Final countdown to feast of literature as Cúirt set to open


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Final countdown to feast of literature as Cúirt set to open Final countdown to feast of literature as Cúirt set to open

Giant, iconic pencils are being put in place around the town ahead of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature which opens next Tuesday, April 23, and runs until Sunday, April 28.

Some events are already sold out, especially those with bigger names, but there’s still plenty to choose from including a live edition of The Stinging Fly podcast with Nicole Flattery and Claregalway author Caoilinn Hughes to celebrate Caoilinn’s new novel ,The Alternatives.

Novelist Edel Coffey will discuss her new, bestselling thriller, In Her Place, with Ali Watkins, while US novelist and short-story writer Bryan Washington, will talk about his latest book, Family Meal, with Michael Magee. Award-winning novelists Una Mannion and Paul Murray will join Sinéad Gleeson to talk about their family novels, The Bee Sting and Tell Me What I Am, while Sinéad herself will mark the launch of her debut novel, Hagstone.

Other new novelists featuring at Cúirt include Colin Walsh, Ferdia Lennon, Noel O’Regan, K Patrick, Nicola Dinan and Katherine O’Donnell.

In non-fiction, Clair Wills and Molly Hennigan will discuss their books, Missing Persons, or My Grandmother’s Secret and The Celestial Realm, exploring generational trauma, Mother and Baby homes and the Irish State’s treatment of women. Northern writers Máiría Cahill and Martin Doyle will explore  violence, paramilitary corruption, IRA secrecy and life during the Troubles in the company of poet Glen Patterson. On Saturday, April 27, Leon Diop and Briana Fitzsimons will celebrate their landmark book, Black & Irish, which educates people on adopting an anti-racist mindset and advocates for Black people in Ireland.

Katriona O’Sullivan (Poor) and Kieran Yates (All the Houses I’ve Ever Lived In) will join poet Sarah Clancy for a discussion on addressing the housing crisis, while biographer Jackie Uí Chionna will reveal the secret life of Galway’s Emily Anderson, one of the world’s top women codebreakers. Mark O’Connell and Susannah Dickey will explore  the obsession with true crime through their books about notorious murder cases.

There’ll be readings from Irish poets including Nick Laird, Miriam Gamble, Leontia Flynn, Scott McKendry and Emily Cooper, and international poets such as Lemn Sissay, Rafeef Ziadah, Brenda Shaughnessy, Erika Meitner, Joey Connolly, Abigail Parry and K Patrick. Cúirt 2024 will conclude with a poetry reading from Rita Ann Higgins, Elaine Feeney, Susannah Dickey and Jackie Kay.

Other events include a storytelling session with Galway writer Oein DeBhairduin and homoseanchaí Richard O’Leary, who featured in the Turner Prize winning art installation The Druthaib’s Ball. Richard’s true tale, Teenage Rebel in the GPO 1983, will be told bilingually.

Oein will also take part in The Slug and the Snail, a children’s event in Irish and English, based on his children’s book about identity, self-acceptance and different ways of seeing the world.

And there’s Dinnseanchas – newly commissioned work in Irish by Mícheál Ó Ruairc and Bríd Ní Mhóráin that explores the lore of place, while Róise Ní Bhaoill will read from her award-winning short story collection, Imran.

Information and tickets from or the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777.

Pictured: The Cúirt pencils mark the arrival of the annual festival.




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