Dublin Book Festival Set to Be a Page Turner

One of the countries’ largest book festivals returns November 15-18, hosting exhibitions, launches and workshops.

Now in its 12th year, upcoming highlights include the event’s conversation strain, where famous writers discuss their work together in front of a crowd. On the first day, audiences can join literary magazine The Stinging Fly’s founding editor Declan Meade and current editor Sally Rooney (also author of the recently acclaimed novel Normal People) in Smock Alley for €10.

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of their magazine with the publication of anthology Stinging Fly Stories, Meade and Rooney will introduce a programme of readings and reminiscences by contributors past and present.

Emilie Pine (author of the terrific personal essay collection Notes to Self) and Arnold Thomas Fanning (Mind on Fire: A Memoir of Madness and Recovery) will discuss the mental health, substance abuse, sexuality and bereavement issues which led to the publication of their memoirs. Taking place November 17 in Smock Alley, tickets cost €7.

There are plenty of free events. On November 16, also at Smock Alley, there will be a poetry reading and conversation with writers Rosamund Taylor and Toby Buckley, as well as artist and activist Will St Leger. The three will discuss Irish LGBTQI+ poetry and the need for more marginalised voices.

The festival will mark new anthology The Other Irish Tradition’s release.  Celebrating experimental Irish literature, editor Rob Doyle will be in conversation with contributors to his book at Parnell Square’s Irish Writers Centre, November 17.

Smock Alley will house a pop-up exhibition based on Fintan O’Toole’s book exploring the legendary Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw.  Meanwhile, bookworms and tourists alike can join historian, author and Travel Ireland’s own Pat Liddy on the theatre’s steps for a stroll centred on the stories and writers inspired by Dublin. Tickets cost €10 with tours taking place November 17-18 at 11:30am and 2.30pm.

New books will be launched over the four days including broadcaster and critic Ciaran Carty’s Writer to Writer: The Republic of Elsewhere, the debut of Irish author John Fanning – Ezekiel and The History of Irish Book Publishing, the first comprehensive record and examination of the industry.  

Also worth noting is that special writers’ open mic night Takin’ the Mic returns to Dublin Book Festival, hosted by author and podcaster Sarah Maria Griffin (Spare and Found Parts, Juvenalia). Taking place November 16 at Smock Alley, all are welcome to perform.  

For more details and events, visit www.dublinbookfestival.com/

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