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Prague UNESCO City of Literature Writers‘ Residencies 2020

Prague, our sister UNESCO City of Literature, are launching their 2020 Writers Residency and want to hear from Irish writers!

Prague City of Literature offers residency stays for foreign writers and translators.

There are six residencies available for 2020, each lasting two months. Prague City of Literature reimburses the resident for a return ticket, provides accommodation for free and a stipend of 600 euro per month.

For more information continue to:…-conditions/


Idaho by Emily Ruskinovich wins the 2019 International Dublin Literary Award

      Idaho by Emily Ruskovich wins the 2019 International DUBLIN Literary Award

Debut novelist claims €100,000 prize

American author Emily Ruskovich has won the 2019 International DUBLIN Literary Award for her novel Idaho. The Award is organised and sponsored by Dublin City Council and at €100,000 is the world’s largest prize for a single novel published in English. Emily Ruskovich is the fourth American author to win the prize in its 24-year history.

Uniquely, the Award receives its nominations from public libraries in cities around the globe and recognises both writers and translators. The winner was announced at a ceremony in Dublin’s Mansion House which was livestreamed on the International DUBLIN Literary Award Facebook page to allow people from across the world to tune in to the event.

Emily Ruskovich grew up in the Idaho Panhandle, on Hoodoo Mountain. Her fiction has appeared in Zoetrope, One Story and the Virginia Quarterly Review. A winner of a 2015 O. Henry Award and a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, she now teaches creative writing in the M.F.A. programme at Boise State University. She lives in Idaho City with her husband and baby daughter.  The winning novel was chosen from a total of 141 titles, nominated by libraries in 115 cities across 41 countries.  It was first published by Chatto & Windus in the UK and by Random House in the USA.

Commenting on her win, Emily Ruskovich said; ‘I cannot express how grateful I am to be the recipient of this astonishingly generous award. It is difficult to know how to respond to the magnitude of this kindness that has been so suddenly bestowed upon me. I feel shocked. I feel humbled. I feel overwhelmed with the enormity of my gratitude. I am especially honoured because of the admiration that I feel for the other finalists, authors from all over the world who are all doing such crucial and beautiful work. Seeing my name beside theirs when the shortlist was announced—that alone was one of the greatest honours of my career.

About Idaho; One hot August day a family drives to a mountain clearing to collect birch wood. Jenny the mother, is in charge of lopping any small limbs off the logs with a hatchet. Wade the father, does the stacking. The two daughters June and May, aged nine and six, drink lemonade, swat away horseflies, bicker, sing snatches of songs as they while away the time. But then something unimaginably shocking happens, an act so extreme it will scatter the family in every different direction.

Speaking at the winner announcement, newly elected Lord Mayor & Patron of the Award, Paul Mc Auliffe, remarked; ‘The International DUBLIN Literary Award is a great Dublin success and an even greater international success, our thanks go to all who are involved in making the Award work – writers, translators, publishers, librarians, and the administrative staff of the City Council.’

The prize money was presented by Owen Keegan, Chief Executive of the Award’s founders and sponsors, Dublin City Council. The Award is a key part of the City’s work in promoting Dublin as a UNESCO City of Literature, and as a great place for people to live, work in, and visit.

The 2019 judging panel, which includes Irish author Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, commented:

‘At the heart of Emily Ruskovich’s haunting debut novel is the inexplicable. A young couple, Jenny and Wade, move from the prairies to the utter loneliness and unexpected isolation of the Northern Idaho mountains where they carelessly bought a piece of wooded land on a steep mountainside. As yet, they know nothing about the winter that will entrap them:  masses of snow, no plow, no neighbours, the next settlement eight miles away. This is not an idyll. Years go by. They build a house with their own hands; two children are born – May and June. Then, all of a sudden, in a brutal flash, with no warning, their happiness and their love are destroyed forever.’

Ruskovich’s masterful achievement is to narrate with consummate skill the complex series of events covering a time-span of more than fifty years. Empathy and love stand next to cruelty and crime. Individual guilt, trauma and pain are looming as large as eventual forgiveness and the ability to live in half-knowledge. Ultimately, Idaho evolves into a masterpiece on the redeeming and regenerative potential of music, poetry, literature and art.’ (full citation below)

The other judges were Ge Yan, Evie Wyld, Martin Middeke and Hans-Christian Oeser. The non-voting chair was Judge Eugene Sullivan.

Idaho was nominated by the public library in Brugge, Belgium, who commented:

‘This special debut novel is a real gem because of the atmosphere as well as the special structure of the novel. Ann Mitchell and her husband Wade live on a woody mountain in Idaho. We know from the beginning that the ex-wife is in prison and the two daughters are dead or missing. It’s difficult to unravel the mystery because Wade suffers from a kind of dementia. What had happened and why? Emily Ruskovich leaves bread crumbs by means of different stories. It’s nice to zig zag through time in a world of multiple truths. Toward the end the stories become shorter and supported by the long descriptions of the lonely, sinister and misty landscape.’

Idaho was chosen from a shortlist of 10 novels from France, Ireland, Pakistan, the UK and the USA. One of the novels, Compass by Mathias Énard, was translated from French by Charlotte Mandell.

Copies of the winning novel, the shortlisted books and the full list of novels nominated for the 2019 award are available to borrow from Dublin Public libraries. More details on the award at

Iris Murdoch Centenary


To celebrate the centenary of the birth of writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch, there will be a series of events in Dublin this summer. Dublin City Council will unveil a plaque in Blessington Street, where Iris Murdoch lived, An Post will issue a special stamp and there will be a Philosophy by Postcard campaign. There will also be an exhibition of Iris Murdoch’s books and letters in Phibsboro Library. 

On Wednesday 26th June, Niall McMonagle will discuss Iris Murdoch, her life, her work and his friendship with her. Actor Cathy Belton will read from selected Murdoch works.

Venue: The Castle Hotel, Great Denmark St, Dublin 1. Time: 7.30pm

Admission is free. All are welcome. No booking required.

Phibsboro Library Exhibition

First editions of Iris Murdoch’s books along with correspondence and newspaper articles curated by Niall MacMonagle during the month of July. Free admission. No booking.

Opening Hours:

Monday and Wednesday 12.45pm-4pm. and 4.45pm -8pm

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm

Screening of Iris at IFI, Eustace St, Temple Bar. Monday 15th July, 6.30pm

Musician and Iris Murdoch fan Finghin Collins will introduce the screening of the 2001 biographical drama, that tells the story of Irish-born novelist Dame Iris Murdoch and her relationship with John Bayley. Starring Judi Dench and Kate Winslet. Tickets from the booking office or at

Philosophy By Postcard

To celebrate the centenary of Murdoch  An Post are issuing a beautiful commemorative stamp on 15th July 2019.

Join An Post and In Parenthesis to celebrate Murdoch’s philosophy, literature, and love of letter-writing by participating in an international #SlowPhilosophy exchange: #PhilosophybyPostcard.

Between July and September 2019 you are invited to send a postcard to Iris Murdoch at Blessington Street, Dublin. The postal address will be released on 15th July 2019. 100 postcards received will be selected and sent on to 100 waiting philosophers from around the globe. You will receive a reply to your postcard from a philosopher, written on a specially commissioned artist-designed postcard complete with a commemorative Murdoch stamp. Philosophy by Postcard was inspired by the postcard exchange between Elizabeth Anscombe and Sir Anthony Kenny, held in the Collegium Institute archive at University of Philidelphia. 

For more information see

WORDS ON THE STREET – Celebrating European Literature in Translation


Join Johnny Ward, Bryan Murray, Ger Ryan, Owen Roe, Marian Richardson and Kate Stanley Brennan

for an evening celebrating European Literature in Translation

9th May
Around Merrion Square



Crossing political and literary borders – Words on the Street will take you on a journey across the cultural landscape in an evening of moving and animated readings of translated work by contemporary European authors. Treat your eyes and ears to a new experience – hear voices from ten European countries, across a range of beautiful cultural venues on a trail around all sides of the handsome Merrion Square, one of Dublin’s most impressive Georgian areas.

Our venues this year are Literature Ireland, The American College Dublin, The Goethe-Institut Irland, The Irish Architectural Archive, and The Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland.

The first reading at each venue will start at 6:30pm and the last one at 9:00pm.

Each reading takes approximately 15 minutes and is repeated on the hour and half hour.





Save the Date! Words on the Street 9th May around Merrion Square

Words on the Street 2019 – A European Literature Trail

Crossing political and literary borders – Words on the Street will take you on a journey across the cultural landscape in an evening of moving and animated readings of translated work by contemporary European authors. Treat your eyes and ears to a new experience – hear voices from ten European countries, across a range of beautiful cultural venues on a trail around all sides of the handsome Merrion Square, one of Dublin’s most impressive Georgian areas.
Our venues this year are Literature Ireland, The American College Dublin, The Goethe-Institut Irland, The Irish Architectural Archive, and The Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland.

The first reading at each venue will start at 6:30pm and the last one at 9:00pm. Each reading takes approximately 15 minutes and is repeated on the hour and half hour.


DUCoL would like to share this statement from our steering committee.

Our thoughts are with New Zealanders

18 March 2018

UNESCO Creative Cities Network statement on New Zealand terror attacks

We, the members of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and our colleagues in UNESCO Cities of Auckland (Music) and Dunedin (Literature) during this terrible moment of suffering in Christchurch.

It is important at this moment that we stand with the Mayor and people of Christchurch, and our UCCN colleagues in New Zealand. We know that there is great shock, pain and fear to be overcome.

When one city or nation suffers from violence fueled by racism and the deliberate targeting of the Muslim community – we all suffer.

We must not suffer in silence.

We stand together to fight violence and build peace through all art forms and culture.

Today we remind the UNESCO Creative Cities Network that the work of building peace in the hearts and minds of women and men around the world is an ongoing struggle for social change and progress in every city.

Arts and creativity are an important force for uniting communities to heal and process the trauma that remains from violence.

We stand today in solidarity with the people of Christchurch and the people of New Zealand – never again should any group suffer at the hands of violent extremists.

UNESCO seeks to build peace through international cooperation in education, science and culture. Its mandate is as relevant as ever. Cultural diversity is under attack and new forms of intolerance, rejection of scientific facts and threats to freedom of expression challenge peace and human rights. Goal 16 on the Agenda 2030 states: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”. And the main goal of the New Urban Agenda is: “Leave No One Behind.”.

Today we recognize there is much work to do around the world to fully realize peaceful cities and societies and to leave no one behind. Therefore in response, UNESCO’s duty remains to reaffirm the humanist missions of education, science and culture, and we encourage our colleagues in New Zealand to recognize that they are not alone in this struggle.



The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) is a project of UNESCO launched in 2004 to promote cooperation among cities which recognized creativity as a major factor in their urban development. The network currently comprises 180 cities from 72 countries.

The network aims to foster mutual international cooperation with and between member cities committed to invest in creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development, social inclusion and cultural vibrancy. The Network recognizes the following creative fields: Crafts & Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music.




In 2019 the Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature for the first time offers a free residency for a writer from another UNESCO City of Literature.
If you need further information please email

It’s All About Books Exhibition


An exhibition by visual artist Marie Hanlon

and an accompanying series of Thursday Talks

Friday 22nd February – Friday 15th March

Set in the wonderful contemporary glass architecture of the DCU Cregan Library, Marie Hanlon’s visual art installation is designed to set us thinking about our engagement with books. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition with essays by Colm Tóibín, Joanne Laws, Catherine Marshall and Patricia Flynn.


EXHIBITION OPENING: 22nd February 6pm

Please come along to the Cregan Library on DCU St. Patrick’s Campus for the opening night of this lovely exhibition on the evening of Friday February 22nd. You will be welcome! Let them know you are coming by registering here

THURSDAY TALKS: 28th February, 7th March, 14th March, 6-7pm

Three Thursday Talks are being scheduled to accompany and illuminate the exhibition, featuring a range of fascinating observations and viewpoints. The talks are FREE to attend, but you must book your place in advance

Brought to you by GlasDrum and DCU Library. Supported by DUBLIN UNESCO City of Literature, DCU and Fingal County Council. Marie is a member of Aosdána, an affiliation of creative artists in Ireland.

Notes to Self by Emilie Pine named as the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2018

Pic: Patrick Bolger Photography.

Notes to Self by Emilie Pine, a book written in a collection of vivid and powerful essays, has been voted the ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year 2018’

The ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year 2018’ was chosen by a public vote from the list of category winners announced at the recent An Post Irish Book Awards. Previous winners of this esteemed award include ‘Atlas of the Irish Revolution’ by John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil, Mike Murphy and Dr. John Borgonovo, ‘Solar Bones’ by Mike McCormack, ‘Asking for it’ by Louise O’Neill, ‘Academy Street’ by Mary Costello, ‘Staring at Lakes’ by Michael Harding, ‘The Spinning Heart’ by Donal Ryan and ‘Solace’ by Belinda McKeon.

Published by Tramp Press, ‘Notes to Self’ is written as a series of essays, with Pine writing about a variety of aspects of her life including fertility, feminism, sexual violence and depression. She also addresses her personal experience of a family members addiction.

Emilie Pine, Winner of the ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year’ says: I’m delighted and honoured to win Irish Book of the Year. I have been so moved by the generosity and support of readers over the past six months. This award is the kind of validation a writer dreams of – of my story, and also of the vision of my incredible publishers, Tramp Press”.

Maria Dickenson, Chairperson of the An Post Irish Book Awards, says: “Emilie Pine’s Notes to Self was one of the great stories in Irish bookselling in 2018 and I’m delighted that the voting public has chosen it as the An Post Book of the Year.  The power and honesty of Emilie’s essays have captivated readers, and it’s truly gratifying both to see her talent rewarded and to see an Irish publisher like Tramp Press receive this well-deserved recognition”.

David McRedmond, CEO of An Post, says: “2018 was a huge year for Irish writing and no book illustrates better why An Post is delighted to sponsor the Irish Book Awards: Emilie Pine’s book, a challenging read, is deeply human and Irish, emotional and clever. An Post thanks all the voters for engaging with the Awards in such large numbers.”

The An Post Irish Book Awards celebrate and promote Irish writing to the widest range of readers possible. Each year it brings together a huge community passionate about books – readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians – to recognise the very best of Irish writing talent.

The initiative consists of a range of categories including Novel of the Year, Children’s, Cookery, Crime Fiction, Popular Fiction, Nonfiction, Sports, Short Story, Poetry and Teen and Young Adult. This year, a new Irish Language category was added to the roster of awards. It is entitled ‘The Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year’. A one-hour highlight television programme featuring the An Post Irish Book Awards is broadcast on RTÉ One every year.

Pic: Patrick Bolger Photography.