Our selection of six from the Dublin Book Festival which starts on Wednesday

Posted 7 months ago in Event Preview, Festival

DDF apr-may-24 – Desktop

It’s Dublin Book Festival time again and as expected there’s a wealth of choice to suit all tastes. We’ve dog-eared a few to which tickets are still available.


We’re always keen on the next wave/new generation of writers which excite us.

Author Jan Carson will be in conversation with some of Ireland’s most exciting emerging authors. The Red Bird Sings (Virago) by Aoife Fitzpatrick is a searing feminist historical Gothic fiction that confronts urgent issues of the present day. Catfish Rolling (Head of Zeus) by Clara Kumagai is a story that blends magic-realism with Japanese myth and legend. Perpetual Comedown (New Island) by Declan Toohey is a contemporary yarn of academic intrigue and youthful irreverence, sexual fluidity and neurodiversity.

Thursday November 9, 6.45pm, New Theatre – Book tickets.


A talk and a swim, invigorating.

Join authors Doreen Cunningham and Alice Kinsella in conversation with art critic and author Cristín Leach about motherhood, the climate crisis, and the restorative power of the sea. Soundings: Journeys in the Company of Whales (Virago) charts Cunningham’s journey with her young son, following the grey whale migration back to the Arctic. In Milk (Picador), Kinsella draws her own map of motherhood, and considers the generations of women who came before her.

Following the event, weather permitting, the authors invite you for a swim at the 40ft.

Saturday November 11, 11am-12noon, DLR Lexicon – Free but booking recommended.


A rich, invasive and poignant exploration into what we are called, and why?

In parts of West Africa it is believed children grow to embody their names; that a child named Peace will grow up to radiate serenity. Other West Africans think this is rubbish, but how do we come to be named? What then do we inherit? Do names change us? Who cares? And why should we? Join us to watch this live, on-stage creative workshop and performance unfold, taking place before an audience, where poet, playwright and screenwiter Inua Ellams guides 8 intelligent, funny and insightful guests including writers Liz Houchin, John Cummins, Kimberly Campanello, Dafe Orugbo, Anja Murray, Ashwin Chacko, Thembe Mvula and Leon Diop through Anonyms, a rich, invasive and poignant exploration into what we are called, and why. Audience members will be invited to participate, to come with the story and meaning behind their names.

Saturday November 11, 1pm-3pm, 1 Windmill Lane (D02 F206) – Book Tickets.


Consistently inspiring independent publisher blows out some candles.

For three decades, New Island Books has been a beacon of creativity, innovation, and literary prowess in the heart of Irish publishing. Since being founded New Island has championed the work of new writers while providing a stable home for more established authors and has published some of Ireland’s most loved books including memoirs, anthologies, fiction, and the acclaimed Open Door series for emerging readers. Don’t miss this unforgettable literary event with a stellar line-up that includes novelist and New Island co-founder Dermot Bolger with commissioning editor Aoife K. Walsh alongside authors Annie West (The Late Night Writers Club) and Katherine O’Donnell (Slant) in conversation with Flor MacCarthy (The Presidents’ Letters).

Saturday November 11, 6.30pm, The Printworks at Dublin Castle – Free but booking recommended.


New writers writing and talking and belonging.

Join Sonder as they launch Issue VIII: Belonging. The night will host readings from contributors and some craic agus ceol. The issue boasts short stories, creative nonfiction, and flash fiction by brand new writers, all centring around the theme of belonging and the idea of sonder—the realisation that passersby have a mind as vivid and complex as your own. Also includes an original piece by, and an interview with, journalist and producer Ola Majekodunmi, offering advice to aspiring writers.

Saturday November 11, 8pm, The Printworks at Dublin Castle – Free but booking recommended.


Born to be wild? Nature in focus.

The idea of ‘the wild’ has great power both to attract us, and to repel us – sometimes both at once. Before the Romantic movement, the term was mainly repellent in European literature, referring to ‘uncivilised’ lands and peoples, savage, dangerous and frightening places. The Romantics inverted this stereotype, seeing untamed and uncrowded nature as a lost Eden, a blessed refuge for souls fleeing the constraints and oppression of industrialised cities, even as a synonym for the sublime. Today, it’s a powerful and frequently used word in book titles, whether offering a more authentic version of something familiar, or responding to the degradation that has generated the climate and biodiversity crises. But for all its popularity, it remains a problematic word, not least in discussions of ‘rewilding’ or when used to evoke a counterfactual world in which human intervention never happened. Four nature writers, Lisa Fingleton, Anja Murray, Gwen Wilkinson, and Paddy Woodworth, discuss how we can better resolve the complicated promises and threats of “wild”. Chaired by Luke Clancy of RTÉ lyric fm’s Culture File.

Sunday November 12, 2pm, Botanical Gardens – Book Tickets



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