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Beckett in Foxrock – First Love

Beckett in Foxrock – a performance of First Love in Tullow Church, Foxrock on Saturday 24th March.

First Love is possibly Samuel Beckett’s funniest short story. It tells the tale of a man who falls in love in peculiar circumstances – having been turned out of his own home. John Banville felt it is “the most nearly perfect short story ever written.”

First Love is performed by Marcus Lamb who recently played Bob Cratchit in the feature film The Man who Invented Christmas and Dr. James Oakley in RTÉ’s Fair City. Marcus also enthralled the audience with his performance in The End, last year’s Beckett in Foxrock production.

Beckett in Foxrock 2018 – First Love is the third annual celebration of the Nobel Laureate’s close connection with Foxrock. Samuel Beckett was born and brought up in Brighton Road, just yards from Tullow Church which he attended in the company of his mother. The Foxrock area and many of its residents feature in much of his work. Book tickets here

Maeve Brennan: From New York to Shanghai


Thursday, 22 March, 6:30 p.m.

Venue: Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation, 36 Fenian Street, Dublin 2

This is a free event but seating is limited. To reserve a seat, please email


As part of its Chinese New Year celebrations, Literature Ireland is pleased to present an evening in celebration of Maeve Brennan’s writing and its universal and enduring appeal from New York to Shanghai.


Declan Meade, publisher and editor of The Stinging Fly, which has republished two books by Maeve Brennan – The Springs of Affection (2016) and The Long-winded Lady (2017) – in recent years, will moderate a discussion between writer, editor, broadcaster and journalist Sinéad Gleeson and Literature Ireland–Trinity College Dublin Translator in Residence Yiming Jin.


Yiming Jin is the 2018 awardee of the residential bursary for literary translators co-awarded by Literature Ireland and the Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation. Yiming will stay in Dublin until mid-May, working on her translation of Maeve Brennan’s short story collection The Springs of Affection: Stories of Dublin. Originally from Shanghai, Yiming was an assistant professor and lecturer in English at Fudan University (2006–2012), and recipient of the Fulbright FLTA grant (2010–2011), before she moved to the U.S. in 2012. She now lives in Savannah, Georgia, and is a doctoral fellow of Curriculum Studies at Georgia Southern University. She has translated works by writers including Shirley Jackson, A.B. Yehoshua, Stephen King, James Patterson, Robert Olen Butler, Arthur Golden and Diane Setterfield. 


Sinéad Gleeson is an arts journalist and broadcaster. She presents The Book Show on RTÉ Radio, reports on RTÉ’s arts show The Works and writes for The Irish Times. She has published essays, stories and poems in Granta, Winter Papers, Gorse and Banshee, among others. She edited The Long Gaze Back (2015) and The Glass Shore (2016), anthologies of short fiction by Irish women writers. Her debut novel will be published by Picador in spring 2019.  

Laureate for Irish Fiction 2018–2021 Sebastian Barry

Laureate for Irish Fiction 2018–2021
Sebastian Barry appointed Laureate

At a reception on 8 February 2018, President Michael D Higgins, announced Sebastian Barry as the next Laureate for Irish Fiction 2018–2021. He was awarded the honour by the Arts Council and began his three-year term in February 2018. The Laureate for Irish Fiction was selected following an extensive call for nominations in July 2017 and a rigorous selection process, which culminated in the work of an international selection panel chaired by the poet Paul Muldoon.

The Laureate will continue his work as a creative artist. In addition, over the course of his term, Sebastian Barry will spend one semester at University College Dublin and one semester at New York University. While in residence at the universities, he will teach creative writing and work directly with students and faculty. The Laureate will also deliver an annual lecture, which will be widely disseminated, either through broadcast or publication, or both. Additionally, the Laureate for Irish Fiction will engage in a select number of major public events per annum, with the primary objective of promoting and encouraging greater engagement with Irish literature.

The public programme is curated by the Laureate for Irish Fiction, based around the themes and priorities that he has identified. In Sebastian Barry’s case, he will concentrate, among other things, on ‘The Golden Age of Writers and Readers’. The Laureateship has been designed so that the Laureate will shape the role himself, as is the case in the Ireland Professor of Poetry and Laureate na nÓg. This allows the individual artist to be at the heart of the project, and the Arts Council has a proud and long history of supporting individual artists, particularly writers.

Those individuals or organisations who wish to invite the Laureate to participate in an event should contact Marcella Bannon, Project Manager for the Laureate for Irish Fiction, at As stated above, we will be supporting the Laureate as he curates his public programme and it will be based around the Laureate’s priorities.


Sebastian Barry was born in Dublin in 1955, and attended Catholic University School, and Trinity College, where he read Latin and English. He graduated in 1977 and started to write. He received an Arts Council grant in 1982 to support his early writing. In 1988 his play Boss Grady’s Boys won the first BBC/Stewart Parker Award. At the end of the eighties he published The Engine of Owl-Light (Paladin), an experimental novel. He was elected to Aosdána in 1989 and was Writer-in-Association at the Abbey in 1990. In 1995 The Steward of Christendom, which starred Donal McCann, premiered at The Royal Court and won many awards. In 1996 he was Writer Fellow at Trinity College Dublin. In 1997 he received the Irish-American Fund Literary Award. In 1998 he published a novel The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty with Picador. His novel A Long Long Way (Faber and Faber) appeared in 2005, and won the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award, and was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and the Impac Prize. He was Heimbold Visiting Professor at Villanova University in 2006. The Secret Scripture, a novel, was published in 2008, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the LA Times Book Awards, and won the Costa Book of the Year, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year.

He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of East Anglia, NUI Galway, and the Open University. His archive is held at The Harry Ransom Center in Texas. His novel On Canaan’s Side (2011) was longlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Walter Scott Prize. His novel Days Without End was published by Faber in 2016 and won the Costa Book of the Year Award and The Walter Scott Prize, and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. He has three grown children, Merlin, Coral and Tobias, and lives in Wicklow with his wife Alison.




Tartu is the second largest town of Estonia, but is widely considered its intellectual capital – vitally significant in developing the educational system, culture, science and literature in the Estonian language. In 2015 Tartu was designated UNESCO City of Literature which has further enhanced the vibrant literary scene. Tartu City of Literature residency program aims to increase international exchange and communication, contribute to the mobility of writers and translators, offer a creative and inspiring environment, and provide writers an opportunity to introduce their work to the Estonian readers. The program is open to all non-Estonian resident writers and translators (translating from Estonian to other languages) from across the world, who meet the criteria described below.The residency program is coordinated by the Estonian Literary Society in cooperation with Tartu Department of the Estonian Writers Union and in partnership with various other literary institutions.

The residency period in spring 2018 is two months, May–June. One applicant will be selected.
The deadline for applications is March 1st 2018. The results will be announced by March 15th the latest.
What we offer:

 2-month stay at the house of the former Karl Ristikivi Museum. Karl Ristikivi (1912–1977) was a renowned Estonian writer whose works are considered among the core texts of the 20th century Estonian prose.The house, managed by Karl Ristikivi Society, was his last residence in Estonia before exile in Sweden since 1943.
 A scholarship of 600 euros per month
 Compensation of travel costs to and from Tartu up to 350 euros
 An opportunity to visit places and perform at venues in other cities
 An opportunity to perform at Tartu International Literature Festival Prima Vista – the biggest literary event in the city
 A contact person who is responsible for making arrangements for performances, meetings and tours and helps to make engage in the local literary life

Required documents to be sent by March 1st to the address

 Application form, AVAILABLE HERE
 Fragment of a published text (in Estonian or English) or a fragment of a published translation (from Estonian into another language)
 Upper intermediate level of spoken English.
 At least one published book (fiction or non-fiction), screenplay, theatre script or translation from Estonian into another language by the applicant.
 Interest in Estonian culture and literature.
 Readiness to participate in the local literary life, including events, meetings, interviews, festivals.
 Literary work during the residency.

Additional information:
Marja Unt
Estonian Literary Society/Tartu UNESCO City of Literature

New Crime Writing Festival for Dublin

In a UNESCO City of Literature that boasts innumerable festivals all year round, you might think that all bases had been covered, but with the increasing popularity of genre festivals, this is not strictly true.  Crime writers have regularly appeared at the major Dublin literary festivals but crime writing has arguably been under-served thus far.  All this is about to change with the advent of Murder One, a new three-day long weekend crime writing festival that will feature readings and interviews with Irish and international authors, panel events, walking tours, a speakers corner market-place with merchandise stalls and open mic opportunities, plus murder mystery events and forensics and writing workshops.  Murder One will also be a broad church which will aim to accommodate the kindred genres of thrillers and spy fiction together with script writers of TV series and films.


Smock Alley, one of Dublin’s premier event venues, is booked for 2nd – 4th November and planning is well under way. The festival has been developed and will be curated by two of Ireland’s most experienced literary event programmers, Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin of and Bert Wright formerly of Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival and currently curator of The Dublin Festival of History.  Working with Dublin City Libraries, which has 20 library branches and over half a million users, and Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, the organizers aim to attract not just an avid local audience but also literary tourists from all over the world. The search for a commercial sponsor has begun with the model of the long-running and hugely successful Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate very much in mind.


With crime writing consistently the highest selling genre worldwide, the time is ripe for a great literary city to expand its festival portfolio and Murder One, it is hoped, will become one of the key events in the national and international crime festival calendar.


Bert Wright addedNot for nothing was Dublin chosen as one of the first UNESCO Cities of Literature.  UK visitors always remark upon the enthusiasm and sophistication of Dublin audiences and this has been a festival waiting to happen.  Irish crime writers are now rightly respected and admired the world over. England Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own crime festivals so it really was time for Dublin to step up to the plate.  It’s all enormously exciting and we can’t wait to get stuck in.”


Vanessa O’Loughlin said:

“As a crime writer who has taken part in, as well as curating many crime writing events, I’m constantly delighted by the passion and enthusiasm of Irish crime fans and I’m confident that they will welcome this new landmark festival in Dublin. In addition to my fellow Irish writers, we aim to pull in some major international names to make our first year a memorable one. In 2017, the top three bestselling books were thrillers and we will be bringing together the elements that make that happen to thrill festival goers whether they enjoy cosy whodunits or Cold War spy dramas. Check out or follow @MurderOneFest to see the plot unfold.”


Alison Lyons, Director of Dublin UNESCO City of Literature added: “Crime novels are enjoyed by a wider variety of readers than possibly any other genre, and are consistently among the most popular titles borrowed in libraries, so we have no doubt that there is a huge appetite for Murder One. We look forward to being a part of the festival and bringing readers and authors together, especially our widely celebrated and internationally renowned Irish writers of crime fiction.”


Smock Alley Theatre, Temple Bar, Dublin 8

Thursday November 2nd – 4th 2018


Writer of the City of Graz – Scholarship

Call for applications for the “Writer of the City of Graz” scholarship for the period of September 2018 until August 2019.

Donation / Intention of Promotion

The city of Graz awards the “Writer of the City of Graz” scholarship each year. It includes the provision of an apartment for free in the Cerrini-Schloessl on the Schlossberg, from September of the year of awarding until August 31st of the following year, and a monthly allowance of EURO
1.100,–. The Kulturvermittlung Steiermark will supervise the guest in consultation with the City of Graz-Department for Cultural Affairs.

The intention is to promote writers who show innovative ability and examination of current subject matters, quality in aesthetic and linguistic terms, authenticity and artistic independence. The residence in Graz should contribute to cultural exchange and interaction with the local literature scene. The scholarship holders explicitly agree to stay in Graz for at least 8 months during this period.

Writers who already have been “Writers of the City of Graz” in the past cannot apply again for this scholarship.
The submission deliberately does not provide any regional restrictions for the applicants, in order to make intercultural discourse between European and non-European writers possible.

Basic Requirements

• cultural interest in and linguistic affinity to Graz
• basic German language ability
• at least one autonomous literary publication (no private publishing); five published texts in magazines or anthologies; or two already broadcast or published radio plays; or one stage play already performed at a theatre or published
• cooperativeness for a dialog between literature and the local urban environment
• cooperativeness for participation in readings, lectures at schools, discussions etc. arranged by the City of Graz-Department for Cultural Affairs or the Kulturvermittlung Steiermark, in order to connect with the public and the cultural scene in Graz
• working out a proposal for a specific project, which shall be realised during the duration of the stay

Required Documents (six copies)
• statement of purpose (informal)
• curriculum vitae (resume)
• list of publications
• 2 different publications (plus translations if not published in German) *)
• printed texts (5-10 pages prose or drama texts; or 5 poems in original language with German translations)
• concept for the proposed project (appr. 2 pages DIN A4) **)

* Dimension: 5 to 10 pages text samples, sending of books not necessary
** Description of a concrete project idea to be implemented during your stay in Graz

Method of Awarding
• call for applications
• evaluation by the extended advisory board for literature and the City of Graz-Department for Cultural Affairs
• decision by City of Graz authorities

Deadline for Applications:
March 31st 2018 (valid is the date of postmark)

Applications should be sent to:
Kulturamt der Stadt Graz
City of Graz – Cultural Office
Stigergasse 2/II. Stock (Mariahilfer Platz)
8020 Graz

Misses Elvira Maurer
Tel.: +43/316/872-4907

Hot Press Writing Competition for Students

Hot Press has joined forces with Creative Ireland to launch a new national writing competition, which will allow young students to reflect on the influence of social media.
Over the past fifteen years, with the rise of social media, the most extraordinary changes have taken place in society. In terms of the way we communicate, a whole new  world has opened up as people make use of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, and a whole host of other platforms and apps.   
There are huge pluses involved, as we our able to connect and communicate faster than ever before. But there have been downsides too, with Fake News dominating elections, social media bullying impacting adversely on individuals, and the culture of social media affecting the way we live our lives.
One of the key objectives of the Creative Ireland Programme is to nurture and develop new creative talent. In Write Here, Write Now, Hot Press and Creative Ireland aim to uncover the best new writing talent in the country.
In Social Media: A Writer’s Tale, we want young people to unleash their imagination and create a story which involves – or which reflects on – the good, the bad, the humorous and the absurd nature of this social and cultural phenomenon.
In 500 words or less, we’re asking entrants to lay down their vision, create a fictional world, or reflect on the theme of social media and its impact on our lives in whatever way they think works best. Competition entries can be in the form of stories, poems, songs, monologues, film scripts – or whatever creative medium the entrant chooses.
The competition will be a test of creativity, originality, style – and of the ability to entertain or enthral.
Our special panel of writing experts will include the Booker-prize winning D.B.C. Pierre; the multiple award winning crime writer Tana French; recent winner of the Goldsmiths Prize, Mike McCormack; the acclaimed poet Rita Ann Higgins; Hot Press Editor Niall Stokes; and Deputy Editor Stuart Clark.
There are separate competitions and prizes for students at Secondary Level (Leaving Certificate 5th and 6th Year & GCSE/A-Level); and Tertiary Level (students who still at college/university, as well as anyone who have finished third level education in the past 12 months).
There will be one male and one female winner from both Second and Third Levels, making if four national winners in all. These four overall winners will win an internship in Hot Press, during the spring or summer of 2018. They will also receive a superb Canon PowerShot SX620, a €250 cash prize, a Certificate of Achievement from Write Here, Write Now, and other great prizes. 
There will be more winners too…
Even if you aren’t one of the four winners, there’s a still a chance to come away with some marvellous prizes. Four runners-up, one from each province, will be selected in both Second Level and Third Level categories to receive special prizes. And there will also be prizes for ten additional runners-up – amounting to 22 lucky winners in all.  
This fantastic competition is open to anyone throughout Ireland and there is NO ENTRY FEE.
The closing date for completed entries is February 10, 2018.  To submit your entry, log on to:  or email 

Patrick Kavanagh

November 30th marks 5o years since the death of Patrick Kavanagh – one of Ireland’s best known and best loved poets. He was born in Monaghan, which inspired many of his poems, but spent a lot of his life in Dublin, where he is best remembered for his poem On Raglan Road. There is a statue of Kavanagh beside Dublin’s Grand Canal, inspired by his poem “Lines written on a Seat on the Grand Canal, Dublin”

O commemorate me where there is water
canal water preferably, so stilly
greeny at the heart of summer. Brother
commemorate me thus beautifully.

More detail about events to commemorate his 50th anniversary at

Jonathan Swift 350th Anniversary

The Jonathan Swift Festival takes place this weekend in Dublin to celebrate 35o years since the author, satirist and founder of St. Patrick’s University Hospital  was born.

Dublin City Libraries will mark the anniversary with events in several branches.

Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin on 30 November 1667 and is the author of Gulliver’s Travels, the most popular Irish book ever written. To celebrate Swift’s life and legacy, Dublin City Public Libraries will have a programme of talks, exhibition and events as part of a citywide programme for Swift 350 Festival. Join us to find out about the man and ‘the brand’, a Dubliner of world renowned status, a celebrity now as he was 350 years ago.  All the talks and performances are free. Booking is essential.

In a series of illustrated talks Brendan Twomey will describe and celebrate the complexity of Swift’s life, his personality and works unfolding the story of a clergyman, philanthropist, and writer. In addition Enda Leaney, Senior Librarian will give a brief overview of the Dublin City Library & Archives’ extensive Swift Collections, including first editions of Swift’s works, illustrated children’s editions, and rare items relating to the life and work of Jonathan Swift, including Wood’s Halfpenny.

See schedule below.

Illustrated talks

  • Wednesday 8 November at  6.30 pm in Rathmines Library
  • Wednesday 15 November at 6.30 pm in Cabra Library
  • Wednesday 22 November at 6.30 pm in Inchicore Library
  • Wednesday 29 November at 1.00 pm in Pembroke Library
  • Wednesday 29 November at  6.30 pm in Raheny Library

Rags Upon The Poddle – Songs of Jonathan Swift’s Dublin

  • Wednesday 29 November at 1.00pm in the Music Library, Central Library
  • Thursday 30 November at 6.30pm in Rathmines Library.

Contact: Music LibraryCabra Inchicore Pembroke | Raheny | Rathmines


  • Brendan Twomey is a retired banker. He is currently a PhD student in TCD working on the topic of Personal Financial Management in early eighteenth-century Ireland. The financial management practices of Jonathan Swift are a central case study within this project. His research interests, and his publications include; the development of early eighteenth century Dublin, Jonathan Swift and the Southern Church of Ireland from disestablishment to the circa 1960.
  • Enda Leaney is a Senior Librarian at the Dublin and Irish Collections, Dublin City Library & Archive. He was educated at Dublin and Oxford. The Dublin City Library & Archive developed the ‘Jonathan Swift & Baile Átha Cliath/Dublin’ exhibition this year to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Swift’s birth.
  • Pádraig Ó Nualláin  is a traditional singer and musician from Dublin. He has long had an interest in history, social history in particular and has combined this with his love of Dublin songs to create a presentation and performance centred around 18th century Dublin songs

Swift and Dublin,  An Exhibition
This exhibition produced by Dublin City Public Libraries for Swift 350 places Swift within the context of his Dublin. From his birthplace in Hoey’s Court, St Werburghs to Trinity College where he was educated from St Patrick’s Hospital which he founded as the first hospital to cater for patients with mental health problems to his final resting place in St Patrick’s Cathedral, where he was Dean.

Exhibition location and dates

  • Rathmines Library  2  – 30 November
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral 20 – 30 November

There will also be two special performances of Lemuel Gulliver by Jerry Fish and Dave Rudden in Charleville Mall library for children from the local schools.

Led by Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin the Jonathan Swift festival is takes place from 23-26 November. It is supported by Failte Ireland and Dublin City Council and collaborates with a number of cultural institutions across the city who have a historic or thematic link to Jonathan Swift’s life and work including Marsh’s Library, Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, Trinity College, The Irish Writers Centre, and St Patrick’s Mental Health Services.