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49 new cities join UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network

Congratulations to the 49 cities who have joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) following their designation by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, in recognition of their commitment to placing culture and creativity at the heart of their development and to sharing knowledge and good practices. There are three new Cities of Literature – Gothenburg (Sweden), Jakarta (Indonesia) and Vilnius (Lithuania) And Belfast has been designated a City of Music.

The Network now numbers 295 cities reaching 90 countries that invest in culture and creativity – crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music – to advance sustainable urban development. 

“A new urban model needs to be developed in every city, with its architects, town planners, landscapers and citizens”, says UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, “We are urging everyone to work with States to reinforce the international cooperation between cities which UNESCO wishes to promote.”

Newly designated Creative Cities such as Bohicon, Doha and Jakarta will join forces with existing member cities including Brazzaville, Dubai, Mexico City and Montréal to develop innovative urban policies and solutions that place people and sustainability at the center of the development process, echoing the Urban Solutions launched by the UNESCO Cities Platform on the occasion of the World Cities Day 2021.

The collaborative spirit of the UCCN’s members is reflected in the publication UNESCO Creative Cities’ Response to COVID-19 in 2020. This year, too, the Network is collecting and disseminating information about the culture and creativity-based responses to COVID-19 that have been taken by members of the Network, which UNESCO will publish as part of its continued support to cities’ recovery from the pandemic. 

The new members of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network are:

  • Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) – Music
  • Batumi (Georgia) – Music
  • Belfast (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) – Music
  • Bida (Nigeria) – Crafts and Folk Art
  • Bohicon (Benin) – Gastronomy
  • Buraidah (Saudi Arabia) – Gastronomy
  • Bursa (Turkey) – Crafts and Folk Art
  • Campina Grande (Brazil) – Media Arts
  • Cannes (France) – Film
  • Cluj-Napoca (Romania) – Film
  • Como (Italy) – Crafts and Folk Art 
  • Covilhã (Portugal) – Design
  • Doha (Qatar) – Design
  • Gdynia (Poland) – Film 
  • Gimhae (Republic of Korea) – Crafts and Folk Art
  • Gothenburg (Sweden) – Literature
  • Hamar (Norway) – Media Arts
  • Huai’an (China) – Gastronomy
  • Huancayo (Peru) – Music 
  • Ibagué (Colombia) – Music
  • Jakarta (Indonesia) – Literature
  • Kermanshah (Iran, Islamic Republic of) – Gastronomy
  • Kharkiv (Ukraine) – Music
  • Kuching (Malaysia) – Gastronomy
  • Lankaran (Azerbaijan) – Gastronomy 
  • Launceston (Australia) – Gastronomy 
  • London (Canada) – Music
  • Manises (Spain) – Crafts and Folk Art
  • Modena (Italy) – Media Arts
  • Nakuru (Kenya) – Crafts and Folk Art
  • Namur (Belgium) – Media Arts
  • Pasto (Colombia) – Crafts and Folk Art
  • Perth (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) – Crafts and Folk Art
  • Phetchaburi (Thailand) – Gastronomy
  • Port Louis (Mauritius) – Music 
  • Recife (Brazil) – Music
  • Rouen (France) – Gastronomy
  • Saint Petersburg (Russian Federation) – Gastronomy
  • Santa Maria da Feira (Portugal) – Gastronomy
  • Santiago de Cuba (Cuba) – Music
  • Srinagar (India) – Crafts and Folk Art
  • Tallinn (Estonia) – Music
  • Tbilisi (Georgia) – Media Arts
  • Thessaloniki (Greece) – Gastronomy
  • Usuki (Japan) – Gastronomy
  • Vilnius (Lithuania) – Literature
  • Weifang (China) – Crafts and Folk Art
  • Whanganui (New Zealand) – Design
  • Xalapa (Mexico) – Music

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Nora by Nuala O’Connor is the 2022 One Dublin One Book

Dublin City Council and Dublin UNESCO City of Literature are delighted to announce that Nora: A Love Story of Nora Barnacle and James Joyce by Nuala O’Connor as the One Dublin One Book choice for 2022, following on from Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession in 2021.

One Dublin One Book aims to encourage everyone in Dublin to read a designated book connected with the capital city during the month of April every year. This annual project is a Dublin City Council initiative, led by Dublin City Libraries, and encourages reading for pleasure. The initiative is also funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Dublin City Librarian, Mairead Owens, says

“Every year we choose a book that we hope will capture the imaginations of the people of Dublin, of all ages and walks of life, and I know that Nora will prove a rewarding reading experience for all who engage with One Dublin One Book 2022. For the centenary of the publication of Ulysses, it’s important for us to honour the contemporary writers Joyce has inspired, as well as the woman who inspired him. We look forward to working with Nuala O’Connor to create a programme of events next April that we hope will encourage many discussions and conversations.”

A new One Dublin One Book edition of Nora (New Island Books) will be available to borrow from all public libraries nationwide and to buy from all good book shops. There will be events in April to accompany the reading initiative. 

‘I’m honoured and humbled that Dublin City Council has chosen Nora as its One Dublin One Book read for 2022, the Ulysses centenary year. I imagine Nora Barnacle would be as pleased as I am to see her contribution to the life and work of James Joyce celebrated in this way. I’m a proud Dub and this wonderful opportunity has me really looking forward to engaging with library users and readers, all over my home city, in 2022.’ says Nuala O’Connor

The Book

When Nora Barnacle, a twenty-year-old from Galway working as a maid at Finn’s Hotel, meets young James Joyce on a summer’s day in Dublin, she is instantly attracted to him, natural and daring in his company. But she cannot yet imagine the extraordinary life they will share together. All Nora knows is she likes her Jim enough to leave behind family and home, in search of a bigger, more exciting life.

As their family grows, they ricochet from European city to city, making fast friends amongst the greatest artists and writers of their age as well as their wives, and are brought high and low by Jim’s ferocious ambition. But time and time again, Nora is torn between their intense and unwavering desire for each other and the constant anxiety of living hand-to-mouth, often made worse by Jim’s compulsion for company and attention. So, while Jim writes and drinks his way to literary acclaim, Nora provides unflinching support and inspiration, sometimes at the expense of her own happiness, and especially at that of their children, Giorgio and Lucia. Eventually, together, they achieve some longed-for security and stability, but it is hard-won and imperfect to the end.

In sensuous, resonant prose, Nuala O’Connor has conjured the definitive portrait of this strong, passionate and loyal Irishwoman. Nora is a tour de force, an earthy and authentic love letter to Irish literature’s greatest muse.

The Author

Photo by Úna O’Connor

Nuala O’Connor is a novelist, short story writer and poet who was born in Dublin and lives now in Co. Galway with her family.

She has worked as an arts administrator in theatre and in a writers’ centre; as a translator, as a bookseller and also in a university library. She is the author of four previous novels, including Becoming Belle (2018) and Miss Emily (2015), a reimagining of the life of Emily Dickinson, The Closet of Savage Mementos (New Island, 2014), You (New Island, 2010) and six short story collections, her most recent being Joyride to Jupiter (New Island, 2017). She has won many prizes for her short fiction including the Francis MacManus Award, the James Joyce Quarterly Fiction Contest and the UK’s Short Fiction Journal Prize. Nuala’s work has also been nominated for numerous prizes including the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award, the Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year and the International Dublin Literary Award. She is editor-in-chief at flash e-zine Splonk. Her fifth novel, Nora, is about Nora Barnacle, wife and muse to James Joyce, and was published in Ireland in April 2021 with New Island.




New City of Books Podcast Featuring Sarah Webb


A chance meeting with a professor of circus from Sheffield fired children’s writer Sarah Webb’s imagination and led to her latest novel.

The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street (for eight to 12-year-olds) blends tenement life in 1911 Dublin with circus life. It came about after Sarah learned how Ireland had the second circus in the world thanks to a pioneering English husband-and wife team, the Astleys.

“Instantly I was hooked,” she says, after the circus expert told her about ex-cavalryman Philip Astley and his wife Patty. Regarded as the inventor of the modern circus in 1768, he was an expert equestrian and did stunt riding – but Patty did something even more extraordinary.

“She was a bee charmer – she used to ride around the ring on a white stallion, a beard of bees around her neck and bees on her arms,” Sarah tells host Martina Devlin in the latest City of Books episode. After hearing about Patty’s exploits, “my head just almost burst” she says.

She realised English travelling circuses visited Ireland and tenement children might sometimes go, or at least watch the parade held to drum up audiences. So the two ideas fused. 

And she felt that while the tenement story was a dark one for children, the circus element lent it some light.

Sarah includes a house collapse, inspired by a real-life tragedy in the Henrietta Street area in 1913, and deals with the tenements’ chequered history – from magnificent homes for the few to slums for the many.

Sarah’s award-winning books for children include Blazing A Trail: Irish Women Who Changed The World. Her prizes include the Children’s Books Ireland Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Books. 

The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street, written by Sarah Webb and illustrated by Rachel Corcoran, is published by The O’Brien Press. More here:


10th Anniversary of ISLA Festival

Dublin UNESCO City of Literature is delighted to support ISLA (Irish Spanish Latin American) Literary Festival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary with a special programme of events 14th to 16th October. 

Highlights include:

Humour on His Sleeve – Patrick Freyne in conversation with Catherine Dunne

 New Voices with Bruno Lloret and Louise Nealon chaired by Martina Devlin.

Programa ISLA en inglés (3)


You Tube Links


Learning to Live:

I Am a Forest:

Creer en crear:

Chiribiquete, videografía de expedición al centro del mundo:



New Voices:

Cuando las paredes hablan: Chiribiquete:

Mundo Sepúlveda:

Humour on His Sleeve:


De raíces y flores

Lista de reproducción:

  1. Victoria Guerrero:
  2. David López Ximeno:
  3. Isabela Basombrio Hoban y Jonh Hobal:
  4. Israel Domínguez Pérez:

Aventuras de princesas y piratas. Rubén Darío:



Con nombre propio. Disponible desde el jueves a las 12:00 h

Lista de reproducción:









Quebec City is a place where the seasons play an essential role in the rhythm of life of its inhabitants. Each season here—the summer heat, the cold winter, the colors of autumn, and the spring blossoms—allows you to discover the city in a new light. Québec BD is pleased to invite comic book authors living in cities who are members of the UNESCO Literary Cities Network to apply before October 25th for a one-month residency in Québec City to create, discover an event and experience the season of their choice.

The residencies will take place according to the following schedule:
– Winter – February 2022 (Event: Quebec Winter Carnival)
– Spring – April 2022 (Event: Festival Québec BD)
– Summer – July 2022 (Event: Festival d’été de Québec)
 Fall – October 2022 (Event: Québec en toutes lettres)

Candidates have until October 25 to submit their application. Find all the information at!


Québec est une ville où les saisons jouent un rôle important dans le rythme de vie de ses habitant.e.s. Les chaleurs estivales, les grands froids de l’hiver, les couleurs de l’automne et les bourgeons du printemps, chaque saison ici permet de découvrir la ville sous un nouveau jour. Québec BD est heureux d’inviter les auteur.e.s de bande dessinée provenant de villes membres du réseau des villes littéraires de l’UNESCO à déposer leur candidature d’ici le 25 octobre prochain pour séjourner un mois dans la ville de Québec et participer à une résidence de création permettant de découvrir un événement et vivre une saison de leur choix dans la capitale.

Les résidences se dérouleront selon le calendrier suivant :
– Hiver – février 2022 (événement : Carnaval de Québec)
– Printemps – avril 2022 (événement : Festival Québec BD)
– Été – juillet 2022 (événement : Festival d’été de Québec)
– Automne – octobre 2022 (événement : Québec en toutes lettres)

 Les ont jusqu’au 25 octobre pour déposer leur dossier. Consultez toute l’information au

City of Books Podcast with Diarmaid Ferriter


Michael Collins is the most famous casualty of the Civil War but there is a lot of “what if-ery”about him, Ireland’s best-known historian Diarmaid Ferriter says in the latest episode of City of Books.

“Some “very fanciful” claims were about the kind of leader he would have become if he had survived, he tells the podcast’s presenter Martina Devlin.

“We have to be careful of investing too much in the idea of the lost leader because Collins shared many of the limitations and the prejudices, as well as the considerable abilities, of his generation.”

Professor Ferriter notes that Michael Collins was “a serious celebrity” at the time of his death in 1922, and was known internationally. He calls some of the conspiracy theories about his shooting at Béal na Bláth in Co Cork “far-fetched”.

Also in his latest book, Between Two Hells: The Irish Civil War, which is the focus of the podcast, he says: “There’s a deep misogyny that emerges during the civil war that endures for decades. There’s a turning against women.” They are called “furies” to dehumanise them, according to Professor Ferriter. “These are hysterical irrational screaming creatures who are not amenable in any sense to reason.”

More than 500 women were imprisoned during the Civil War, many more than during War of Independence. “The State really turns against them and they are depicted in a particular way and that’s a deliberate attempt to try and push women out of public life,” he says. Many emigrated as a result.

When civil war pensions were allocated, women were only eligible to apply for lower grade ones, despite doing dangerous work including sheltering wanted men, and the trauma of burying the dead. “There were women who greatly resented that reductionism and that tendency to disparage their efforts,” says Prof Ferriter.

Between Two Hells: The Irish Civil War is published by Profile Books. More here:

City of Books is supported by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature


Baile Átha Cliath – Cathair Litríochta UNESCO Scríbhneoir Cónaitheach (Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Irish Language Residency)


Baile Átha Cliath – Cathair Litríochta UNESCO Scríbhneoir Cónaitheach


An scríbhneoir cruthaitheach thú a scríobhann i nGaeilge, nó an bhfuil aithne agat ar scríbhneoir cruthaitheach a scríobhann i nGaeilge?

An bhfuil sé deacair duit am a fháil chun é a chaitheamh ar do chuid scríbhneoireachta?

Ba mhaith le Baile Átha Cliath Cathair Litríochta UNESCO cabhrú leat!

Is údar bróid dúinn clár cónaitheachta fíorúil nua do scríbhneoirí 2021 / 2022 a fhógairt. Íocfar deontas €5,000 do bheirt scríbhneoirí a scríobhann i nGaeilge, duine amháin a scríobhann do dhaoine fásta, agus duine eile a scríobhann do pháistí.

Seol do thogra chugainn ag roimh 1 Deireadh Fómhair . Déanfaidh painéal saineolaithe measúnú ar gach iarratasóir incháilithe.

Téarmaí & Coinníollacha

  1. Bronnfar dhá chónaitheacht scríbhneora a bhfuil luach €5,000 ar gach ceann díobh, ar bheirt scríobhneoirí a scríobhann i nGaeilge – ceann amháin do dhuine a scríobhann do dhaoine fásta agus an ceann eile do dhuine a scríobhann do pháistí nó do Dhaoine Óga. Is éard atá i gceist leis na deontais seo ná tacaíocht airgeadais a thabhairt do scríbhneoir ar feadh tréimhse trí mhí, chun go gclúdófar na costais atá acu agus chun go mbeidh ar a gcumas níos mó ama a chaitheamh ar an scríbhneoireacht.
  2. Is é an teideal a bheidh ar an ngradam seo ná Baile Átha Cliath Cathair Litríochta UNESCO Scríbhneoir Cónaitheach (Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Irish Language Residency.)
  3. Mairfidh an chónaitheacht trí mhí tar éis don deontas a bheith bronnta i bhFómhar na bliana 2021.
  4. Ní mór go mbeidh obair foilsithe cheana féin ag iarratasóirí (pé acu i gcló nó go leictreonach) ach ní gá gur sa seánra céanna a bhfuil sé i gceist acu a bheith ag obair don chónaitheacht.
  5. Tugtar cuireadh d’iarratasóirí togra 500 focal a chur isteach ina gcuirtear síos ar na pleananna scríbhneoireachta atá acu don chónaitheacht, mar aon le sampla den scríbhneoireacht chruthaitheach atá déanta acu, nach mbeidh níos mó ná 1,000 focal ar fhad. Ba chóir an togra a sheoladh i nGaeilge agus i mBéarla agus é a sheoladh go dtí ag baint úsáide as an téarma ‘Scríbhneoir Cónaitheach’ sa líne ábhair. Má dhéanann iarratasóir canbhasáil lasmuigh den phróiseas iarratais seo, déanfar é/í a dhícháiliú go huathoibríoch ón gcomórtas.
  6. Déanfaidh painéal de shaineolaithe neamhspleách measúnú ar na haighneachtaí agus roghnóidh siad an bheirt scríbhneoirí. Cuirfidh siad san áireamh fiúntas ealaíne, úrnuacht idéanna, comhleanúnachas maidir le pleananna, agus ábharthacht an togra do léitheoir an lae inniu.
  7. Is cónaitheachtaí fíorúla iad na cónaitheachtaí agus ní chuirfidh Baile Átha Cliath Cathair Litríochta UNESCO Scríbhneoir Cónaitheach spás oibre fisiciúil ar fáil do scríbhneoirí.
  8. Iarrfar ar na hiarratasóirí a n-éireoidh leo, aiste 1,500 focal nó gearrscéal a scríobh bunaithe ar an guid eispéireas mar chónaitheoir, a fhoilseofar ar shuíomh gréasáin Baile Átha Cliath Cathair Litríochta UNESCO Scríbhneoir Cónaitheach (DUCoL). Caithfidh an píosa scríbhneoireachta seo a bheith faighte ag oifig DUCol laistigh de 20 lá oibre tar éis dheireadh na tréimhse cónaitheachta trí mhí.
  9. Iarrfar ar na hiarratasóirí rathúla comhaontú a shíniú ina ndeirtear go bhfuil na téarmaí agus na coinníollacha seo léite agus tuigthe acu.
  10. Íocfar deontas de €5,000 leis an mbeirt cónaitheoirí isteach ina gcuntas bainc mar idirbheart amháin ag tús na tréimhse cónaitheachta trí mhí, agus socróidh an cónaitheoir agus Stiúrthóir Baile Átha Cliath Cathair Litríochta UNESCO Scríbhneoir Cónaitheach na dátaí a bheidh i gceist.
  11. Is í Cathair Litríochta UNESCO Bhaile Átha Cliath a thugann an tionscadal seo chugat le tacaíocht chineálta ó Chonradh na Gaeilge agus An Roinn Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán.
  12. Is é Dé hAoine 1 Deireadh Fómhair ag 5:00pm an spriocdháta le haghaidh aighneachtaí a bheith faighte (ríomhphost cumhdaigh agus togra ceangailte ina mbeidh 500 focal ar a mhéad, agus sampla scríbhneoireachta nach mó é na 1,000 focal).


Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Irish Language Residency

Are you a creative writer in the Irish Language, or do you know someone who is?

Are you struggling to find time and space to devote to your writing?

Dublin UNESCO City of Literature would like to help!

We are proud to announce a new virtual writers’ residency programme for 2021 / 2022, which will pay a grant of €5,000 to two writers working in the Irish language, one writing for adults, and one writing for children.

Send your proposal to us at by the deadline of October 1st  . All qualified applicants will be considered by our panel of experts.

This project is brought to you by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature with the kind support of Conradh na Gaeilge and the Department of Tourism Culture Arts Gaeltacht Sports and Media.


Terms & Conditions

  1. Two residencies each worth €5,000 will be awarded to two individuals writing in the Irish Language, one for those writing for adults and one for those writing for children or Young Adults. These grants are meant as a financial support to writers during a three month period, to enable them to cover costs which would allow for more time to devote to writing.
  2. The title for this award will be Baile Átha Cliath Cathair Litríochta UNESCO Scríbhneoir Cónaitheach (Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Irish Language Residency.)
  3. The term of the residency will be three months from the awarding of the grant in Autumn 2021
  4. Applicants must have had work previously published (either in print or electronically) but not necessarily in the same genre they propose to work in for the residency.
  5. Applicants are invited to submit a 500 word proposal outlining their writing plans during the residency, plus a sample of their creative writing of no more than 1000 words. The proposal should be sent in Irish and also in English This should be addressed to using the term ‘Scríbhneoir Cónaitheach’ in the subject bar. Canvassing outside of this application process will result in automatic disqualification from the competition.
  6. Submissions will be assessed by an independent panel of experts, who will choose the two successful writers. Consideration will be given to artistic merit, originality of ideas, coherence of plans, and relevance of proposal to today’s reader.
  7. The residencies are virtual and writers will not be provided with a physical working space by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature.
  8. The successful applicants will be required to write a 1,500 word essay or short story inspired by their experience as a resident, to be published on the website of Dublin UNESCO City of Literature (DUCoL). This piece of writing must be received by the DUCoL office within 20 working days of the end of the three month period of residency
  9. Successful applicants will be asked to sign an agreement that they have read and understood these terms and conditions.
  10. Both residents will be paid a grant of €5,000 in one transaction to their bank account at the start of the three month residency, exact dates to be agreed between resident and Director of Dublin UNESCO City of Literature.
  11. This project is brought to you by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature with the kind support of Conradh na Gaeilge and the Department of Tourism Culture Arts Gaeltacht Sports and Media.
  12. The closing date for receipt of submissions (to include a cover email along with an attached proposal of no more than 500 words plus sample of writing of no more than 1000 words) is Friday 1st October at 5:00pm.


Citywide Read for Children: Animal Crackers by Sarah Webb and Alan Nolan

Which are the biggest and smallest animals? Which are the most dangerous? Why do dogs love people so much? What animals can live in the heat of the desert, or deep below the oceans? Sarah Webb and Alan Nolan are animal crazy and have put the answers to all these questions and more in Animal Crackers, a book bursting with information and illustrations about animals of all types.

We are delighted to announce Animal Crackers by Sarah Webb and Alan Nolan (The O’Brien Press) as the 2021 Citywide Reading for Children choice.

This book of animal facts, illustrated with animal art/doodles, activities and quiz pages, is a highly interactive and fun book suitable for boys and girls aged 6-12 years.


The campaign is run by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and Dublin City Libraries, in partnership with The O’Brien Press, and runs during October and November 2021. The aim of the initiative is to encourage children to read for pleasure.

There will be author and illustrator events for primary school classes organised by Dublin City Libraries.

An online family quiz and draw-along will take place on Wednesday 27th October at 10.30am. Book Now

There will also be a fun midterm break event for children in Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, and an online class event in the National Library of Ireland. All events are free.

 “We are delighted and honoured that Animal Crackers has been chosen as the 2021 Citywide Read. We love libraries! As children we borrowed and read all kinds of books, especially animal books, and we’ve never stopped visiting the library. In fact lots of the research for Animal Crackers was done in our local libraries. We hope that children all over Dublin will enjoy reading our book and discovering lots of new animal facts. We can’t wait to go Animal Crackers with young book fans and their parents and teachers!” Sarah Webb and Alan Nolan.

Multiple copies of the book will be available in all Dublin City Libraries as well as in all good bookshops.  Children can borrow the book in any library across the country. An activity booklet and other online resources to accompany the book will be available for children and teachers on

The project is funded by Dublin City Council’s Public Library Service and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb is an award-winning children’s writer. Her books include Blazing a Trail: Irish Women who Changed the World (illustrated by Lauren O’Neill) and A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea: Favourite Rhymes from an Irish Childhood (illustrated by Steve McCarthy), both winners of Irish Book Awards.

Sarah also runs creative writing clubs for children and teens, reviews children’s books for the Irish Independent, and programmes children’s and family events for book festivals and MoLI (Museum of Literature Ireland). A part-time children’s bookseller, Sarah is passionate about bringing children and books together and was awarded the Children’s Books Ireland Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Books in Ireland. Her latest book, The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street will be published in September.

Alan Nolan

Alan Nolan is the author and illustrator of Fintan’s Fifteen, Conor’s Caveman and the Sam Hannigan series for the O’Brien Press. His latest books, Sam Hannigan and the Last Dodo, and Animal Crackers (with Sarah Webb) are both out now. Alan lives in Bray, County Wicklow with his wife, three sons and an evil cat called Chewie.  Alan also featured regularly on during lockdown with fun ‘how to draw’ segments.

The Book:

Crammed full of facts, pictures and cartoons from Sarah Webb and Alan Nolan, Animal Crackers is the perfect book for children who want to know more about our furry, feathered (and scaly!) friends.

With a special section on Irish wildlife, and the ‘Irish Animal Detective’ activities, children will want to explore their gardens, parks and beaches to seek out all kinds of native animals. Animal Crackers also provides fun facts and engaging activities that kids will love – from how to draw your favourite animals to suggestions on how you can help save the planet!


New City of Books Podcast with Rosaleen McDonagh

Photo by Derek Speirs


Playwright Rosaleen McDonagh talks about her activism, disability campaigning, journey through adult education which led to a Phd, and weaving together elements of Traveller culture and settled culture, forging an identity from them.

She tells her powerful story in a collection of essays, Unsettled, dedicated to her family. And she speaks with pride about the current generation of articulate, engaged, ambitious Travellers.

Produced and presented by Martina Devlin

For more on Unsettled

City of Books is funded by the Arts Council and supported by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and the Museum of Literature Ireland, MOLI.

Produced and presented by Martina Devlin. Music by Daragh Dukes.