Dublin Book Festival 2021

Fri 12 Nov | 7pm

DBF Opening Night: RTÉ Radio 1 Arena with Roddy Doyle, Hugo Hamilton, Lisa Harding and Caitriona Lally

This event will be broadcast LIVE on RTÉ Radio 1


Tune in for an evening of conversation with RTÉ Radio 1’s cultural guru, Seán Rocks.

Seán will be joined by authors Roddy Doyle, Lisa Harding, Hugo Hamilton and Caitríona Lally for an evening of literary chats.
Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle’s 2021 release, Life Without Children (Penguin), is a collection of ten short stories in which the writer beautifully captures our strange recent times with his signature wit. In The Pages (Harper Collins), acclaimed author Hugo Hamilton has constructed a novel narrated by another novel. Actress, writer and playwright Lisa Harding’s latest novel Bright Burning Things (Bloomsbury) was released to critical acclaim. Her novel is a story of a life unravelling told through a dazzling emotional interiority. Recipient of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, Caitríona Lally, discusses her new novel Wunderland, a darkly humorous and touching story.

A limited number of tickets are available to view the broadcast in person at Smock Alley.

Tickets €10

Running Time : 60 mins

Sat 13 Nov | 10am – 1pm

Dublin City Libraries Readers’ Morning

Sarah Winman, Ann Ingle, Luke Cassidy in conversation with Niall MacMonagle.
Dr Rosaleen McDonagh in conversation with Dr Emilie Pine, with readings from Kathleen Murphy.


In Partnership with Dublin City Libraries

An engaging morning of book chat with writer and critic Niall MacMonagle in conversation International bestselling author Sarah Winman to discuss her latest novel, Still Life (Harper Collins). Still Life is a book of beautiful and playful storytelling, full of beauty, love, family and fate. Niall will also be joined by Ann Ingle delving into her first collection of essays, Open-Hearted (Penguin), in which she candidly reflects on what she has learned from a life of grief, hardship and motherhood. Also joined by Luke Cassidy to discuss his debut novel, Iron Annie (Bloomsbury), a gritty yet hopeful story full of warmth. Both authors write with an exquisite insight to the wonder, sadness and joy of life.

Playwright, performer, and columnist Rosaleen McDonagh joins academic and critic Emilie Pine to discuss the release of her first book, Unsettled (Skein Press). This fearless collection of essays explores the diverse experience of ableism, racism, and abuse, while celebrating the value of community, family, and friends. Join McDonagh and Pine for an honest conversation on life in Ireland, representing that life through essays, and the strength of a family’s support. This event will feature very special readings from Unsettled by Kathleen Murphy.

€12 In-person Audience ticket | €6 Livestream

Running Time : 180 mins

Sat 13 Nov | 1:30pm

President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins in conversation with Paddy Woodworth

Reclaiming the European Street: Speeches on Europe and the European Union


Enjoy an afternoon with President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins as he discusses his latest book Reclaiming the European Street: Speeches on Europe and the European Union (Lilliput Press) with author, journalist and lecturer Paddy Woodworth. President Michael D. Higgins is one of the few public intellectuals to consistently reimagine the abstract idea of an alternative European space, and this book is the first collection of all the President’s Europe-themed speeches from 2016 to 2020. Dealing with wide-ranging contemporary issues, from the 1916 Centenary celebrations to the Brexit decision of June 2016 and the Covid-19 pandemic. Stamped by President Higgins’ inimitable intellectual rigour and empathy, these documents also express fundamental concerns on behalf of the Irish people.

€8 In-person Audience ticket | €5 Livestream

Running Time : 60 mins

Sat 13 Nov | 5pm

Sticking to the Facts: Luke O’Neill and Mark Henry in conversation with Aoife Barry

Join us for an evening with Professor Luke O’Neill and Tourism Ireland Marketing Director Mark Henry in conversation with Aoife Barry.

Renowned immunologist, Luke O’Neill has become one of the most well-known and trusted voices throughout Ireland’s COVID-19 pandemic. His new book of lockdown diary entries Keep Calm and Trust the Science (Gill Books) takes us on a roller-coaster ride through one of our country’s most dramatic and difficult years.

Mark Henry’s new book In Fact: An Optimist’s Guide to Ireland at 100 (Gill Books) is a much-needed uplifting read after such a challenging year. Using facts and stats, Henry’s book is packed with positive news to hold onto; tracking our progress over the last 100 years through 100 undeniable national achievements, highlighting that, while there is still much to be done, Ireland is in a better place now than it has ever been.

€8 In-person Audience ticket | €5 Livestream

Running Time : 60 mins

Sat 13 Nov | 7:30pm

Learwife: JR Thorp in conversation with Nadine O’Regan

Presented by West Cork Literary Festival

I am the queen of two crowns, banished fifteen years, the famed and folded woman, bad-luck baleful girl, mother of three small animals, now gone. I am fifty-five years old. I am Lear’s wife.

Exiled to a nunnery, written out of history, Lear’s queen was forgotten, until now.
Join broadcaster Nadine O’Regan in conversation with Australian-born JR Thorp, writer, lyricist and librettist, to discuss Thorp’s stunning debut novel Learwife (Canongate).
Winner of the London Short Story Award in 2011 and shortlisted for the BBC Opening Lines Prize, JR Thorp has had work published in the Cambridge Literary Review, Manchester Review, Antithesis, Wave Composition and elsewhere.

€6 In-person Audience ticket | €4 Livestream

Running Time : 60 mins

Sun 14 Nov | 11am

Your Favourite Irish Trans Writer

In partnership with Gay Community News

So, who’s your favourite Irish trans writer?

For a small demographic, trans people are a very big subject in Irish journalism and literature.
Yet rarely, if ever, do we hear from trans writers themselves. The Small Trans Library has demonstrated an appetite for trans fiction in Ireland, while the Trans Writers’ Union has confirmed that Irish trans writers are out there. So why is there such a lack of established Irish trans writers?

Irish trans writers Aoife Martin, Kit Fryatt and Fiona Leigh discuss with James Hudson the pleasures of trans writing and the realities of doing so in Ireland. Obstacles and inhibitions will come to light, but moreover, they will focus on the inimitable qualities of trans writing, the solidarity found among marginalised writers, and the diversity of writing created by Irish trans writers in the country and beyond. Together, let’s find out who your favourite Irish trans writer is.

€6 In-person Audience ticket | €4 Livestream

Running Time : 60 mins

Sun 14 Nov | 2pm

Play it Forward Launch: with Skein Press and The Stinging Fly

Join us for the launch of the Play It Forward Fellowships, a programme aimed at nurturing and amplifying the talents of writers whose voices and stories have traditionally been underrepresented in Irish literature and publishing.

Lucy Caldwell and Cauvery Madhavan, programme ambassadors, will kick off the evening in a conversation traversing the changing face of the Irish literary landscape over the past decade and the need to advance new perspectives around diversity, inclusion, access and opportunity. The inaugural cohort of fellows — Gonchigkhand Byambaa, Sara Chudzik, Neo Florence Gilson, Majed Mujed and Sarah Fitzgerald — will read a selection of their work in a special showcase.

Play It Forward is a joint initiative between Skein Press and The Stinging Fly, funded by the Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

Running Time : 60 mins

Sun 14 Nov | 4:30pm

An Post Irish Book Awards Shortlist at Dublin Book Festival

Presented by An Post Irish Book Awards

Meet some of the shortlisted authors from the An Post Irish Book Awards 2021 at this year’s Dublin Book Festival.
Madeleine Keane, Literary Editor with the Sunday Independent, will chat to a panel of 2021 shortlisted authors to get an insight into their varied writing lives, as well as their tips and advice on the best way to commit words to the page!
The full shortlist for this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards will be announced on 21 October and our superb panel will be revealed then!

€10 In-person Audience ticket | €5 Livestream

Running Time : 60 mins