ILFD 2016 : Thu 26 May – Sun 29 May

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Olivia Laing & Amy Liptrot

Two groundbreaking writers with very different takes on loneliness come together to explore the perils and joys of the solitary life. In The Lonely City, Olivia Laing (award- winning author of To the River and The Trip to Echo Spring) celebrates the ways in which New York artists have drawn on loneliness for inspiration, while Amy Liptrot (in her acclaimed debut The Outrun) blends nature writing with memoir to offer a deeply moving account of her attempts to rebuild her life in the Orkney Islands when her world in London collapsed.
The event is chaired by journalist and broadcaster Sinéad Gleeson.

Liptrot is the real deal, a writer whose voice seems fully formed on the page
The Independent on Sunday

Laing has written a classic that will be cherished for years to come
Deborah Levy

[cta headline=”Thu 26 May | 6pm | Main Space” buttontext=”Book Now” buttonlink=”httpss://smockalley.ticketsolve.com/shows/873552685/events”]Tickets €12/10[/cta]

Packie Bonner

It’s 26 years since Jack Charlton led Ireland on its first and greatest World Cup run, and Packie Bonner was there through it all, the backbone of an Irish team blessed with a degree of talent and purpose that has rarely been matched. On the eve of Euro 2016 and to mark the paperback release of his long-awaited autobiography The Last Line(shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year), Bonner talks to writer and broadcaster Gerry McDade about his life and career, tracing his evolution from shy Donegal teenager to national hero, and reflecting on the World Cup penalty save that changed his life forever.

[cta headline=”Thu 26 May | 8pm | Main Space” buttontext=”Book Now” buttonlink=”httpss://smockalley.ticketsolve.com/shows/873552686/events”]Tickets €12/10[/cta]

Maeve Brennan : A Celebration

Maeve Brennan’s short stories have long been admired by writers and cherished by readers. Born in Dublin in 1917, she became a staff writer at the New Yorker, and brought her formidable powers of perception and scathing wit to stories of childhood, marriage, longing and exile before dying in obscurity in the early nineties. Now a new edition of her celebrated Dublin stories, The Springs of Affection, aims to bring her to a wider readership.

Join us in Smock Alley as publisher Declan Meade talks to broadcaster and critic, Sinéad Gleeson, and Brennan’s biographer, Angela Bourke, about her troubled life; and actress Cathy Belton reads extracts from the work of one of the forgotten greats of twentieth-century Irish fiction.

Presented in association with The Stinging Fly.
Photo: Karl Bissinger, courtesy of University of Delaware Library

Brennan now ranks alongside the great Irish storytellers such as Frank O’Connor, Sean O’Faolain, and the James Joyce of ‘The Dead
Paul Bailey

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN MOVED TO THE LIBERTY HALL THEATRE DUE TO DEMAND. Call 01-2226535 or visit the festival website to book.

Laureate na nÓg

ILF Dublin is proud to host this first public interview by the new Laureate na nÓg 2016-18. In this inaugural talk, the new Laureate (announced on May 17th) offers a fascinating insight into their remarkable body of work and discusses the key themes of their laureateship. Laureate na nÓg is a unique two-year honour designed to help young people engage with literature and to underline the importance of children’s literature in our cultural and imaginative life.

Laureate na nÓg is an initiative of the Arts Council with the support of The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Children’s Books Ireland, Poetry Ireland and The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Suitable for ages 10+ and adults


[cta headline=”Sat 28 May | 2pm | Main Space” buttontext=”Book Now” buttonlink=”httpss://smockalley.ticketsolve.com/shows/873552688/events” ]Tickets €5[/cta]

Ciaran Óg Arnold & Seamus Murphy

What role can photography still play in reporting the state of a nation? Seamus Murphy grew up in Ireland, but has spent most of his life in exile, living in London and documenting war zones across the world, from Afghanistan to Kosovo, in collaboration with singer-songwriter P J Harvey. His new book, The Republic, is a journey home to mark the 1916 centenary. What country did he find? Ciarán Óg Arnold’s work documents a less visible Ireland, of small country towns and isolated communities. Arnold’s work in I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed. but all I could do was get drunk again adopts a more expressionistic idiom, typifiying an exciting new generation of photographers capturing an Ireland outside the media spotlight. Join them for this illustrated talk in which they discuss their work.

Arnold’s images, seem distant, almost imperious, amid the myriad rituals of masculinity
Sean O’Hagan

[cta headline=”Sat 28 May | 6pm | Main Space” buttontext=”Book Now” buttonlink=”httpss://smockalley.ticketsolve.com/shows/873552691/events”]Tickets €10/8[/cta]

Margaretta D’Arcy

Performer, writer, director and political activist, Margaretta D’Arcy is a tireless and inspirational figure. She worked in theatre from the age of fifteen, first as an actress and then as an accomplished playwright, but it is perhaps as an activist that she is best known.

Over the years her activism has taken many forms, from anti-nuclear campaigns to the H-Block protests in Armagh (an experience that inspired her book Tell Them Everything). Now, in the wake of her latest campaign (against the use of Shannon Airport by US military planes), Ireland’s ‘Guantanamo Granny’ reflects on her extraordinary life in the company of Jim Sheridan, the acclaimed director of My Left Foot and In The Name of the Father.

[cta headline=”Sat 28 May | 8pm | Main Space” buttontext=”Book Now” buttonlink=”httpss://smockalley.ticketsolve.com/shows/873552692/events”]Tickets €12/10[/cta]

The Big Debate
The Dying of the Light:
Marion Coutts, Susana Moreira Marques & Seamus O’Mahony

Death still comes to us all, and yet in the Western world we have lost the ability to cope with it, tidying our sick away into hospices to be cared for by professionals they barely know.

The Undiscovered Country brings together three writers whose work explores mortality in very different ways.

Marion Coutts’ Welcome Prize-winning memoir The Iceberg is a powerful account of the death of her husband (the art critic Tom Lubbock), while in The Way We Die Now, Seamus O’Mahony offers a profound meditation on Western conceptions of mortality, and in Now and at the Hour of our Death journalist Susana Moreira Marques explores death in a remote Portuguese community.
Presented in association with the Embassy of Portugal in Ireland.

[cta headline=”Sun 29 May | 12:30pm | Main Space” buttontext=”Book Now” buttonlink=”httpss://smockalley.ticketsolve.com/shows/873552693/events”]Tickets €10/8[/cta]

A L Kennedy

Novelist, dramatist, short story writer, critic and occasional stand-up comedian, Alison Kennedy is one of the most admired writers in Britain, celebrated for her exquisite prose style and sparkling wit. Since her debut 25 years ago, she has twice been named as one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists, published seven collections of short stories, non-fiction works on everything from bullfighting to writing, and seven novels, including Day, which won the Costa Award in 2007, Paradise and now Serious Sweet, a poignant, beautiful and dazzlingly told love story about two people trying to make moral choices in an immoral world.

The event will be chaired by critic Niall MacMonagle.

[cta headline=”Sun 29 May | 2:30pm | Main Space” buttontext=”Book Now” buttonlink=”httpss://smockalley.ticketsolve.com/shows/873552694/events”]Tickets €12/10[/cta]

Seamus Heaney’s The Aeneid Book VI
with Michael Longley, Paula Meehan, Barry McGovern

When the young Seamus Heaney was translating part of the Aeneid for A-Level, his teacher, Father McGlinchey, wished aloud that it was Book VI. Nearly 50 years on, after a lifetime’s fascination with Virgil, Heaney finally turned to what he called ‘the best of books’. His translation of Book VI, which tells the heart-wrenching story of Aeneas’ journey into the underworld in search of his father, was the last achievement of his long and glittering career and, since its posthumous publication earlier this year, has been met with universal acclaim.

Now leading poets Michael Longley and Paula Meehan join actor Barry McGovern to read from this and other Heaney works in a very special event that brings the 2016 festival to a fitting close.
Presented in association with Poetry Ireland.

a miraculous return from the literary afterlife and a brilliant capstone to the imposing edifice of his writing
The Irish Times

[cta headline=”Sun 29 May | 8pm | Main Space” buttontext=”Book Now” buttonlink=”httpss://smockalley.ticketsolve.com/shows/873552695/events”]Tickets €12/10[/cta]