ILFDublin 2019 : Mon 20 – Fri 24 May

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Pat McCabe & Nicole Flattery with Danny Denton

Mon 20 May | 6pm | Main Space | €10/8

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Nicole Flattery and Pat McCabe – a major literary influence of hers – discuss creative inspiration at ILFDublin’s celebration of the influence of writers upon each other across generations. ‘Irish women writers are on fire,’ said Elle magazine recently, citing Nicole Flattery as ‘yet a further brilliant example’. Her bold and bracing debut short story collection Show Them A Good Time confirms her position as a rising literary star. Known for his mostly dark and violent novels often set in small-town Ireland, hugely popular author Pat McCabe was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize for The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto, both of which were made into films. Pat McCabe and Nicole Flattery are in conversation with writer Danny Denton, author of ‘gangster ballad love story’ The Earlie King and the Kid in Yellow.

Presented in partnership with Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival, which celebrates the arts and creativity as we age.

Paul Mason

Mon 20 May | 8pm | Main Space | €15/12.50

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Former economics editor of Channel 4 and BBC Newsnight, and author of the Sunday Times bestseller Postcapitalism, Paul Mason is a film-maker, writer and broadcaster on economics and social justice.

His latest book Clear Bright Future: A Radical Defence of the Human Being, is an agenda-setting reassertion of the rights of humans over machines. A call for resistance against the politicians and corporations who are trying to exert new forms of technological control, Clear Bright Future demonstrates how the dangers society faces are rooted in the purposeful creation of the ‘neoliberal self ’ over the past three decades.

He comes to ILFDublin to explain why we must resist and reinvent humanism in a way that allows it to survive attacks against race, gender and reason – the opponents of human rights.

The event will be chaired by journalist Vincent Browne.

Gunnhild Øyehaug

Tue 21 May | 6:15pm | Boys’ School | €10/8

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Gunnhild Øyehaug is busy reinventing the short story form, winning admirers on both sides of the Atlantic with writing that is quietly morbid and delightfully comical. She joins us in Dublin to discuss her collection Knots which ranges from short microfictions to ruminative longer tales, always fascinated by human consciousness and the absurdity of life. Øyehaug is also poet, essayist and literary editor.

‘I have been captivated by Gunnhild Øyehaug’s wit, imagination, ironic social commentary and fearless embrace of any and every form of storytelling’ – Lydia Davis

Programmed by International Literature Festival Dublin with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy Dublin and NORLA.

Being Various: Lucy Caldwell with Yan Ge & Darran Anderson

Tue 21 May | 6pm | Main Space | €10/8

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Richard Ford described the short story as ‘the national art form of Ireland’. Continuing in this proud tradition, Being Various is the sixth volume of Faber’s long-running series of new Irish short stories. Edited by Belfast-born multi-award-winning author and dramatist Lucy Caldwell, it showcases a brilliant array of writers making waves in the twenty-first century. From well-known names to newcomers, all of whom are Irish by birth, parentage or residence, it includes Kevin Barry, Sally Rooney, Adrian McKinty, and Danielle McLaughlin among others. Lucy Caldwell is joined by Yan Ge, the award-winning writer from China, and self-described ‘Irish writer and infidel living in exile’ Darran Anderson, to discuss Being Various and the art of the short story today.

Presented in association with Faber and Faber for their 90th anniversary

Crime Calls: Tana French

Tue 21 May | 8pm | Main Space | €12/10

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Calling all crime fans! Tana French’s books have earned her a huge and wildly enthusiastic fan base at home and abroad, including none other than Stephen King, who in a New York Times review described her new novel The Wych Elm as‘extraordinary’. King said she heralds from the same ‘strange and rich territory inhabited by such novelists as Michael Robotham, Laura Lippman, George Pelecanos, James Ellroy and Ruth Rendell’. Tana French’s 2007 debut, the psychological mystery In the Woods became the first of six hugely successful books featuring the fictional Dublin Crime Squad. Her awards include the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry Awards, the Los Angeles Times Award for Best Mystery/Thriller, and the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction. In conversation with writer and critic, Anna Carey.

‘The most important crime novelist to emerge in the past ten years.’ – Washington Post

Children’s Books Ireland – Book of the Year Awards

Wed 22 May | 12pm | Main Space | €5/3

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Roll up roll up all children’s books lovers! It’s always an honour for ILFDublin to host the Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Awards ceremony. The CBI Book of the Year Awards identify, honour and promote excellence in books for young people by Irish authors and illustrators, and offer a significant opportunity for national and international recognition of Irish talent. Broadcaster and book lover Rick O’Shea will announce the winners across six categories. There are limited tickets available to attend this special event,so be sure to book quick!

Roberto Calasso / John Banville

Wed 22 May | 6pm | Main Space | €12/10

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An ILFDublin exclusive, as two leading lights of contemporary fiction come together to discuss the challenges of literature, writing, and a world that feels more elusive than ever: Robert Calasso, the Italian writer and publisher described in The Paris Review as ‘a literary institution of one’, and Ireland’s own John Banville, the Man Booker prize-winning author called ‘Ireland’s wordsmith’ by The Washington Post.

A strikingly original and provocative vision of our times, Robert Calasso’s latest book The Unnamable Present – the ninth part of a work in progress – is a meditation on the obscure and ubiquitous process of transformation happening in societies today.

John Banville’s recent Ancient Light is the story of a lif rendered brilliantly vivid: the obsession and selfishness of young love and the terrifying shock of grief.

Presented with the support of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura and the Embassy of Italy in Ireland

The Belfast Agreement 20 Years on: Monica McWilliams, Moya Cannon & Andy Pollak

Wed 22 May | 8pm | Main Space | €12/10

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In 1998, the Belfast Agreement (aka the Good Friday Agreement) between the British and Irish governments and most of the political parties in Northern Ireland changed the political and social landscape of Northern Ireland. Given the all-consuming Brexit crisis, it has been subject to much recent scrutiny. Irish Pages, the biannual journal of contemporary writing from Ireland and overseas, has published The Belfast Agreement: Twentieth Anniversary Issue, in which 42 notable literary writers, journalists and scholars comment on the achievement of the Agreement itself as well as offering their views, feelings and experience of it over the past two decades, including the present moment. Irish Pages presents poet and member of Aosdána, Moya Cannon, whose most recent collection was Keats Lives; Monica McWilliams, who played a key role in this major political development in the Northern Irish peace process of the 1990s; and journalist, author, and founding Director of the Centre for Cross-Border Studies, Andy Pollak. The event will be chaired by Chris Agee, Editor of Irish Pages.

Literature Producers Forum

Thu 23 May | 11am – 5pm | Main Space | €30/20

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Theatres and venues across Ireland are hungry for quality programming ideas, while funding bodies would like to see more ambitious literature events and projects touring the country. Words Ireland supports writers, creative directors, and producers of all kinds to realise theirideas. Informative and inspirational, the Literature Producers Forum also showcases Words Ireland’s ambitious first production Mirrors, created by Dani Gill.

The Forum will: Examine the spectrum of ‘literature programming’ (such as performances, education programmes, residencies, collaborations), and discuss best practice. Experience a dynamic presentation from UK producer Julia Bird of Jaybird Live Literature on creativity and process. Get the inside track from venue managers and festival directors as to what audiences really want. Reveal the funding avenues available to producers.

An unmissable opportunity for programmers, funders or producers of literature events and projects!

Produced by Words Ireland, the collective of seven Irish literature resource organisations. Ticket includes free access to Mirrors.


Thu 23 May | 6pm | Main Space | €15/12.50

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A fascinating hybrid of literature, projection, holographic imagery and live performance featuring poet Jessica Traynor and fiction writer Nicole Flattery. Curated by Dani Gill, this immersive story-telling experience explores the lives of multiple female characters, using soundscapes, fractured narrative and visuals. Jessica Traynor, author of the collections Liffey Swim and The Quick, is a former Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year, who was commissioned by the Irish Writers Centre and Ireland 2016 to be a part of A Poet’s Rising. Nicole Flattery, whose bold and bracing debut Show Them A Good Time is out now, was recently described as in the Irish Times as ‘a bright new voice in Irish literature’.

Produced by Words Ireland, the collective of seven Irish literature resource organisations.

ILFDublin Writer In Residence Tomoka Shibasaki, with Polly Barton

Thu 23 May | 6:15pm | Boys’ School | €10/8

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Tomoka Shibasaki is writer in residence at ILFDublin 2019, ahead of Japan being our Focus Country next year. Shibasaki won the Akutagawa Prize for Spring Garden, her first novel translated into English, which tells the story of Taro, a reclusive divorcee who is drawn into a strange relationship with the woman upstairs. Shibasaki will be in conversation with her translator, Polly Barton, recently shortlisted for the Fitzcarraldo Editions essay prize for Fifty Sounds, a record of linguistic and cultural assimilation in Japan, where she lived for seven years and became a literary translator. She was the recipient of the 2016 Kyoko Selden International Translation Prize. Together they discuss their work and map out the territory of contemporary Japanese literature. Chaired by Martin Colthorpe, Programme Director, ILFDublin.

Presented with the support of the EU Japan Fest Japan Committee

Alice Rawsthorn: Eileen Gray’s E.1027

Thu 23 May | 8pm | Main Space | €12/10

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When Irish architect and furniture designer Eileen Gray created E.1027, she told a story with a building. Designed and built between 1926 and 1929 as a retreat for herself and her lover, the architect Jean Badovici, E.1027 is one of the most beautiful and deeply personal houses of the modernist era. Considered to be Gray’s first major work, it blurs the border between architecture and decoration. Award-winning design critic and the author of critically acclaimed books such as Hello World: Where Design Meets Life and Design as an Attitude, Alice Rawsthorn traces the fascinating story of E.1027 and how Gray’s joyful and optimistic design led to tragedy and turbulence – and what that reveals about architecture’s gender politics. Don’t miss Eileen Gray’s E.1027, the extraordinary story of an extraordinary building.

Presented in association with Irish Architecture Foundation

Crash Test Caint – Litríocht

Thu 23 May | 8:15pm | Boys’ School | €5

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Join us for a special edition of Crash Test Caint, a gathering for rusty Gaelgeoirs who want to dust off their cúpla focal. Forget about fadas. Don’t sweat over séimhiús. Crash Test Caint places an emphasis on pop-up performances, lighthearted lessons and crowd-sourced chat. The theme for this ILFDublin instalment is litríocht, or literature, but we promise it will be a Peig free zone. Bígí linn!

Presented in association with Axis Ballymun

Family Teen Curator Event: John Boyne

Fri 24 May | 6pm | Main Space | €12/10/€6 child

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What do you do when your brother says he’s not your brother at all, and that he thinks he’s actually . . . your sister?
Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to hear internationally bestselling author John Boyne discuss his new novel for young adults with our Teen Curators, students from The King’s Hospital School, Dublin. Written with his trademark wit and empathy, My Brother’s Name is Jessica is a stunning and timely story of gender identity and family life.

‘I hope My Brother’s Name is Jessica will enlighten young readers on the bravery of transgender youth and make them understand that this is just another facet of human nature that can be celebrated.’ – John Boyne

Takin’ the Mic

Fri 24 May | 7pm | Boys’ School | Free Admission

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The Irish Writers Centre’s Takin’ the Mic returns to International Literature Festival Dublin for a bilingual evening of poetry and prose in English and Irish. Hosted by writer Marcus Mac Conghail, the evening will feature a guest performance from Nicole Flattery and from the National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn, along with our usual open mic slots for poets, writers, musicians and comedians.

Interested in performing on the night? Register here. (4 slots available for Irish language readers and 4 slots available for English or bilingual readers.)

Suggested donation: €5

About Marcus Mac Conghail:

Coiscéim a d’fhoilsigh a chnuasach Ceol Baile a ghnóthaigh Gradam Filíochta Michael Hartnett. Tá dánta le Marcus foilsithe in Feasta, Southword Journal, The Stinging Fly, Comhar, agus Poetry Ireland Review. Léigh sé ag Fíochán Filí i Heilbhic, Cúirt sa Ghaillimh, An Fhéile Bheag Filíochta ar an mBuailtín, Ó Bhéal i gCorcaigh, Fleadh Phádraig i mBéal Feirste, Staccato i mBÁC, The International Literature Festival Dublin, agus ag Imram. Craoladh a shaothar ar an raidió agus ar an teilifís in Éirinn agus is gearr go mbeidh sé le clos ar BBC Radio 4 mar chuid de chlár ar an nua-fhilíocht Ghaeilge.

Coiscéim published his collection Ceol Baile which was awarded The Michael Hartnett Poetry Prize. He has had poems published in Feasta, Southword Journal, The Stinging Fly, Comhar, and Poetry Ireland Review. He has read at Fíochán Filí in Waterford, Cúirt in Galway, An Fhéile Bheag Filíochta in Kerry, Ó Bhéal in Cork, Fleadh Phádraig in Belfast, Staccato in Dublin, The International Literature Festival Dublin, and Imram – also in Dublin. His work has been broadcast on both radio and television in Ireland and he will shortly be featured on a BBC Radio 4 documentary on new Irish language poetry.

About Nicole Flattery:

Nicole Flattery’s stories have been published in The Irish Times, The Dublin Review, The White Review, Winter Papers, The Letters Page and The Stinging Fly. She is a recipient of a Next Generation Artists’ Award from the Arts Council and The White Review Short Story Prize. She lives in Galway. Show Them A Good Time is her first book.

House Rules:

– Five mins per performer
– Slots are on a first come, first served basis
– Performers should sign up in advance via Eventbrite.
– Please note that the performers’ list books up quickly, after that there is a waiting list.
– Donation tickets do not count as performance tickets

Irish Writers Centre – Young Writer Delegates:

In association with the Irish Writers Centre, we’re delighted to welcome six Young Writer Delegates at the festival this year. Sam Cox, Ruth Ennis, Cassia Gaden Gilmartin, James Hudson, Fiona Murphy McCormack and Aoife Riach will be mentored by Colm Keegan, and will showcase their work at the Taking the Mic event. They’ll be checking out festival events and giving us their insights and feedback via our social media platforms. We look forward to hearing their views on the future direction of the festival and to welcoming them into the wider festival team.

Andrea Lawlor in conversation with Una Mullally

Fri 24 May | 8pm | Main Space | €12/10

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‘For queer artists of a certain age we just assumed that to write was to experiment,’ Andrea Lawlor, a gender queer novelist and lecturer, told The New York Times.

Andrea Lawlor’s debut novel Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl offers a speculative history of early 1990s identity politics during the heyday of ACT UP and Queer Nation. Shapeshifting Paul can transform his body at will – setting in train a series of riotous adventures that take him on a journey through a world gutted by loss and pulsing with music.

Andrea Lawlor joins broadcaster and journalist Una Mullally in conversation for a fascinating event about writing, and how novels can bend genre as well as gender.

Check out the full programme of ILF Dublin events: