into a Northern Irish Catholic family in Toomebridge, County Antrim, the setting for some of her novels. Her father was a sand merchant, her mother a teacher. The outbreak of the Troubles in the North disrupted what was otherwise a happy childhood spent reading books. Despite the political tensions, a successful school career led her in 1979 to study English at Trinity College Dublin where she has said she felt immediately at home. While still a student, her first short stories were published in The Irish Press by David Marcus, the editor who launched the careers of so many Irish writers. This early success inspired Madden to pursue a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, the springboard for much fine contemporary writing. At UEA, she studied with Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter.
he clarity and understated lyricism of Deirdre Madden’s writing has attracted praise from fellow authors of the calibre of Richard Ford, Sebastian Barry, and Anne Enright. Writing in The Daily Telegraph Adam O’Riordan commented: ‘For almost thirty years, Irish writer Deirdre Madden has published novels of quiet and subtle brilliance’ (6 June 2013). The subtle quality of her writing requires an equally perceptive response from her readers. Such is her accuracy as a writer that to read one of Madden’s novels is less like reading fiction than to experience life unfolding. Her widely acknowledged skill as a novelist and her insightful observations on themes as universal as violence, integrity, family relationships and friendship ensure that her work will endure and continue to attract new readers.
‘Deirdre Madden’ by Heather Ingman at https://www.tcd.ie/trinitywriters. First published January 2016.
Her first novel, Breakfast in Babylon, won the 1996 Book of the Year in her native Ireland at the prestigious Listowel Writers’ Week. The next year, Houghton Mifflin released the book in the US. More Bread Or I’ll Appear, her second novel, was published internationally in 1999. Her third novel, Baby Zero, was published in the UK and Ireland in March 2007, and released in the US in 2014. The Cruelty Men is her latest novel, published in June 2018.
Emer wrote several children's books: Why is the Moon Following Me? (2013); Pooka, a Halloween book for children (2016); and The Pig Who Danced (2017).
Apart from working in literature Emer Martin studied painting in New York and has had two sell-out solo shows of her paintings at the Origin Gallery in Harcourt Street, Dublin.
In 2000 she was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship.
Eimear McBride was born in 1976 in Liverpool to Northern Irish parents. Aged two she and her family returned to Ireland and her childhood was mostly spent in Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo. At fourteen they moved again to Castlebar, Co Mayo. In 1994, at seventeen, she went to London and spent the next three years studying acting at Drama Centre. Much of her twenties were spent temping and travelling. At twenty-seven she wrote A Girl is a Half-formed Thing. It won the 2013 Goldsmiths Prize, was shortlisted for the 2014 Folio Prize and won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014. She moved to Cork in 2006, and Norwich in 2011, where she currently lives with her husband and daughter. The Lesser Bohemians was published in September 2016 and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 2017.
Molly McCloskey grew up in the US but spent 25 years living in Ireland, where parts of her 2017 novel When Light is Like Water (Penguin) are set. The novel was published in the US by Scribner as Straying. Molly is also the author of two short story collections, a novel, and a memoir, Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother. She has been shortlisted for the Sunday Times/EFG Short Story Award, the world’s largest prize for a single short story, and for the Irish Book Awards. Her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Irish Times, and elsewhere. She has also worked in the field of international development in the UN’s Kenya-based Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for Somalia. She currently lives in Washington, DC.
Barry McCrea is the author of a novel The First Verse, winner of the 2006 Ferro-Grumley prize for fiction, and two works of non-fiction: In the Company of Strangers, a study of rival networks to the family in Dickens, Conan Doyle, Joyce, and Proust, and Languages of the Night, about the effect that dying languages and dialects had on the European literary imagination in the twentieth century. He is a professor of literature at the University of Notre Dame, where he has been teaching in its campuses in Rome and Indiana.
Terry McDonagh taught creative writing at Hamburg University and was Drama Director at the International School Hamburg.
He’s published ten poetry collections as well as letters, drama, prose and poetry for young people.
His work has been translated into German and Indonesian, and has been published worldwide in anthologies and literary journals.
He has read and facilitated workshops in Europe, Asia and Australia.
He was Artistic Director of WestWords the first Irish literature festival in Hamburg in May 2017.
Further info can be found on his website: www.terry-mcdonagh.com.
2018: Fourth Floor Flat – poetry – publisher Arlen House.
2017: Included in ‘Fire and Ice’ – Gill Education – poetry for Junior Cycle Secondary Schools.
2017: ‘UCG by Degrees’ – a poem unveiled at NUIGalway as part of Cuirt Festival and Galway Poetry Trail.
2016: Lady Cassie Peregrine – poetry – publisher, Arlen House.
2015: Mayo poet for Mayo Day, Sky TV.
2015: Translation by Terry McDonagh of Hemingway biography, Wie Alles Begann, into English – German author, Gino Leineweber.
2015: Echolocation – poetry for young people – Blaupause Books Hamburg.
2014: Michel the Merman: a tale based on North Sea legends.
2013: Ripple Effect – poetry – Arlen House, Galway.
2012: In the light of Bridges: Hamburg Fragments – prose/poetry
2011: The Truth in Mustard – poetry – Arlen House, Galway.
2009: Cill Aodáin & Nowhere Else – poetry – Mayo Co. Council.
2009: One Summer in Ireland – prose – Ernst Klett Verlag.
2008: Twelve Strange Songs – twelve poems by Terry McDonagh, put to music for voice and string quartet by Eberhard Reichel.
2006: Boxes – poetry – Blaupause Books
2004 Something beginning with P– anthology of children’s poetry – O’Brien Press and Poetry Ireland.
2004: Tiada Tempat di Rawa – a poetry into Indonesian by INDONESIA TERA, Magelang, Jogyakarta.
2001: Kiltimagh – poetry in translation by Mirko Bonne (English/German) Blaupause
1999: Elbe Letters go West (English/German) – a collection of letters – Blaupause.
1998: A World Without Stone – poetry – Blaupause Hamburg.
1992: The Road Out – poetry – Olaf Hille Verlag.
1991: Ich kann das alles erklaeren – drama – Karin Fischer Verlag.
Examples of readings/residencies:
In Australia, The Middle East, Indonesia, Thailand; in several European countries; Coole Park; Belfast Libraries; Wigtown Festival Scotland; Ballina Over the Edge; Clifden Arts Festival; NuiGalway; Cuisle Limerick; Eigenarten Festival Hamburg; Artistic Director of In Sight of Raftery Festival, Kiltimagh; Co Mayo. Dublin Book Festival; Irish Embassy Berlin; Clare Co. Libraries; Robert Burns Museum Ayrshire, Scotland; Cologne festival for young people with Children's Books Ireland and Poetry Ireland; workshops at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, based on KPS system of education in Ireland between 1811 and 1831; writer in Residence in Melbourne, Australia at Caulfield Grammar, Irish Studies, University of Melbourne and RMIT; RTE Radio Drama (Junior) as narrator and voice; facilitated 'Samhain' creative writing programme with Museum of Country Life, Turlough and National Museum of Ireland, Dublin; Dublin Book Festival; 'Write to Read' programme with St Patrick's Teacher Training Dublin; Galway 2020 Culture Capital application, writing programme with Galway Co. Co and Baboro, Galway; Clifden Arts Festival residencies; Mayo Co. Libraries residencies; creative writing/drama workshops for European Council of International Schools in Nice, Paris, Hamburg, Berlin; Bonn, London, Dublin, West of Ireland, Brussels, Belfast, Stuttgart, Budapest and Kuwait city, Indonesia, Thailand; Dramatising Poetry – Workshops for Drama/literature teachers in Shakespeare Centre, Stratford upon Avon; Ubud/Bali International Writers Festival, and readings/lectures at Universitas Sanata Dhama, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; workshops with Piper Diarmaid Moynihan on poetry and piping in Galway, Coole Park, The Dock, Carrick on Shannon and Ballina Arts Centre; creative writing/drama programme in Dubai/Abu Dhabi with Beacon Schools; creative writing workshops with AGIS, Association of German International Schools; Education Centre Sligo; JCSP secondary teachers in Dublin; Brandenburg International School; Irish Embassy Berlin.
- With his poetry, Terry McDonagh builds a language bridge between Hamburg and Ireland... Hamburger Abendblatt
- These poems are about the really important things in life that children see with such honesty. It is a world of daydreams and wonder, but also about misfits like ‘Tone Deaf Peter’ who are happy to sing their own song. McDonagh’s poetry will make you laugh, celebrate silliness and remember the freedom that comes with imagination. The poetry is like a sweet revenge on all those who love rules for their own sake…Geoffrey Gates, novelist, Sydney.
- Terry McDonagh is no stranger to the world of literacy and education, having organised and presented creative writing and drama workshops, in-service for teachers and readings for children and adults all over Ireland in recent years. Helen Walsh, County Librarian, Co. Clare, Ireland.
- A Song for Joanna is so successfully lodged in the particularities of Australia – its vibrancy, variety, expanse of sky and land, its mixed cultures and Aboriginal origins – that, returning from a trip to Ireland and filled with longing for it, I fell back in love with my own country. And through it all, the blue-green talisman of love...Robyn Rowland, Australian poet
- A hilarious one about head lice. Yes, head lice!’ Terry McDonagh shows that even these can be a topic for a poem…Gordon Snell, Irish Times.
- As a suite of poems, A Song for Joanna offers many pleasures; it is in part a series of cinematic skills, an aidede-memoir, a dialogue between two worlds and a series of letters home, the vivid impressions of a painterly intelligence, whose keen powers of observation trace the author’s tenure as writer in and residence in Australia – Homer Rieth, Australian poet.
- McDonagh’s poetry is characterized by richness of colour and precision – the trademark of the born poet. In his clear, simple style he invites us into a world in which we can learn more about ourselves...Hamburg International Poetry Festival Programme.
- A stroke of luck to find a poet who is not only a good poet but also a good reader. Terry McDonagh’s poetry grow out of everyday situations but his thoughts and observations do not remain on the everyday surface...Kieler Nachrichten, Germany.
- Here are poems of thresholds: the pub, church, graveyard, shopdoor, a bus stop in Hamburg. There is pathos, irony and social comment in a voice that is accessible and fond. “I can live anywhere, I think... Meg McNeill, Tintean, Melbourne.
- Terry McDonagh certainly keeps the bardic tradition of Ireland to the fore in all his poetry. Above all else, the humour in this intelligent collection, BOXES, rises like cream to the top…Colette Nic Aodha ...Inis, The Irish Literary Magazine.
Bernie McGill is the author of Sleepwalkers, a collection of stories short-listed in 2014 for the Edge Hill short story prize, and of the novels The Butterfly Cabinet and The Watch House. She has been published in the UK, the US and in translation in Italy (La donna che collezionava farfalle; Le parole nell’aria) and in the Netherlands (Charlotte’s vleugels). Her short fiction has appeared in acclaimed anthologies The Long Gaze Back, The Glass Shore and Female Lines, and for the theatre she has written The Haunting of Helena Blunden and The Weather Watchers. She lives in Portstewart in Northern Ireland with her family, works as a professional mentor with the Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin and as a Writer in Schools for Poetry Ireland. She is currently Writing Fellow with the Royal Literary Fund at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University, Belfast. www.berniemcgill.com
Claire McGowan was born in Northern Ireland and moved to England to study at Oxford University. After living in France and China, she settled in London. She’s the author of the Paula Maguire crimes series, and several other novels under the name Eva Woods. She has also written plays, scripts, and short stories, and will have a radio drama broadcast on Radio 4 in early 2019. She was awarded the Nickelodeon International Writing Fellowship in 2018, and as part of that spend time living in Los Angeles.
Medbh McGuckian was born in 1950 to Catholic parents in Belfast, Ireland. She studied with Seamus Heaney at Queen’s University, earning a BA and MA, and later returned as the university’s first female writer-in-residence.
McGuckian’s poems are layered collages of feminine and domestic imagery complicated by a liminal, active syntax that, in drawing attention to the weight of one phrase on another, emphasizes and questions our constructions of power and gender. Her work is reminiscent of Rainer Maria Rilke in its emotional scope and John Ashbery in its creation of rich interior landscapes. Praising McGuckian’s Selected Poems (1997), Seamus Heaney said, “Her language is like the inner lining of consciousness, the inner lining of English itself, and it moves amphibiously between the dreamlife and her actual domestic and historical experience as a woman in late-20th-century Ireland.”
McGuckian has earned significant critical acclaim over the course of her career. Her poem “The Flitting,” published under a male pseudonym, won the 1979 National Poetry Competition. In 1980 McGuckian published two chapbooks of poetry and also won the prestigious Eric Gregory Award. Her first collection, The Flower Master (1982), won the Poetry Society’s Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, and an award from the Ireland Arts Council. On Ballycastle Beach (1988) won the Cheltenham Award, and The Currach Requires No Harbours (2007) was short-listed for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award. She has also won England’s National Poetry Competition and the Forward Prize for Best Poem. Her first collection was published by Oxford University Press in 1982 and since 1991, The Gallery Press have published fifteen of her books. The Unfixed Horizon, New Selected Poems was published by Wake Forest University Press in 2016 and a new selected poems is underway with The Gallery Press. Medbh taught Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queens and is a member of Aosdána.
Her honors also include the Bass Ireland Award for Literature, the Denis Devlin Award, and the American Ireland Fund’s Literary Award. She won the Forward Prize for Best Poem for “She Is in the Past, She Has This Grace.”
Photo courtesy of Bernie Brown.
Maria McManus was born between the bridges of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. A poet and playwright, Maria lives in Belfast. She is the author of Available Light (Arlen House, 2018), We are Bone (2013), The Cello Suites (2009) and Reading the Dog (2006) (Lagan Press). Her writing for theatre includes work with Kabosh, TinderBox, Red Lead, Replay, Big Telly and Off the Rails, a dance company.
Her passion is poetry in public space, and she has collaborated extensively with other artists to create Cirque des Oiseaux, DUST, and LabelLit. She has performed in Ireland, USA, the Basque Country, Portugal and Sweden. She facilitates XBorders for the Irish Writers’ Centre and Under the Skin for the Seamus Heaney Home Place. She has received numerous Arts Council of Northern Ireland awards, including ACES in 2015 and the Artists’ International Award 2016. She is artistic director and curator of Ireland’s only Poetry Jukebox.
Available Light is Maria’s third full collection of poetry. It is a contemporary intertextual exploration of the ancient art of augury – interpreting the will of the gods from the flight patterns of birds. The poems are unflinching and probe and explore questions of love, loss, migration, uncertainty, life and death, in its horror, brutality and beauty.
Alan McMonagle is a writer based in Galway, Ireland. In November 2015 he signed a two-book deal with Picador. His debut novel, Ithaca, was published in March 2017, and was nominated for the Desmond Elliott Award for first novels and an Irish Book Award. He has received awards for his work from the Professional Artists’ Retreat in Yaddo (New York), the Fundación Valparaiso (Spain), the Banff Centre for Creativity (Canada) and the Arts Council of Ireland. He has published two collections of short stories, Psychotic Episodes (Arlen House, 2013) and Liar Liar (Wordsonthestreet, 2008), both of which were nominated for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award. His stories have appeared in many journals in Ireland and North America, and he has read from his work at many festivals at home and abroad. He also writes for radio and has had two radio plays (Oscar Night and People Walking On Water) produced and broadcast as part of Irish National Radio's (RTÉ) Drama on One season. He is presently completing a second novel due for publication early in 2020.
Mary McPartlan is one of the most talented singers to come out of the Irish scene in recent years. Born in Drumkeeran, Co. Leitrim and now living in Galway, she started singing in the early 70s but it wasn't until 2003 that she decided to make music her full time career. In January 2004 she released the critically-acclaimed album The Holland Handkerchief. The album was nominated in the Irish Meteor Awards in the Traditional Folk section and was voted #1 Folk album by MOJO magazine. Her subsequent album, Petticoat Loose, received wide critical acclaim and confirmed her as among the leading Irish folk singers today. Mary is also a staff member at NUI Galway and was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Lehman College at the City University of New York.
Lia Mills writes novels, short fiction, memoir and essays. Her first novel, Another Alice, was nominated for the Irish Times Irish Fiction Prize. Nothing Simple was shortlisted for Irish Novel of the Year at the inaugural Irish Book Awards. Her memoir of an experience of oral cancer, In Your Face, was named as a favourite book of the year (2007) by several commentators. Her most recent novel, Fallen, was the Dublin/Belfast Two Cities One Book festival selection for 2016. That year she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Laws from the University of Dublin, Trinity College.
Lia has worked on several Public Art commissions. She has been an invited contributor to anthologies such as The Long Gaze Back (edited by Sinéad Gleeson) and Beyond the Centre: Writers on Writing (edited by Declan Meade). Her work has appeared in, among others, The Dublin Review, The Stinging Fly, The Irish Times and The Dublin Review of Books. Her first play, Katie, a monologue based on Fallen, was staged in 2016 as part of the Two Cities One Book Festival, for which she also devised and co-wrote a site-specific play with Bairbre Ní Chaoimh for the Irish Writers Centre (sic). She is an occasional blogger and a contributor to Arena (RTÉ Radio One). Her work has been published in Holland, Brazil, Italy and India and she has been an invited reader in England, France, Spain and (part supported by Culture Ireland) in the USA, Canada, Italy and, most recently, Japan.
Sarah is an award winning teacher and professor at UL with expertise in psychology, pedagogy and creative practice. Also a novelist, her first novel, Back to Blackbrick was published in 2013. A stage version was presented at the Edinburgh Festival and at the Arts Theatre in London’s West End. Her second novel, The Apple Tart of Hope, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Prize and the CBI Book of the Year Award and received a Kirkus star on USA publication in 2015. Sarah won the 2016 Irish Writers’ Centre’s Jack Harte Award. She has researched extensively on the writing process across a range of contexts, is part of the team that delivers the UL Frank McCourt Creative Writing Summer School at NYU and is founder of the UL Creative Writing Winter School. She has worked to develop a particular focus on fostering strategies for self-aware writing habits and on ways of making space and time to write. Her most recent novel The List of Real Things came out in April 2018. And her current work in progress – A Strange Kind of Brave - is due for publication this year.
Mary Morrissy was born in Dublin where she still lives. She has published a collection of short stories, A Lazy Eye (1993), and two novels inspired by true events: Mother of Pearl (1995), the story of a stolen infant, and The Pretender, a fictional history of the Polish woman who claimed to be Anastasia, daughter of the last Romanov Tsar. Morrissy has taught in creative writing programmes at the Universities of Arkansas and Iowa in the US as well as in Trinity College, Dublin. A third novel, based on the life of Bella O'Casey, sister of the famous Irish playwright, is under way.
'Songs of Joyce' is a musical extravaganza of songs drawn from the life and works of James Joyce, from bawdy street ballads and sea shanties to music hall hits and folksongs. Performed with gusto by Sinead Murphy and Darina Gallagher, this musical evocation of an era has been acclaimed by critics and academics alike, and to date has performed sell-out shows all over Ireland as well as Glasgow, Boston, New York and Moscow.
Following the success of their award winning show 'Songs of Joyce', Darina Gallagher and Sinead Murphy have created a new Joycean musical, Misses Liffey. Through words and music, Anna Livia Plurabelle brings us on a riverrun journey through the city of Dublin introducing us to many of James Joyce’s women characters that live, work, sing and laugh along her banks. We hear from Nuvoletta and the Washerwomen from Finnegans Wake, the Morkan Sisters and Eveline from Dubliners and the Siren barmaids, Dilly Dedalus and the seaside girls in Ulysses. Anna finally bids us farewell as she meets her cold, mad father - the sea, only to fin again, begin again…
“A Joycean feast of music hall memories….delightful” Anne Madden, The Belfast Telegraph
“Comic joy – with a real sense of joie de vivre.” Alan Chadwick, Scottish Herald
Born in Cork, Irish poet, translator, and editor Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin is the daughter of a writer and a professor who fought in the Irish War of Independence. She earned a BA and MA at University College Cork and also studied at Oxford University.
Ní Chuilleanáin uses transformative, sweeping metaphor to invert the structures of interior, natural, and spiritual realms. Awarding Ní Chuilleanáin the 2010 Griffin Prize, the judges noted, "She is a truly imaginative poet, whose imagination is authoritative and transformative. She leads us into altered or emptied landscapes. […] Each poem is a world complete, and often they move between worlds, as in the beautiful ‘A Bridge between Two Counties.’ These are potent poems, with dense, captivating sound and a certain magic that proves not only to be believable but necessary, in fact, to our understanding of the world around us."
Ní Chuilleanáin is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Acts and Monuments (1966), which won the Patrick Kavanagh Award; The Magdalene Sermon (1989), which was selected as one of the three best poetry volumes of the year by the Irish Times/Aer Lingus Poetry Book Prize Committee; Selected Poems (2009); and The Sun-fish (2010), which won the International Griffin Poetry Prize. Her most recent volume, The Boys of Bluehill (2015), was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. She translated two books by the Romanian poet Ileana Malancioiu, After the Raising of Lazarus (2005) and The Legend of the Walled-Up Wife (2012), as well as Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill’s The Water Horse (2001, co-translated with Medbh McGuckian). Ní Chuilleanáin’s work has been featured in several anthologies, including The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women's Poetry, 1967-2000 (1999, edited by Peggy O’Brien). She is Ireland Professor of Poetry 2016-19. Two new books will appear in 2019: a translation of Antonella Anedda into Irish (Cois Life), and a new collection in English entitled The Mother House (Gallery Press).
Since 1975 she has edited the literary magazine Cyphers, and she has also edited Poetry Ireland Review. She has taught at Trinity College Dublin since 1966. With her husband, poet Macdara Woods (1942-2018), she divides her time between Ireland and Italy.
ANNEMARIE NÍ CHURREÁIN is a poet from the Irish-speaking region of Northwest Donegal. Her work often explores silence and power dynamics in the context of Irish landscape, history and the State. Her debut collection Bloodroot (Doire Press 2017) was shortlisted for the Shine Strong Award for best first collection in Ireland and for the 2018 Julie Suk Award in the U.S.A. She is the author of a suite of poems about Dublin titled Town (The Salvage Press, 2018).
Ní Churreáin has been published widely in Ireland and abroad. The Yale Review states that “Ní Churreáin captures a whole world of cultural and historical implications in a single, simple, but metaphorically rich image.” The Los Angeles Review of Books reports “That Ní Churreáin can condense the prototypical life of a young Irish woman into half a page while sustaining the poem’s impact is testament to her ability as a storyteller, the vividness of her language, and the universality of the portraits she is painting.”
Ní Churreáin’s poetry is taught on several university courses including the Writing Program at Florida Gulf Coast University and the Women's & Gender Studies Program at the University of South Carolina.
In 2016 Ní Churreáin was the recipient of a Next Generation Artist Award by President Michael D. Higgins on behalf of the Arts Council. She has been awarded literary fellowships from Akademie Schloss Solitude Germany, Jack Kerouac House Florida and Hawthornden Castle Scotland. She was the 2017 Kerry County Writer In Residence and the winner of the inaugural 2018 John Broderick Award from the Westmeath Arts Office in partnership with the Arts Council. In 2019 Ní Churreáin is the Commissioned Writer with Templebar Gallery + Studios, Dublin.
Ní Churreáin now lives and teaches in Dublin. She is a member of the Arts Council Writers in Prisons Panel. She is currently co-composing a libretto for an upcoming opera production. Her second poetry collection is forthcoming. More information from http://www.studiotwentyfive.com.
Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest poets in Ireland, also reputed for her dedication and defence of the Irish language. Ní Dhomhnaill has published extensively and her works include poetry collections, children’s plays, screenplays, anthologies, articles, reviews and essays. In her writings, Ní Dhomhnaill focuses on the rich traditions and heritage of Ireland, and draws upon themes of ancient Irish folklore and mythology that intermingle with contemporary issues concerning femininity, sexuality and culture. In 1981, Ní Dhomhnaill published her fist poetry collection, An Dealg Droighin (Cork: Mercier Press), and became a member of Aosdána. Other works include Féar Suaithinseach (Maynooth: An Sagart,1984); Feis (An Sagart, 1991), and Cead Aighnis (translated by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Medbh McGuckian; An Sagart, 1999). Ní Dhomhnaill’s poems appeared in English translation in the dual-language editions Rogha Dánta/Selected Poems(Dublin: Raven Arts Press, 1986, 1988, 1990; translated by Michael Harnett); The Astrakhan Cloak (Oldcastle: Gallery translated by Paul Muldoon, 1991, 1992), Pharaoh’s Daughter (Gallery, 1990), and The Fifty Minute Mermaid(translated by Paul Muldoon; Gallery, 2007).
In 2018, she received the Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award for her achievements in poetry.
Doireann Ní Ghríofa writes both prose and poetry, in both Irish and English. She is the author of five critically-acclaimed books of poetry, exploring birth, death, desire, and domesticity. Her latest books are ‘Lies’ (Dedalus Press, 2018), which draws on a decade of her Irish language poems in translation, and ‘9 Silences’ (Salvage Press), a collaborative book with acclaimed visual artist Alice Maher. Her essays have been published in The Stinging Fly, The Dublin Review, Paper Visual Art, and Gorse. Her awards include a Lannan Literary Fellowship (USA, 2018), a Seamus Heaney Fellowship (Queen’s University, 2018), the Ostana Prize (Italy, 2018), and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature (Trinity College, 2016), among others. Doireann’s artistic practice also embraces cross-disciplinary collaborations, fusing literature with film, dance, music, and visual art. She has been invited to perform her work internationally, most recently in Scotland, Paris, Italy, and New Zealand.
Further publications from Doireann include Clasp, Oighear, Dordéan, do Chroí - A Hummingbird, your Heart, and Dúlasair.
(Photo courtesy of Bríd O'Donovan)
Billy O'Callaghan was born in Cork in 1974, and is the author of a novel, The Dead House, (Brandon/O'Brien Press, 2017) and three short story collections: In Exile (Mercier Press, 2008), In Too Deep (Mercier Press, 2009), and The Things We Lose, The Things We Leave Behind (New Island Books, 2013).
Winner of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Award for Short Story of the Year in 2013, and the recipient of literature bursaries from both the Arts Council and the Cork County Council, his story, 'The Boatman', was a finalist for the 2016 Costa Short Story Award.
More than one hundred of his short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines around the world, most recently in Agni, the Chattahoochee Review, Kenyon Review, London Magazine, Ploughshares, Salamander and the Saturday Evening Post.
His new novel, My Coney Island Baby, will be published by Jonathan Cape (UK) and Harper (USA) in January 2019, and a new short story collection is scheduled for publication from both Jonathan Cape and Harper in 2020.
Nuala O’Connor lives in Co. Galway, Ireland. Her short story ‘Gooseen’ won the UK’s 2018 Short Fiction Prize, was published in Granta and was shortlisted for Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. Nuala’s third novel, Miss Emily, about the poet Emily Dickinson and her Irish maid was shortlisted for the Eason Book Club Novel of the Year 2015 and longlisted for the 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award. Her fourth novel, Becoming Belle,was published to critical acclaim in September 2018. She is currently writing a novel about Nora Barnacle, wife of James Joyce. www.nualaoconnor.com
Poet and novelist Mary O’Donnell was born in County Monaghan and studied German and philosophy at National University of Ireland, Maynooth. O’Donnell is recognized as a leading figure in the generation of Irish women writers who began publishing in the 1980s and 1990s; her work is often cited as key in expanding the horizons of Ireland’s traditionally male-dominated literary world. O’Donnell has published numerous collections of poetry, including Reading the Sunflowers in September (1990) and Spiderwoman’s Third Avenue Rhapsody (1993), both nominated for an Irish Times Literature Award. Her other books of poetry include September Elegies (2003), The Place of Miracles (2006), and The Ark Builders (2009). A Hungarian translation of her new and selected poems was published in 2011. With Manuela Palacios, she coedited To the Winds Our Sails: Irish Poets Translate Galician Poetry (2010).
O’Donnell’s works of fiction include the novels The Light-Makers (1992), The Elysium Testament (1999), and Where They Lie (2014). She has also published works of short fiction, including Strong Pagans (1991) and Storm over Belfast (2008). Her essays and criticism have been widely published, and she has presented programs on poetry for RTÉ. O’Donnell has received numerous awards for her work, including a Hennessy Literature Award, an Allingham Award, and prizes from the Fish International Short Story Competition and the Cardiff International Poetry Competition.
Formerly on faculty in Carlow University Pittsburgh’s MFA program, O’Donnell has also taught in the Iowa Summer Writing Program at Trinity College and NUI Maynooth. She currently teaches poetry at Galway University. In 2001 she was elected to Aosdána, the Irish artists’ organization.
Reading the Sunflowers in September, poetry collection, Salmon Poetry (1990)
Strong Pagans and other Stories, short story collection, Poolbeg Press (1991)
The Light Makers, novel, Poolbeg Press (1992 & 1993), 451Editions (revised edition) (2017)
Spiderwoman’s Third Avenue Rhapsody, poetry collection, Salmon Poetry (1993)
Virgin and the Boy, novel, Poolbeg Press (1996)
Unlegendary Heroes, poetry collection, Salmon Poetry (1998)
The Elysium Testament, novel, Trident Press UK (1999)
September Elegies, poetry, Lapwing Press, Belfast (2003)
The Place of Miracles, New and Selected Poems, New Island, Dublin (2005)
Storm over Belfast, short story collection, New Island, Dublin (2008)
The Ark Builders, poetry, Arc Publications UK (2009)
To the Winds Our Sails, Galician women’s poetry in translation, co-edited with Manuela Palacios, Salmon (2010)
Csodák földje, Selected Poems, translated to Hungarian by Kabdebó Tamás, Irodalmi Jelen Könyvek (2011)
Sister Caravaggio, collaborative novel with Peter Cunningham and others, Liberties Press, 2015.
Where They Lie, novel, New Island, Dublin (2014)
Those April Fevers, Arc Publications UK (2015)
Empire, short story collection, Arlen House (2018)
Giving Shape to the Moment: the Art of Mary O’Donnell, Poet, Short story writer, Novelist, just published in the Reimagining Ireland series by Peter Lang publishers. Editor, Dr. Maria Elena Jaime de Pablos. 2018.
Nessa O'Mahony was born in Dublin, Ireland. She has published four books of poetry -- Bar Talk, appeared (1999), Trapping a Ghost (2005), In Sight of Home (2009) and Her Father’s Daughter (2014). Arlen House published her debut work of crime fiction, The Branchman, in 2018. She completed a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing at Bangor University in 2006. She is a recipient of three literature bursaries from the Arts Council and was Writer Fellow at the John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies in UCD in 2008/09. Novelist Joseph O’Connor described her verse novel In Sight of Home as ‘a moving, powerful and richly pleasurable read, audaciously imagined and achieved’ whilst poet Tess Gallagher said of Her Father’s Daughter that ‘words are her witching sticks and she employs them with beautiful, engaging intent, the better to make present what has preceded and what approaches.’ She edited a special issue on Irish poetry for the Dutch journal, Die Brakke Honde. In 2016, she co-edited with poet Siobhan Campbell a book of critical essays on the work of Eavan Boland – Eavan Boland: Inside History is published by Arlen House. In 2017, she co-edited with poet Paul Munden Metamorphic: 21st Century Poets Respond to Ovid. She produces and presents a monthly podcast for writers called 'The Attic Sessions'.
Fran O'Rourke is an Irish singer who specialises in the songs of James Joyce. A philosopher by trade and Professor Emeritus of the School of Philosophy, University College Dublin, he also has a vibrant interest in Joyce and has performed the writer's songs on many occasions, solo and together with guitarist John Feeley. They have also recorded the album JoyceSong - Irish Songs of James Joyce together. Most recently, in September 2017, Fran gave a recital for the Irish embassy in Moscow.
Fran recently completed a second PhD at University College Dublin on James Joyce, Aristotle and Aquinas. As well as performing the Irish songs which feature in Joyce's writings, he has recently lectured on philosophical elements in Joyce in Houston, Berkeley, Rome, Shanghai and Novosibirsk. He is happy to give both a talk on Joyce and philosophy, as well as a recital of Joyce-related Irish songs.
Fran retired in 2016 as professor of Philosophy from University College Dublin, where he taught for thirty six years. A graduate of University College Galway, he studied at the universities of Vienna, Köln, Louvain, and Leuven, where he received his PhD summa cum laude in 1986. He has held Fulbright and Onassis fellowships, and in 2003 was Visiting Research Professor at Marquette University.
His book Pseudo-Dionysius and the Metaphysics of Aquinas (2005) was described by Alasdair MacIntyre as ‘one of the two or three most important books on Aquinas published in the last fifty years’. His study of James Joyce and Aristotle, Allwisest Stagyrite: Joyce’s Quotations from Aristotle, was published by the National Library of Ireland in 2005. His latest publications, Aristotelian Interpretations (by the Irish Academic Press) also contains an extensive chapter on Joyce.
Photo: Fran with Joyce's guitar, repair of which he sponsored.
Glenn Patterson was born in Belfast in 1961 and studied on the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia taught by Malcolm Bradbury. He returned to Northern Ireland in 1988 and was Writer in the Community for Lisburn and Craigavon under a scheme administered by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
He is the author of several novels. The first, Burning Your Own (1988), set in Northern Ireland in 1969, won a Betty Trask Award and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Fat Lad (1992), was shortlisted for the Guinness Peat Aviation Book Award and explores the effects of the political situation in Northern Ireland through the story of a young man returning to his homeland after an absence of ten years. Black Night at Big Thunder Mountain (1995) narrates the experiences of three people brought together on the Euro Disney construction site. The International (1999), is set in a Belfast hotel in 1967, and tells the story of a day in the life of Danny, an 18-year-old barman. Number 5 (2003), traces the lives of the various occupants of a Belfast house over a 45-year period. That Which Was (2004), is also set in Belfast and explores the interaction between memory, history and society. Lapsed Protestant, a collection of his non-fiction, was published in 2006. His more recent work includes The Third Party (2007), The Mill For Grinding Old People Young (2012) and Gull (2016). Glenn is currently a Professor of Creative Writing in the School of Arts, English and Literature at Queen's University Belfast.
Former ghost-writer, Nicola Pierce has written four novels of historical fiction for children and is currently working on her fifth. Her first novel, Spirit of the Titanic, published by The O'Brien Press in 2011, was reprinted five times within its first twelve months. Her second novel, City of Fate, about World War II's Battle of Stalingrad, was shortlisted for the Warwickshire Year Nine Book Award 2014. In 2015, The O'Brien Press published Behind the Walls, about the 1688-9 Siege of Derry. Kings of the Boyne, released in 2016, was shortlisted for the 2017 LAI Children’s Book Award. Her most recent book, published in April 2018, was a history book for adults, Titanic, True Stories of Her Passengers, Crew and Legacy was published.
Emilie Pine is Associate Professor of Modern Drama at University College Dublin. Emilie is Editor of the Irish University Review (https://www.euppublishing.com/loi/iur) and Director of the Irish Memory Studies Network (www.irishmemorystudies.com). She is PI of the Irish Research Council New Horizons project Industrial Memories a digital humanities re-reading of the Ryan Report on institutional child abuse (https://industrialmemories.ucd.ie). Emilie has published widely in the fields of Irish studies, Performance studies, and memory studies, including The Politics of Irish Memory: Performing Remembrance in Contemporary Irish Culture (Palgrave, 2011) and The Memory Marketplace: Performance, Testimony and Witnessing in Contemporary Theatre (forthcoming Indiana University Press, 2019). Her first collection of personal essays, Notes to Self, is published by Tramp Press (2018) in Ireland & Hamish Hamilton in the UK, was shortlisted for the Royal Irish Academy Michel Deon award, and has won the IACI Butler Literary Award, and the An Post Irish Book Awards for Best Newcomer, and Book of the Year 2018.
Heather Richardson was born in Northern Ireland in 1964. She studied English Literature at the University of Leicester, and over the next few years worked in a variety of non-literary jobs, including stints as a bus driver, pharmaceutical sales representative and company director. She later studied part-time to gain an MA (Lancaster University) and PhD (Open University) in Creative Writing. Her fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction has been published in magazines in the UK, Ireland, Europe and Australia, including Stinging Fly, Meniscus, Incubator and the European Journal of Life Writing. In 2000 she was winner of the Brian Moore Short Story Award. She has published two novels, Magdeburg (Lagan Press, 2010), and Doubting Thomas (Vagabond Voices, 2017). In 2006 she began teaching at the Open University, and is now part of the academic team running the OU’s online MA in Creative Writing. Her current interest is narrative textiles, exploring life writing and story telling through fabric and stitch.
Gerry Smyth has been a lecturer in English at Liverpool John Moores University since 1991. He researches in the areas of Irish cultural history (particularly popular music), modern fiction, post-colonialism, and contemporary critical theory. He has lectured across Europe and the United States, and held fellowships at institutions in Prague, Monaco and Vienna. In 2012 he received Honorary Membership of the Academic Anglophone Society of Romania. He is a member of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literature, the British Association for Irish Studies, and the European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies.
Smyth is a founder member of the Liverpool-Irish Literary Theatre, specialising in the writing and production of plays on Irish literary themes. In 2011 Smyth wrote a two-man show entitled The Brother which he adapted from the work of Flann O'Brien. He performed the play (with actor David Llewellyn, directed by Andrew Sherlock) at an international Flann O'Brien conference in Vienna in July 2011, and at another international conference in Trieste in May 2012. The Brother had a six-night run at the Edinburgh Free Fringe Festival in August 2012, and has subsequently been performed at the Eleanor Rathbone Theatre (the University of Liverpool), as part of the 2012 May Festival at the University of Aberdeen, and at the IASIL (International Association for the Study of Irish Literature) Conference in Lille in June 2014. Smyth wrote a companion piece entitled Will the Real Flann O'Brien ...? A Life in Five Scenes which he performed (in a double header with The Brother) at the 2013 Liverpool Irish Festival, and at the Third Flann O'Brien Conference in Prague in July 2015. The Liverpool Irish Literary Theatre travelled to the O'Brien conference Salzburg in July 2017 to perform a trio of short plays, including two by Flann O'Brien - Thirst and The Dead Spit of Kelly - as well as The Golden Gate by Lord Dunsany.
In August 2017 Smyth's play Nora & Jim - based on an episode in the lives of James Joyce and Nora Barnacle - ran for six nights at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
In October 2018 Smyth’s cabaret adaptation of the album ‘’Murder Ballads’’ by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds premiered at the Liverpool Royal Court. The show played to excellent reviews over three nights; it is currently in development for further performances throughout 2019
Gerry Smyth is also a musician. In 2012 he completed his sixth and seventh studio albums.
Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford in Ireland in 1955 and was educated at University College Dublin where he read History and English. After graduating, he lived and taught in Barcelona, a city that he later wrote about in Homage to Barcelona (1990). He returned to Ireland and worked as a journalist before travelling through South America and Argentina. He is the author of a number of works of fiction and non-fiction and is a regular contributor to various newspapers and magazines. He was awarded the E. M. Forster Award in 1995 by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is a member of Aosdána, an Irish organisation founded to promote the arts.
His novels include The South (1990), The Heather Blazing (1992), The Story of the Night (1996), The Blackwater Lightship (1999) and The Master (2004). He also writes non-fiction: The Sign of the Cross: Travels in Catholic Europe(1994) and The Irish Famine (1999) (with Diarmaid Ferriter). His latest books are Brooklyn (2009), winner of the 2009 Costa Novel Award; a collection of short stories, The Empty Family (2010); New Ways to Kill Your Mother (2012), a book of essays, and The Testament of Mary (2012), shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. More recent work includes The Testament Of Mary (2012), Nora Webster (2014) and House of Names (2017). He was appointed Chancellor of the University of Liverpool in 2017
JESSICA TRAYNOR’s work engages with history and its echoes, especially in connection to the landscape, politics and geography of her native Dublin. Her second collection, The Quick, is forthcoming in November 2018. Poet Helen Mort has said of the work: “Visionary, luminous and haunted, Jessica Traynor’s poems are home to a host of compelling characters: witches, changelings, the spirit of Hildegard of Bingen. In The Quick (Dedalus Press, 2018), even the grotesque is rendered with subtle delicacy – a woman whose ‘lungs fold like an origami bird’. These poems will give you goose-bumps.”
Liffey Swim (Dedalus Press, 2014), her debut, was shortlisted for the 2015 Strong/Shine Award. In 2016, it was named one of the best poetry debuts of the past five years on Bustle.com. Cordite Review said of the collection: “The quality of its work guarantees that Traynor is a poet to keep reading and listening to. Her language is fresh, erudite and engaging.”
Jessica is under commission by Poetry Ireland and Chamber Choir Ireland to work with composer Elaine Agnew to create a thirty-minute choral piece for performance in the National Concert Hall in 2019. In 2016, she was commissioned by the Salvage Press to write a suite of poems in response to Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal. She was invited by actor Stephen Rea to recite these poems at the Field Day ‘Right to Have Rights’ lecture series in autumn 2017. In 2016, she was commissioned by the Irish Writers Centre and the Arts Council to write 'A Demonstration’ for the Easter Rising commemorations.
Her poems feature regularly in international poetry journals and have been anthologised in A Bittern Cry (Poetry Ireland), Hallelujah for Fifty Foot Women(Bloodaxe), The Deep Heart’s Core, If Ever You Go (Dedalus Press) and Windharp (Penguin). Poems are regularly broadcast on Irish national radio. In 2016, she was selected as one of the Rising Generation of poets by Poetry Ireland.
Awards include the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary 2014, Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year 2013 and the 2011 Listowel Poetry Prize. She was the 2010 recipient of a Dublin City Council Literature Bursary. Her poetry has been translated into Czech, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish and was projected in Edinburgh, Krakow, Prague and Dunedin in 2014-6 as part of the Unesco City of Literature Programme.
William Wall is a novelist, poet and short story writer. He is the author of six novels (one forthcoming 2019), four collections of poetry and three of short fiction. His work concerns itself with political and social themes – class in Ireland, the family, corruption, the urban/rural divide – as well as personal themes of love, loss and suffering. He is, perhaps, best known for his striking prose, his writing of complex female characters and his long commitment to representing the complexity, internal tensions and destructive forces inherent in the nuclear family in Ireland. In this context his five published novels, in particular, can be read as a single oeuvre.
Born in Cork, Ireland, he now divides his time between Cork and Liguria, Italy.
‘Wall writes prose so charged – at once lyrical and syncopated – that it’s as if Cavafy had decided to write about a violent Irish household’. — The New Yorker
‘Wall’s touch with characterisation is light and deft: many illustrate themselves plainly with just a few lines of dialogue.’ — The Guardian
‘Wall engages not just with current Irish economic and political crises but Ghost Estate is also a book that explores the larger, darker contexts of our contemporary historical climate.’ — Southword
He is the first European winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize (2017) and has toured the US East Coast with the resulting collection of short fiction called The Islands.
He holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the School of English, University College Cork, the first such doctorate awarded in Ireland.
His 2005 novel This is The Country was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards and the Mind Prize.
His short fiction and poetry have won The Drue Heinz Literature Prize, the Virginia Faulkner Award, The Sean O’Faoláin Prize, several Writer’s Week prizes, The Patrick Kavanagh Award and been shortlisted for numerous others including The Raymond Carver Award, The Manchester Fiction Prize and The Hennessy Prize. He has received Irish Arts Council Bursaries, travel grants from Culture Ireland and translations of his books have been funded by Ireland Literature Exchange. He has received public commissions.
He is not a member of Aosdána for political reasons explained in his essay ‘Riding Against The Lizard’ (see http://williamwall.net/free-books-and-essays.html). His work has been translated into many languages, including Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Latvian, Serbian and Catalan. He has a particular interest in Italy and translates from Italian.
In 2014 he was part of the Italo-Irish Literature Exchange which gave readings at various places in Italy and which led to a joint Italian/Irish set of publications. He was an Irish delegate to the European Writers’ Parliament in Istanbul 2010. He was a 2009 Fellow of The Liguria Centre for the Arts & Humanities. He collaborated with artist Harry Moore to produce the Shadowlands exhibition and book in 2008.
Suzy Suzy (New Island, Dublin and Head of Zeus, London, forthcoming 2019)
Grace’s Day (New Island, Dublin and Head of Zeus, London, August 2018)
This Is The Country (Hodder/Sceptre, London, 2005)
The Map of Tenderness (Hodder/Sceptre, London, 2002)
Minding Children (Hodder/Sceptre, London, 2001)
Alice Falling (Hodder/Sceptre, London/WW Norton, New York, 2000)
The Yellow House (Salmon Poetry, Clare, 2017)
Ghost Estate (Salmon Poetry, Clare, 2011)
Fahrenheit Says Nothing To Me (Dedalus, Dublin, 2004)
Mathematics & Other Poems (The Collins Press, Cork, 1997)
The Islands (Pittsburgh University Press, USA, 2017)
Hearing Voices/Seeing Things (Doire Press, Galway, 2016) [Collection]
No Paradiso (Brandon Book, Dingle, Kerry, 2006) [Collection]
Essays, Reviews, Translations
Most essays and reviews are available to read online at The Ice Moon (http://williamwall.net/The-Ice-Moon/index.html
Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org