Alliance Francaise and Poetry
Ireland present a crime-fiction event for senior post-primary students, which
offers students an opportunity to hear readings by Irish and French language
crime writers Anna Heussaff and Chantal Pelletier, and to engage with the
authors as they discuss their work.
Anna Heussaff’s novel Hóng, an
adventure mystery for young readers, won the 2013 Judges Special Award at the
Children’s Books Ireland Awards. Her most recent novel, Deadly Intent,
published under her pen name Anna Sweeney, is an English translation of her
previous Irish work, Buille Marfach, and is a gripping tale of tangled
relationships and shadowy secrets.
Described by Le Monde as “a
wonderful story teller”, French novelist Chantal Pelletier's Goat Song
introduces Maurice Laice, the world-weary inspector of three of her crime
novels, and was awarded the Grand Prix du Roman Noir.
English translations of
European crime fiction have become increasingly popular in recent years, and
this event promises to give students an opportunity to hear the writers talk
about their work in a lively and interesting environment.
To book a place for your
school, please email email@example.com or call Anna Bonner on
01 678 9022.
Scribes and scholars from all
over Ireland and overseas will gather in County Clare this weekend for the 2015
Doolin Writers’ Weekend (March 27 to 29th).
Organised by Hotel Doolin, the
third annual festival features workshops and readings by some of Ireland’s
leading writers, including Booker Prize nominee Donal Ryan, playwright,
screenwriter and director Peter Sheridan, poet Dave Lordan, and award-winning
novelist and short-story writer, Christine Dwyer Hickey.
Other contributors include
singer John Spillane, Hennessy Award winning writer Madeleine D’Arcy, author
Catherine Dunne, writer Anthony Glavin, and poets Stephen Murray, Eleanor
Hooker and Graham Allen.
The Weekend also features the
third annual Doolin Poetry & Short Story Competition, which Hotel Doolin is
hosting in association with Tramp Press and Salmon Poetry.
Doolin, which was this week
named by Tripadvisor in its Top 10 Irish Destinations list, has a lengthy
association with some of the world’s most famous writers and artists, including
J.R.R. Tolkien, J.M. Synge, CS Lewis, George Bernard Shaw, Dylan Thomas,
Augustus John and Oliver St. John Gogarty, each of whom spent time in the
village and wider North Clare area.
“The upcoming Festival affords
a great opportunity for aspiring writers as well as literary fans and published
authors to get together and celebrate everything that is good about Irish
literature,” said event organiser and Doolin Hotel General Manager, Donal
“We’ll have readings from Donal
Ryan, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Dave Lordan, workshops from Catherine Dunne,
Madeleine D’Arcy, Anthony Glavin, as well as singer songwriter John Spillane,
theatre with Peter Sheridan, a workshop with publishing whirlwinds Tramp Press,
a photo exhibition by Hanne T. Fisker and a plethora of local trad musicians,
our own Dooliner Beer and some of North Clare’s finest food to keep the whole
thing moving,” stated Mr. Minihane.
For further details on the
Doolin Writers’ Weekend visit: http://www.doolinwritersweekend.com.
Michael Quinlin has always been
passionate about his Irish roots.
Quinlin, the son of an Irish
immigrant mother from Armagh, Northern Ireland, and an Irish-American father,
has written two editions of “Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston’s Colorful
Irish Past,” and self-published three other titles on the region’s connection
But the Milton resident’s
latest, “Tales from the Emerald Isle and Other Green Shores” (Lyons Press;
$14.95), released earlier this month, tells the Irish experience abroad and at
home through stories by the island’s top literary names and lesser- known
“The big names deserve to be at
the top of the marquee because they’ve done so much good work,” Quinlin told
the Herald. “If you only look at big names, it’s the equivalent of only looking
at best-sellers. Some of the smaller, less-known authors who published at the
time captured what was going on at that point in time in Ireland and America.”
William Butler Yeats, Liam
O’Flaherty and Arthur Conan Doyle are among the most famous names in the
19-story compilation. He searched through collections at the Boston Athenaeum
and Boston Public Library for original texts to thread together a timeline of
Irish history starting in the 1850s through World War I, and Irish independence
“Once I started doing the
research, there were a lot of forgotten authors’ stories that were good,” said
Quinlin. “I found a lot of them in penny magazines. Back in the day it was a
way for people to get their stuff out there.”
Among them were newspaper
writer Ellis N. Myles and Sarah Orne Jewett, who was published in Scribner’s
During his research, Quinlin
read 80 to 100 stories before whittling down the list to 19.
“I tried to touch on a lot of
themes that are so prevalent in Irish literature: relationships between tenant
and landlord, Catholic and Protestant. The other portion of it, obviously as an
Irish- American, I’m really interested in the immigrant experience,” said
Quinlin. “There are a couple really good ones about coming to America and
finding their way in New York and Boston.”
Quinlin’s passion for Irish
literature began as an English major at LaSalle University. His time abroad at
The School for Irish Studies in Dublin, where he studied under noted Irish
writers like Benedict Kiely and Eavan Boland, only bolstered his interest.
“I think if you read the
stories, you’ll get a sense of the richness of Irish culture and the many
characteristics of the Irish,” said Quinlin. “On a day like St. Patrick’s Day,
one of many ethnic celebrations in America, it’s a time to reflect on all the
strong characteristics of Irish heritage.”
If you’re trying to justify a
trip to Ireland this March for reasons that don’t involve Guinness and little
green leprechauns, consider a visit to the National Library of Ireland’s
award-winning exhibit on William Butler Yeats (1865-1939). You certainly
wouldn’t be alone--since it’s opening in 2006, more than a quarter of a million
people have made the journey to Dublin to explore Ireland’s preeminent
twentieth-century poet and playwright.
Winner of the 1923 Noble Prize
for literature, Yeats was a major force behind reviving international interest
in Irish literature. In 1892, he founded the Irish Literary Society along with
fellow writer T. W. Rolleston and Irish nationalist Charles Gavan Duffy. The
group’s goal was to promote the intellectual and literary renaissance in
Ireland, and met at Yeats’ home on Blenheim Road in London. Yeats published
Celtic Twilight, in 1893, a volume that
American poet Edward Hisrch called a ‘curious hybrid of the story and essay,’
in the 1981 issue of the Journal of the Folklore Institute. In fact, Celtic
Twilight was a collection of Yeats’ stories and poems that had previously
appeared in newspapers throughout the UK, with a focus on Irish folk and fairy
tales. The book’s title eventually became synonymous with the literary
movement. Yeats’ social engagement wasn’t limited to the literary scene either:
In 1922 he became a senator in the newly formed Senate of Ireland, where he
served two terms. (Despite best intentions, the Senate was eventually abolished
The National Library of Ireland
is the world’s largest repository of Yeats’ notebooks, manuscripts and other
materials, which were donated by the author’s widow. The exhibition draws on
these items to create a thematically organized walk through Yeats life, work
and enduring influence. (Note: while patrons must have a reader’s card or
temporary pass to enter the National Library itself, this exhibit is open,
free, to the visiting public.) Still can’t get to Dublin? The entire exhibit is
accessible online--a fascinating multimedia experience that seamlessly wields
21st-century technology to explore the lasting and poignant significance of one
of Ireland’s greatest champions.
Irish Women Writers: ‘She
invents a new tense, neither past nor present, which is a kind of “women’s
time”, rejecting all ideas of authority, power and deference’
The tomb of Art Ó Laoghaire: If
ever a woman spoke across the centuries in tones of authentic love, that is
Eibhlin Dubh in her lament for her murdered husband Art Ó Laoghaire in 1773. We
know little enough about Eibhlín – almost as little as we do about Homer. It
seems somehow appropriate that we have no picture of her.
If ever a woman spoke across
the centuries in tones of authentic love, that is Eibhlín Dubh in her lament
for her murdered husband Art Ó Laoghaire in 1773. Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire
is rightly regarded as one of the great elegies of European culture, an amazing
combination of tradition and the individual talent – moving through moods of
shock, tenderness, nostalgic reverie, personal outrage, vengeance and (in the
end) immense dignity.
It is a cry of passion by a
woman who is before and beyond “gentility”, a true aristocrat of the emotions.
The ferocity of her language is exceeded only by the awesome control of
language, every word etched, indelible, incontrovertible. The lines are spoken
in a rhythm of such throbbing intensity as to suggest that a culture capable of
this utterance can never die. And how right Eibhlín Dhubh was – her tribute has
called forth some amazing translations, none better than that by Eilís Dillon.
We know little enough about
Eibhlín – almost as little as we do about Homer. She is believed to have spoken
some of the lines over the dead body of her slain husband, whose blood she
symbolically drank. After expressing her great pain, a formal feeling comes –
and she invents a new tense, neither past nor present, which is a kind of
“women’s time”, rejecting all ideas of authority, power and deference. In doing
as much, she generates what Peter Levi has called “the greatest poem written in
these islands in the whole eighteenth century”. It seems somehow appropriate
that we have no picture of her.
Declan Kiberd is Donald and
Marilyn Keough Professor of Irish Studies and Professor of English and Irish
Language and Literature at the University of Notre Dame. His books include
Synge and the Irish Language, Men and Feminism in Irish Literature, Irish
Classics, The Irish Writer and the World, Inventing Ireland, and Ulysses and
Us: The Art of Everyday Life in Joyce’s Masterpiece.