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September’s poem for A Year in Words

The second poem in our A Year in Words project is Native by John Cummins which was filmed in the Winding Stair.

A Year in Words celebrates the breadth and diversity of our city’s living poets through a year-long series of poetry videos filmed across 12 Dublin bookshops. The project was curated by Linda Devlin and Stephen James Smith and filmed by Design for Life.

Emma Donoghue Event

Emma Donoghue Pic SHARPPIX
Emma Donoghue Photo by Helen Hanley

Emma Donoghue, the Dublin born, award-winning author took part in a special event in Trinity College on 17th September. Organised by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature in collaboration with the School of English, Trinity College Dublin and Picador Books, Emma read from her new novel The Wonder, a psychological thriller, which is set in post-Famine Ireland.

In her discussion with Dr Aileen Douglas, Head of the School of English, she spoke about undertaking research for the book as well as her writing habits and the inspiration for her award-winning novel Room.

She was an engaging interviewee and during the Q & A which followed she discussed writing for and about children and other projects that she is working on at the moment.

Emma Donoghue Pic SHARPPIX
Jackie Lynam, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, author Emma Donoghue and Aileen Douglas, School of English Photo by Helen Hanley

Jack Harte Bursary 2017

The Irish Writers Centre and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig are offering a two week fully-resourced Writer-in-Residence bursary to take place in spring 2017.

This is an open call to writers resident on the island of Ireland with a proven track record and at least one book of fiction or short stories published by a recognised publisher. Priority will be given to works of fiction.

The award is named in honoured of Jack Harte, founder of the Irish Writers Centre, in celebration and acknowledgement of his contribution to Irish literature.

Full details about how to apply are available here

Emma Donoghue Event

Donoghue Emma 2

Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, along with the School of English, Trinity College, Dublin and Picador Books, are delighted to present Emma Donoghue in conversation with Dr. Aileen Douglas (TCD) on Saturday 17th September at 2pm.

She will read from her new novel The Wonder, followed by Q&A session and a book signing. Books will be on sale at the event.

Tickets are free but must be booked here 

Following the huge success of her novel Room, The Wonder tells the story of an eleven-year-old girl who stops eating, but remains miraculously alive and well. A nurse, sent to investigate whether she is a fraud, meets a journalist hungry for a story. Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, The Wonder – inspired by numerous European and North American cases of ‘fasting girls’ between the sixteenth century and the twentieth – is a psychological thriller about a child’s murder threatening to happen in slow motion before our eyes. Pitting all the seductions of fundamentalism against sense and love, it is a searing examination of what nourishes us, body and soul.

Dublin A Year in Words

Dublin: A Year in Words is a new poetry project from the office of Dublin UNESCO City of Literature. It celebrates the breadth and diversity of our city’s living poets through a year-long series of poetry videos filmed across 12 Dublin bookshops.

Like the city itself, the poets featured in the series are more than the sum of their parts. Collectively they tell of a Dublin full of light and shade, a city of contradictions, in constant flux. They show us that the story of Dublin is everybody’s to tell. It has no fixed points. Beyond wild, it exists far more in the unspoken and the unseen than any attempt to distil it down to a neat package can do justice to. And yet it is our poets perhaps more than anyone who have grappled with the task of laying our lifelines bare and bringing voice to the city. Dublin A Year in Words presents a cross-section of 12 poets who do just that, filmed in establishments that keep the city’s essence alive.

The project was curated by Linda Devlin and Stephen James Smith and filmed by Design for Life.

August’s video is ‘Dublin’ by Kerrie O’Brien which was filmed in Books UpStairs

2017 Citywide Reading Campaign for Children – Knights of the Borrowed Dark

Dave Rudden Resized Cropped

We are delighted to announce that Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden, published by Puffin Books, is the chosen book for our 2017 Citywide Reading Campaign for Children.

This reading initiative is organised by Dublin City Council’s Public Library Service as part of its UNESCO City of Literature programme with the aim of encouraging children to read for pleasure.

There will be author visits to Dublin City public libraries as well as city-centre based events to promote the campaign from January to March 2017. Copies of the book will be available to borrow in all Dublin City Library branches.

Knights Of The Borrowed Dark is the first novel in a new trilogy about a secret war between a race of shapeshifting monsters and the warriors sworn to stop them. Denizen Hardwick doesn’t believe in magic – until he’s ambushed by a monster created from shadows and sees it destroyed by a word made of sunlight. That kind of thing can really change your perspective. Now Denizen is about to discover that there’s a world beyond the one he knows. A world of living darkness where an unseen enemy awaits. Fortunately for humanity, between us and the shadows stand the Knights of the Borrowed Dark. Unfortunately for Denizen, he’s one of them . . .

“I am honoured and delighted that KNIGHTS OF THE BORROWED DARK is Dublin UNESCO City of Literature’s Citywide Read. This is the city that taught me how to write, and I owe so much to its vibrant, friendly and supportive literary community. There’s a wild, swashbuckling charm to Dublin that very much inspired the strange and magical world of the Knights (though thankfully with less clockwork women and waistcoated misery-drinkers) and I can’t wait to share it with Dublin’s young readers and help them find stories of their own.” says Dave Rudden

This is the sixth year of the reading initiative. In previous years books chosen for the Citywide Reading Campaign included Alan Early’s Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent, The Nightmare Club series featuring Annie Graves , The Powers by Kevin Stevens, Danger is Everywhere by David O’Doherty, and last year’s book was The Book of Learning by E.R. Murray

Full details about the campaign and events will be available here in early January. For more details on Dave and the Knights of the Borrowed Dark click here.

Prague Writer-in-Residence programme 2017

Prague UNESCO City of Literature is offering 6 residencies in 2017 for authors and translators. The residency, which is part of the Prague City of Literature project, covers accommodation and travel, and provides a scholarship.

Prague City of Literature will cover the cost of the successful entrants’ travel and accommodation along with a stipend of €600 per month

The deadline for applications is the 31st August 2016. Applications should be emailed to radka.navarova­

Full details  are available here and the application form is available here



Short Story Competition

Following the success of the 2015 inaugural short story competition, Books Ireland  have reopened the competition for 2016 as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations.

First prize includes a cash prize, publication in Books Ireland magazine and a place on a writing course at the Irish Writers Centre, Dublin.

The stories will be adjudicated by Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, founder of, literary agent and author. Closing date is 31st August 2016.

Competition guidelines are available at

What Would I Do Without This Silence in the Samuel Beckett Theatre, TCD

What Would I Do Without This Silence
Cad A Dhéanfainn Gan An Tost Sea Áit Ina N-Éagann na Monabhir
Sunday, 7 August 2016 at 4pm
Samuel Beckett Theatre, Trinity College, Dublin 2

Free tickets are available through Eventbrite at

The Beckett Summer School 2016 and the DRAFF Conference/Colloque are pleased to co-present a multilingual, multimedia, and musical event created by Mouth on Fire Theatre Company, featuring the poetry of Samuel Beckett in performance. Beckett wrote lyric poems throughout his life, both in English and in French. Recurrent themes include separation, abandonment, pain, out-of-body experiences, suffering, and love. The poems were intensely personal and, at his best, comparable in excellence to his plays and prose.
Many of these poems have been translated in to the Irish language for the first time by world-renowned Irish poet and translator Gabriel Rosenstock. A selection of poems, including the world premiere of the new Irish translation of Roundelay, will be presented by Cathal Quinn, Melissa Nolan, Nelly Henrion, and Gabriel Rosenstock. They are interspersed by musical selections adapted and played by internationally acclaimed Irish harpist Anne-Marie O’Farrell.

About the Company
Mouth on Fire Theatre Company was founded in 2010 by Melissa Nolan and Cathal Quinn. The company specialises in innovative yet highly respectful productions of Samuel Beckett’s poetry, prose and drama, accessible to those who may never have experienced it before, whilst performing it to the highest standards. What makes Mouth on Fire stand out is its commitment not just to staging great works in theatres all over Ireland and worldwide, but also performing in prisons, hospitals and for the homeless. Mouth on Fire is also dedicated to promoting the Irish language and performs the works of great Irish writers in both English and Irish.
To date, the company has produced over twenty of Beckett’s works, five of which were World Premieres (Irish Language) and one a European Premiere; touring Ireland and internationally to Japan, UK and winning awards at the Kot Bayun Literary Arts Festival in Russia and representing Ireland at the Hyderabad Literary Festival, India.
This event is generously supported by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature; the School of Drama, Film and Music, Trinity College; the School of English, Trinity College; and Larry and Mary Lund. The development funding was provided by Foras na Gaeilge.

Poetry Readings in Pearse St Library

There will be free readings by Ted Deppe, Phyl Herbert, Ger Reidy and Mary Turley-McGrath at the launch of their collections of poetry in Pearse St Library, Pearse St, Dublin 2 this Saturday 6th August at 1pm. No booking required. All are welcome!

Liminal Blue by Ted Deppe

The Price of Desire by Phyl Herbert

Jobs for a Wet Day by Ger Reidy

Other Routes by Mary Turley-McGrath

(Arlen Press)