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Initiated in 2020, the Irish Itinerary Podcast is the exciting digital version of our longstanding Irish Itinerary circuit which organises live events with Irish authors and artists in university cities and towns all over Europe. It seeks to contribute to transnational dialogues, conversations and discussions about contemporary Irish literature, music and art in and beyond Europe. 

The Irish Itinerary Podcast allows Irish authors and artists active on the island of Ireland to present their work online. Hosted by leading Irish Studies scholars from the expansive network of EFACIS, the readings and performances of Irish authors and artists are integrated into interviews. This approach reaffirms and furthers our commitment to integrating cultural events and academic projects in the field of Irish Studies. 

We thank Gerry Smyth for allowing us to use his tune 'Coming Through Sligo' as a jingle and want to express our sincere gratitude to Culture Ireland, the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Ireland, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and the Irish College Leuven for their continued and generous support of EFACIS and all formats of the Irish Itinerary. 

General editor: Katharina Rennhak

Coordinator and editor: Sien Deltour

51. Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin in conversation with Georgina Nugent (16 May 2024)



In her conversation with Georgina Nugent, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin reads several poems from her latest collection The Map of the World (2023). She also talks about the motif of hair in her poetry and the themes of death, history, water and time; the limits of knowledge and language her poems come up against; the timetable of cats; poetry as an attempt to reach through to those we have lost; and her poem-writing process and how she structures her collections.    

50. Kerri ní Dochartaigh in conversation with Fiona McCann (25 May 2024)



In her conversation with Fiona McCann, Kerri ní Dochartaigh discusses the writing and editing process of Thin Places (2022) and the importance of form; the community of writers and how citation is an act of love; the real power we find in one-anotherness and interconnectedness; resilience and its link to the land; and language learning as a way back to the core of oneself. Kerri also reads from Cacophony of Bone (2023).  

49. Scott McKendry in conversation with Alex Alonso and Jessica Bundschuh (21 March 2024)



In his conversation with Alex Alonso and Jessica Bundschuh, Scott McKendry talks about and reads from his recently published poetry volume GUB. He discusses the new orthography he designed for his North Belfast accent in this volume; the importance of dialects and his research on dialect in Irish poetry; the balance between the serious subjects and the irreverent spirit of his poems; and the inescapable influence of Ciaran Carson. 

48. Sharon Dempsey in conversation with Lucy Cullen (15 February 2024)



In her conversation with Lucy Cullen, Sharon Dempsey reads from and discusses her novel Who Took Eden Mulligan? (2021). She also talks about how her critical work as a PhD candidate influences her creative work; how crime fiction is the best genre to deal with unresolved issues from the past, and to negotiate class and gender inequalities – in general, and in Northern Ireland in particular; how she often draws on tropes from other genres, such as horror and the gothic; and how the choice of form really depends on the theme of the story.  

47. Joseph Woods in conversation with Irene De Angelis (18 January 2024)



In his conversation with Irene De Angelis, Joseph Woods discusses his time as director of Poetry Ireland; his nomadic life and how linguistic and self-chosen exile helped him find his voice as a poet; his various poetry volumes and their connections to people and places; his work with the Mashonaland Irish Association while living in Harare, Zimbabwe; and his life as a jobbing writer and how 90 percent of the work is showing up. He also talks about his current PhD project, a work based on the life of Maurice Collis, and his forthcoming poetry collection.  

46. Sheila Armstrong in conversation with Hedwig Schwall (14 December 2023)



In her conversation with Hedwig Schwall, Sheila Armstrong discusses and reads from her first novel Falling Animals (2023). Sheila talks about the neoliberalism at the core of her novel; about how we went from small scale, traditional industries to much bigger, largely hidden industries we have little understanding of; about how she uses small, but striking details from real life to create whole worlds; about the importance of forgiveness and how guilt and shame are central to her novel; about fiction being an attempt to bridge the gap between people and try and understand how others feel; about the potential of liminal spaces and leaving threads we do not get answers for; and about how finding the right sentence feels like a door is gently closing.  

45. Gavin McCrea in conversation with Helen Cullen (16 November 2023)



In his conversation with Helen Cullen, Gavin McCrea discusses Irishness and how writing has been important in the process of going away from and coming to terms with Ireland. McCrea also talks about creating a voice for women without a voice in his novels Mrs Engels (2015) and The Sisters Mao (2021); about how he starts writing from the materiality of his characters’ world, not only in historical fiction, but also in his memoir Cells (2022); about exploring the relationship with his mother in his earlier novels and in his memoir; and about ”looking outwards” as a writer from a small island. He also reads from his three books.  

44. Denis Rafter in conversation with Marisol Morales-Ladrón (12 October 2023)



In his conversation with Marisol Morales-Ladrón, Denis Rafter discusses his career as an actor, director and theatre artist in Spain; the fact that sometimes he feels like a fish out of water, struggling to express himself and to break down language barriers. He explains that these obstacles are what inspires and motivates him and that by blending his three cultural influences, from Ireland, England and Spain, he brings a unique vision in his approach to using theatre as the common language to communicate the universality of human feelings. Denis Rafter also reads one of his poems and two theatre fragments from his work. 

43. Alan Gilsenan in conversation with Nathalie Lamprecht (25 May 2023)



In his conversation with Nathalie Lamprecht, Alan Gilsenan discusses his documentary film The Laughing Boy (2022), which tries to uncover how the song The Laughing Boy, written by a young Brendan Behan and later used in his play The Hostage, travelled via Paris to Greece and there became an anthem of defiance for the Greek left. Gilsenan discusses the circumstances that facilitated this process; the importance of translation and the way the documentary draws attention to it; the image of Behan as a kind of James Dean that obscures his talent as a writer; and Brendan Behan’s collaboration with theatre director Joan Littlewood.  

In June 2023 the Centre for Irish Studies at Charles University, Prague organises the conference Brendan Behan at 100: Legacy and New Directions, marking the centenary of Brendan Behan's birth. 

42. Nicky Gogan and Paul Rowley in conversation with Kate Huber (20 April 2023)



In their conversation with Kate Huber, Paul Rowley and Nicky Gogan talk about their documentaries Seaview (2008), Build Something Modern (2011) and The Red Tree (2018). They discuss their journey into filmmaking and how they met; Seaview’s experimental style, which challenges the aesthetics of documentaries while foregrounding the asylum seekers’ experiences; the community projects they did with residents of the DP centre in Mosney while making that documentary; the inverse connection between Seaview and Build Something Modern; the similarities between editing documentaries and writing scripts; and their future projects. 

www.stillfilms.org

 https://doi.org/10.1080/1369801X.2022.2157311

https://katehuber.org/

Audio clip and images curtesy of Still Films

41. Catherine Dunne in conversation with Auxiliadora Pérez-Vides (16 March 2023)



In her conversation with Auxiliadora Pérez-Vides, Catherine Dunne discusses how stories have the power to change the minds of people; how she wants her characters to speak for themselves and how she allows them to inhabit her while writing. She also talks about her novel A Name for Himself (1998); about how silence and not having a choice are two parts of the same coin; about the renaissance of Irish women writers in Northern-Ireland; and about her projects for the near future.

40. Barry McCrea in conversation with Michael G Cronin (16 February 2023)



In his conversation with Michael G Cronin, Barry McCrea discusses the genesis of his novel The First Verse (2005); the influence of Latin-American magical realism and other non-English literary works on both the story and style of the novel; the clash between the unlimited inner lyrical self and the limited real world; the dangers of solipsistic reading; real and literary cities; and his current literary project.  

39. Zoë Seaton in conversation with Eleanor Lybeck (19 January 2023)



In her conversation with Eleanor Lybeck, Zoë Seaton discusses the history of Big Telly Theatre Company; their response to the pandemic; and their use of technology. She also talks about making work, with and relevant to the community, that is time and site specific, and because of that universal; about recording this type of immediate work; and about making immersive, interactive and surprising theatre based on the idea that ‘magic can happen anywhere’.

Brick Moon: https://explore.brick-moon.com/welcome/ 

(c) Photographs by Neil Harisson

38. Vivienne Roche in conversation with Charles Armstrong (15 December 2022)



In her conversation with Charles Armstrong, Vivienne Roche talks about being a sculptor first; the influence of her father and the language of engineering on her work; sculpture’s potential for abstraction and her interest in architecture; working with the hidden archeology of a site and the research this involves; the importance of space, materiality and social context in her sculptures; and her collaborations with Sebastian Barry and Derek Mahon, in particular the Lighthouse project.  

Vivienne Roche's works can be viewed on http://www.vivienneroche.com/ .

37. Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin in conversation with Laoighseach Ní Choistealbha (17 November 2022)



In his conversation with Laoighseach Ní Choistealbha, Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin talks about the story at the origin of his novel Madame Lazare (2021); the importance of memory, narrative and folklore in Madame Lazare and the relationship between religion and story-telling; the multilingual nature of his novel; children as interesting unreliable narrators; and the novel’s forthcoming translations.  

36. Padraig Regan in conversation with Jessica Bundschuh (13 October 2022)



In their conversation with Jessica Bundschuh, Padraig Regan reads from old and new work and discusses Timothy Morton’s work on ecology. Padraig also discusses their scepticism towards the concept of ‘nature’, their interest in embodiment and how eating makes us confront the actual, material fact of our bodies; the landscape as a genre of image and how its grammar encodes our attitude to how we occupy the world; the egotism of lyric poetry; metaphor and metonymy; and the endings of volumes and poems.  

 

cover design by Andrew Latimer, image on cover by Ben Malcolmson

35. Evelyn Conlon in conversation with M. Teresa Caneda-Cabrera (21 July 2022)



In her conversation with M. Teresa Caneda-Cabrera, Evelyn Conlon discusses the impact of the lockdowns and her aversion to ‘doomscrolling’; being a writer who is a feminist and being political by engaging in stories that are not considered the norm; using literature to dip into the corridors of truth while history sticks to the facts; reworking Joyce’s story ‘Two Gallants’; and being more Irish when you are away from Ireland. The author also reads two excerpts from her work. 

 

photo Evelyn Conlon by Derek Speirs

Cover Moving About the Place, by Two Associates

Cover Telling, photo courtesy of Hulton Getty Picture Collection

34. Nuala O'Connor in conversation with Carolina P. Amador-Moreno (16 June 2022)



In this special Bloomsday conversation with Carolina P. Amador-Moreno, Nuala O’Connor discusses the research for her novel Nora (2021); her rewritings of Joyce's letters; her search for Nora Barnacle’s voice; the difficulty of finding a balance between the flavour and authenticity of a language and just too many convoluted constructions; the beauty of Irish prose and how it is perceived in the US; and the language of her childhood and how she co-opts it in her fiction as a way to honour that language and her parents. Nuala O'Connor also reads a short excerpt from her novel Nora and introduces us to her new project about a historic maverick woman from Cork. 

33. Mary Morrissy in conversation with Alessandra Boller (26 May 2022)



In her conversation with Alessandra Boller, Mary Morrissy discusses the elasticity of short story fiction; her recent turn to flash fiction; the differences between her ‘exploded novel’ Prosperity Drive (2016) and her upcoming short story cycle 20/20 Vision; her new speculative historical novel on Nora Barnacle, whom she describes as a prisoner of Joyce’s fiction; and she ponders whether writing means plundering other people’s lives. Mary Morrissy also reads the story ‘Girls in Trouble’ from her unpublished collection 20/20 Vision and an extract from her new novel Penelope Unbound

Photo credits: 

Profile photo - Bogliasco Foundation

The Bella Casey cover - Mark Douet

 

32. Caoilinn Hughes in conversation with Chris Cusack (14 April 2022)



In her conversation with Chris Cusack, Caoilinn Hughes reads her poem ‘The Party Faithful’ and discusses being a slow reader and a monotasker and how this has influenced her journey from poetry to prose and makes her a writer of sentences, who favours participation and reciprocity in her relationship to the reader. Among other things, she talks about the similarities in the work of scientists and artists; the themes of family and love that pervade her work; the mislabelling of her first, picaresque, novel Orchid & the Wasp (2018); her tragic, very good-looking characters; the ending of The Wild Laughter (2020); the importance of the setting in a novel; and her identity as an Irish author. 

photo Caoilinn Hughes by Donnla Hughes

31. Kateřina García in conversation with Radvan Markus (17 March 2022)



In her conversation with Radvan Markus, Kateřina García discusses growing up in a multilingual space, surrounded by the work of her great-grandfather Alphonse Mucha; singing in multiple languages and especially Irish; capturing fragile and fleeting moments in her songs; working with various talented musicians; bringing the cultural and literary aspect into her linguistic research on Judeo-Spanish through her interest for traditional Sephardic music and its links with identity; and the journey behind some of her music, of which we hear three examples in this episode.

 

photo Kateřina García on poster by Beta Bajgart
photo on stage by Lenka Novotná
photo Lexicon by Karol Keckes

30. Michael Hughes in conversation with Caroline Lusin (24 February 2022)



In his conversation with Caroline Lusin, Michael Hughes reads from his novel Country (2018) and discusses his journey from actor to writer; the ludic element in his writing; his relationship to Northern Ireland and its authors; the link between the intangible Irish border and mime in his short story "Marcel Marceau"; as well as the Illiadic structure, lingo, distinct narrative voice, and the representation of power structures and violence in his novel Country.

Photo of Michael Hughes by Sarah Laverton

29. Lenny Abrahamson in conversation with Lance Pettitt (13 January 2022)



In his conversation with Lance Pettitt, Visiting Professor in Irish Studies at the University of Wuppertal, Lenny Abrahamson explores the challenges of creating dramatic stories for television, showing how - in his view - the aesthetics, structures and intimacy of film and TV intersect in the compelling viewing experience that is the hallmark of a hit show. He talks about the upcoming series Conversations with Friends and about how we can recognize the themes, form and patterns of Normal People, while at the same time Conversations with Friends pushes further and strives to be a more polyphonic story. Lenny discusses working in a creative and generous environment with, among others, writer Alice Birch and director Leanne Welham; trying to render the characters’ experiences in a truthful way; giving the audience the feeling of being inside the frame; and thinking of episodes as small films. He also lifts the veil on some of the projects he is currently working on.

(c) Behind the scenes photo, courtesy of Element Pictures/ photo by Molly Keane

28. Stephen Sexton in Conversation with Jessica Bundschuh (16 December 2021)



In his conversation with Jessica Bundschuh, Stephen Sexton reads from Cheryl's Destinies (2021) and discusses tensions in post-Brexit Belfast and during the pandemic; Golden Age philosophies; borderlines between the absurd and the tragically real; the significance of graveyards in Cheryl's Destinies; twinnings in poetry and history; the Romantic, Romances, and Keats and Shelley in Italy; as well as the functions of poetic communication, in general, and metaphors, in particular.

 

photo Stephen Sexton by Michael Weir
(c) cover: Penguin

27. Marina Carr in conversation with Rania M Rafik Khalil (15 July 2021)



In her discussion with Rania M Rafik Khalil, award winning playwright Marina Carr discusses the trait of transgression in her female characters, its imperative within her writing, and its recurrence across various literary styles and contexts. Expanding on this theme, she elaborates on the challenge of adapting characters from literary history to address contemporary themes and subjects while retaining those components essential to their original creation. She also reads from her 2015 version of Hecuba.

 

photo Marina Carr by Yousef Khanfar

26. Jan Carson in conversation with Katharina Rennhak (16 June 2021)



In this anniversary episode of the Irish Itinerary Podcast Jan Carson and Katharina Rennhak take up their conversation where it all started a year ago in June 2020. Jan Carson looks back on one year of “writing and being a writer” in lockdown and reads from the works that were published during the last 12 months: Postcard Stories 2 (2020) and The Last Resort (2021). She reflects on the recurring phenomenon in her stories of characters who prefer books to people, on the effects of first-person and you-narrations, and on the historical significance of the textile industry in Northern Ireland. She talks about writing a radio drama, about the setting of The Last Resort as a microcosm of the Protestant Community in Northern Ireland, and about the magical and the real in fiction.

photo of Jan Carson by Jonathan Ryder

25. Melatu Uche Okorie in conversation with Jessica Small (13 May 2021)



In her conversation with Jessica Small, Nigerian-born Irish writer Melatu Uche Okorie discusses the character-driven nature of her writing and exploring personality as a basis for narrative. She also goes into detail on the universality of themes such as motherhood and its centrality to her work and personal life, as well as the capacity for cultural transfer in her work in the face of potentially damaging social norms, while reading from her short-story collection This Hostel Life. 

(c) headshot of Melatu Uche Okorie courtesy of Leo Byrne Photography

(c) This Hostel Life cover design by Alan Keogh

24. Helen Cullen in conversation with Claire Lynch (29 April 2021)



In her discussion with Claire Lynch, Helen Cullen reads from her 2018 debut novel The Lost Letters of William Woolf (2019) and from her latest novel The Dazzling Truth (2020), she discusses her contrasting responses to the ongoing pandemic, and its impact on her work. She offers her opinion on being grouped within the ‘Up Lit’ genre of contemporary fiction and emphasises the emotional catharsis that comes with exploring subjects of melancholia in her writing. She discusses how far her novels can be situation in the Irish literary tradition and comments on her representation of motherhood and on the significance of mother-daughter relationships.

23. Ruth Gilligan in conversation with Marie Mianowski (15 April 2021)



In her conversation with Marie Mianowski, Ruth Gilligan reads from Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan (2016) and discusses her representation of the Irish-Jewish community. She also reads from her latest historical novel The Butchers (2020) and reflects on parallels between the BSE scandal that enveloped British and Irish farming during the 1990s and the current post-Brexit border issues and Covid19, as well as on the tensions - between the modern and the traditional, different generations, and men and women - that drive her narratives. She also talks about her departure from autobiographical fiction and her research practices as an author of historical fiction.

22. Sara Baume in conversation with Elke D'hoker (1 April 2021)



In her conversation with Elke D’hoker, Sara Baume talks about her life as an author and artist in times of Covid19, the significance of daily routines, the migration of birds, differences between writing fiction and memoirs, truth(s) in novels and non-fiction, art and death, folk art, climate change and inequality, and her reluctance to see herself as an activist. Sara Baume also reads from her non-fictional narrative Handiwork (2020).

21. Belinda McKeon in conversation with Kate Costello-Sullivan (18 March 2021)



In their conversation, Belinda McKeon and Kate Costello-Sullivan situate the rich spareness and reticence in McKeon’s fiction in its socio-cultural Irish context. They talk about navigating the balance between continuing literary traditions and creating innovative narratives; about the influence that settling down in the United States has had on McKeon’s style; about writing male characters and shifting to focus unapologetically on female characters; about motherhood and writing; and about the psyche and the body in her canon. McKeon also reads from her short story "Privacy" from the collection Being Various.

 

20. Jack Harte in conversation with Jonathan McCreedy (4 March 2021)



In his conversation with Jonathan McCreedy, Jack Harte talks about narrow definitions of the short story that limit the genre’s potential, about the emotional force of the aisling, the influence of the Catholic church and of economic migration to the Irish midlands in the 1950s as represented in his novel In the Wake of the Bagger; as well as his literary connections to Bulgaria and writing out a contract on a serviette. The conversation also revolves around the difficulties of staging plays during lockdown, Killing Grandad and Jack Harte’s new play The Laughing Boy, Brendan Behan, Michael Collins and Greece; as well as the trilogy of novels he is currently writing.

photo Jack Harte by Uli Sommermann

19. Mary O'Donnell in conversation with Christoph Reinfandt (18 February 2021)



In her conversation with Christoph Reinfandt, Mary O'Donnell reads from her most recent publications in the fields of poetry, short fiction, and the novel. She talks about metapoetic meditations, travel vignettes, autobiographical reflections, and political interventions in Massacre of the Birds (2020); Christoph and Mary also reflect on the narrative representation of the Easter Rising and female emancipation in Empire (2018) as well as on the success of the contemporary Irish short story. Zooming in on Where They Lie (2014), they discuss the implications of writing about the Northern Irish conflict and its aftermath from the perspective of an author from Monaghan.

photo Mary O'Donnell by Martin Nugent

18. Lucy Caldwell in conversation with Hedwig Schwall (4 February 2021)



In her conversation with Hedwig Schwall, Lucy Caldwell talks about narrative perspective in general and you-narrations in particular, about the influence of James Joyce and Lucia Berlin on her short story collections Multitudes and Intimacies and about family dynamics. She reflects on motherhood and autobiographical writing, on the act of choosing love over fear, and on the power of literature to hold a space for its readers. She also discusses the Belfast author C.S. Lewis and lipstick, the Northern Irish community in London and the importance of diversity; last not least, she thinks about what it means to be European in times of Brexit.

17. Lisa McInerney in conversation with Krisztina Kodó (21 January 2021)



In her conversation with Krisztina Kodó, Lisa McInerney discusses forms of heritage and its impact on multicultural, modern Ireland; questions of identity at the intersection of age, nationality, gender and religion; as well as the theme of exile as presented through the eyes of her fictional characters and its relevance in contemporary Irish society . The interview also offers some first glimpses into the as yet unpublished third novel of Lisa McInerney’s Cork trilogy, The Rules of Revelation, and reflects on its creative genesis.

16. Kevin Barry and Olivia Smith in conversation with Ondřej Pilný (7 January 2021)



In their conversation with Ondřej Pilný, Kevin Barry and Olivia Smith discuss their conception and development of the literary and artistic journal The Winter Papers, addressing the challenges of introducing a physical form periodical into a marketplace dominated by digital publishing. Kevin also reads from his latest short story collection, That Old Country Music, while explaining the difficulties of developing and maintaining thematic constants within the short story form, while also elaborating on tropes of residual folk beliefs in the West of Ireland.

 

photo Kevin Barry by Louise Manifold

15. Seán Hewitt in conversation with Frank Shovlin (15 December 2020)



In his conversation with Frank Shovlin, poet Seán Hewitt reads from his debut collection Tongues of Fire. He discusses the significance of birds and observance of the natural world in his work, elaborates on his poetic influences, stresses the importance of musicality and rhythm and emphasises the need for poetry to retain clarity in meaning. Seán Hewitt also highlights the subtle interplay of British-Irish cultural dynamics in his work, drawing on his own experience as a member of the diaspora in the North-West of England.

14. Celia de Fréine in conversation with Rióna Ní Fhrighil (3 December 2020)



In her discussion with Rióna Ní Fhrighil, English and Irish language poet, playwright, screenwriter and librettist Celia de Fréine discusses the challenging dynamic of literary bilingualism, the process of translation as a creative act, and the imperative of writing to matters of public consciousness.

 

Le caoinchead thogra Phortráidí na Scríbhneoirí Gaeilge

13. Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh in conversation with Daniela Theinová (19 November 2020)



In her conversation with Daniela Theinová, Irish language poet Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh reads from her poetry, discusses the socio-geographical situatedness of her work, talks about her experiences as an ERASMUS student and the pleasures of anonymity in big continental cities, the challenges of going with and against literary traditions, the difficulty of translating one’s own poetry, the dangers of taking a Utilitarian approach to language, and about writing routines and motherhood.

 

photo Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh by Máire Uí Mhacáin

12. Maurice Fitzpatrick in conversation with Michal Lachman (5 November 2020)



In his conversation with Michal Lachman, Irish filmmaker and author Maurice Fitzpatrick discusses his documentary In The Name of Peace,  which considers the late nationalist politician John Hume and his lasting impact on the political and cultural makeup of contemporary Ireland.

11. Emma Donoghue in conversation with Marisol Morales-Ladrón (22 October 2020)



In her discussion with Marisol Morales-Ladrón, Irish-Canadian writer Emma Donoghue reads from her latest novel The Pull of the Stars (2020) and explores its themes of childbirth, motherhood, and lesbian love set against the backdrop of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. They also discuss the setting in a maternity ward in Dublin, the challenge of examining and presenting Irish national history from a female perspective and trace some autobiographical references in the novel.

 

credit photo Emma Donoghue: Mark Raynes Roberts (c) 2015

10. Rosemary Jenkinson in conversation with James Gallacher (8 October 2020)



In her discussion with James Gallacher, Belfast playwright and short story writer Rosemary Jenkinson discusses her time in Europe, the continuing visibility of Northern Irish writers within European literature amidst the saga of Brexit, and gives her perspective on COVID 19’s impact on the arts in Ireland. She also discusses themes of poverty, death, and sex trafficking in her latest short story collection Lifestyle Choice 10mg, while also reflecting on the legacy of conflict and residual paramilitarism in contemporary Belfast.

photo of Rosemary Jenkinson by Jim Corr
painting on book cover by Valeri

9. Oein DeBhairduin in conversation with Michael Lydon (24 September 2020)



In his conversation with Michael Lydon, Oein DeBhairduin reveals the pleasure of writing, explains the process of collating and transcribing folk tales, discusses the challenges and excitements of transmitting oral literature to paper, and comments on contemporary Irish Traveller identity, while also reading from his latest work, Why the Moon Travels.

8. Darach Ó Scolaí in conversation with Síle Ní Choincheannain (10 September 2020)



In his conversation with Síle Ní Choincheannain, Irish novelist, playwright and translator Darach Ó Scolaí compares the contemporary Anglo-Irish novel and the Irish language novel; reflects on the European tradition of Irish writing and on his fascination for dark works and for historical novels; talks about his translations of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and other English classics into Irish; and reads from his award-winning historical novel An Cléireach.

 

photo Darach Ó Scolaí by Seán Ó Mainnín

7. Matthew Jacobson in conversation with James Little (27 August 2020)



In his conversation with James Little, Irish drummer and composer Matthew Jacobson discusses his new album Mere Nation, the plans for new-music label Diatribe Records, the evolving interrelationship between education and music performance in Ireland as well as the origins of his slightly weird obsession with palindromes.

Photo credit: Steven Cropper

6. Charlene Kelly and Petal Pilley in conversation with Katarzyna Ojrzyńska (13 August 2020)



In their conversation with Katarzyna Ojrzyńska, Petal Pilley and Charlene Kelly talk about the history of the Blue Teapot Theatre Company and the Blue Teapot Performing Arts School, about synergistic prompting and the Meisner technique, the arts and the decriminalisation of sex with people with intellectual disability in Ireland, challenges of performing on stage and in front of a camera for actors with ID, and Blue Teapot’s involvement with the European project "Crossing the Line". The conversation also revolves around Charlene Kelly's play Into the Dark Woods, the postponed premiere at the Abbey Theatre and other difficulties related to Covid-19.

A transcript of this episode is available here

photos Charlene Kelly and Petal Pilley by Reg Gordon

 

5. Theo Dorgan in conversation with Pilar Villar-Argaiz (30 July 2020)



In his conversation with Pilar Villar-Argáiz poet, translator and novelist Theo Dorgan reads from his work and talks about the mysteries of love poetry, his translations of Frederico García Lorca’s poetry, the power of the Irish language with international audiences and about writing in Irish English, the figure of the rebel and class injustice, ways of transcending European borders, the abiding influence of Greek mythology in his work, Cork winters and feeling at home in Athens, as well as gestures in the imagination that can bring about political change.

4. Alan Titley in conversation with Laoighseach Ní Choistealbha (16 July 2020)



In his discussion with Laoighseach Ní Choistealbha, Alan Titley talks about the significance of the Irish language in contemporary Ireland, takes a critical stance towards Europe, reflects on his experiences in Africa, on writing in different genres, an author’s inspirations, and the joys of writing provocative texts; he also discusses the longevity and social relevance of Irish language literature and the challenges that Irish language authors face on the book market today.

photo Alan Titley used with permission of the Portráidí na Scríbhneoirí Gaeilge project

3. Paul Lynch in conversation with Sylvie Mikowski (2 July 2020)



In his conversation with Sylvie Mikowski, Paul Lynch discusses the significance of his childhood in County Donegal and how aspects of it resurface throughout his literary career, the use of historical material to comment on the present, the significance of plot and the depiction of character psychologies, philosophical novels and reader satisfactions, his reference to the Zen tradition in Beyond the Sea, and on the intersection of style, rhythm and his aspiration to represent “the feeling of the present.” 

photo of Paul Lynch by Richard Gilligan

2. Rita Duffy in conversation with Hedwig Schwall (18 June 2020)



In her conversation with Hedwig Schwall, Belfast artist Rita Duffy discusses art as a means of cultural and political expression in the age of Brexit and Trump, the significance of textiles, flags and home, the end of capitalism as we knew it, the intersection of art, poetry, and literature, and the importance of humour in art as a means of conflict transformation in Northern Ireland.

1. Jan Carson in conversation with Katharina Rennhak (4 June 2020)



Belfast writer Jan Carson discusses art and politics, narrative and empathy, magic realism, masculinity and fatherhood in her novel The Fire Starters with EFACIS President, Katharina Rennhak of the University of Wuppertal.

photo of Jan Carson by Jess Lowe