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Departures by Dublin Book Festival

Dublin Book Festival explores the influence of landscape on music and literature in a special summer series of conversation and music filmed in some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland


By Dublin Book Festival
 Featuring: Mike McCormack, Billy O’Callaghan, Michael Fewer, Alice Taylor,
Jane Clarke, Alice Kinsella, and music by Cormac Mac Diarmada and Ruth Clinton, Anna Mieke, Jack O’Rourke & Aisling Fitzpatrick
Presented by Manchán Magan
Three part limited series – discover a new episode online each Tuesday, from July 6th
Since 2006 the Dublin Book Festival has been a mainstay of the Irish writing and publishing scene and a highlight of the literary year. With its special focus on Irish-published authors, the 2021 Festival continues that tradition of promoting and supporting Irish literary voices, both established and emerging. This year the festival is creating a specially curated once-off digital summer series. Departures will be a vibrant series of conversation and music set amidst some of the most beautiful scenery around Ireland. 
The Irish ever-changing landscape is a constant that has long been as source of inspiration and interwoven in artists’ work, whether it be through stories and literature or poems and songwriting. These recent times, trying though they have been, have seen us reconnect with each other and with the land in ways many have forgotten, this series reflects on the deep connection between landscape and place in all art forms. Many of those involved spoke of how they especially look back on, and are inspired by their childhood memories of where they spent time growing up.
Filmed in three locations around Ireland the series will celebrate the importance of our surroundings and their endless inspiration with some of our most talented contemporary artists, including Mike McCormack, Billy O’Callaghan, Michael Fewer, Alice Taylor, Jane Clarke, Alice Kinsella and music from Cormac MacDiarmada (of Lankum) and Ruth Clinton (Landless), Anna Mieke, Jack O’Rourke and cellist Aisling Fitzpatrick. Join presenter Manchán Magan as he takes viewers on a journey through Ireland discovering the places and spaces that have stirred the artistic spirit of some of Ireland’s most loved authors, poets & musicians. 
The journey begins in Macreddin, Co. Wicklow, moving across to Westport Co. Mayo and finishing in Cobh, Co. Cork. 
Experience free online at
Stream on Tuesday 6th July
Author: Michael Fewer 
Poet: Jane Clarke 
Musician: Anna Mieke 
Filmed in Brooklodge in the Wicklow Mountains, Manchán Magan will be joined by author Michael Fewer exploring his connection with the landscape and the inspiration behind his work throughout his career. Manchán’s second guest is poet Jane Clarke, discussing the impact of the natural beauty of her surroundings on her poetry, and reads her poems “Ballinabarney” and “Mullacor”. Interwoven with scenes of the stirring landscape, musician Anna Mieke delivers a spellbinding performance of two songs from her debut album Idle Mind, independently released in 2019 and inspired by her connection to her surroundings. 
Stream on Tuesday 13th July
Author: Mike McCormack 
Poet: Alice Kinsella 
Musicians: Cormaic McDiarmuid (of Lankum) & Ruth Clinton (Landless) 
Filmed in Westport, Co Mayo
Manchán Magan travels to Westport, Co. Mayo to speak with novelist Mike McCormack and poet Alice Kinsella. On the shores of Clew Bay, Mike and Alice discuss the power and resonant beauty of the Irish landscape in their art as actor Paul O’Brien reads some of their works inspired by the scenery. There will be musical interludes throughout from Town Hall Theatre in Westport from Cormac MacDiarmada from RTE Folk Award and Choice Music Prizing winning band Lankum and Ruth Clinton from Landless as they combine forces to perform their own songs from the landscape. 
Stream on Tuesday 20th July
Author: Billy O’Callaghan 
Poet: Alice Taylor 
Musician: Jack O’Rourke and Aisling Fitzpatrick (cellist)
Filmed in Cóbh, Co Cork
From Cóbh harbour in Co. Cork host Manchán Magan will be joined by acclaimed writer Billy O’Callaghan and author and poet Alice Taylor to discuss the impact of the scenic harbour landscape on their writing and discuss their inspiration from their surroundings and the effects of the changing landscape in Cork. Filmed at Cobh’s Sirius Arts Centre, with imagery from the dramatic Sipke Island. Cork musicians Jack O’Rourke and Aisling Fitzpatrick treat us to a performance of two new songs from Jack’s upcoming album. This episode reflects the beauty and contrasts of Cork and includes actor Irene Kelleher reading from Billy’s novel Life Sentences (Jonathan Cape, 2020) and a selection of Alice Taylor’s poems.  
The Dublin Book Festival is supported by Arts Council of Ireland, Irish Copyright Licensing Agency, Dublin City Council, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature. Venue partners include Brooklodge Hotel, Westport Townhall Theatre, Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh and Spike Island Tours.
 Departures is made possible by funding from The Arts Council of Ireland 


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