Sunday, October 18, 2020

Last day of Kildare Readers Festival

Today is the last day of the Kildare Readers Festival 2020 which has been an online event for the first time, writes Brian Byrne. The concluding Sunday Sessions episode is Dermot Bolger and Christine Dwyer Hickey in conversation, which premieres at 11am today. Christine's book Tatty is the UNESCO Dublin One City, One Book choice for 2020.  

But if time or other circumstances have meant you didn't get to tune in to the other video events for the last week, you can catch up on them all (even binge-watch if you want) here

The Festival began last Monday with Abie Philbin Bowman talking with Patrick Freyne about Freyne's new book, OK, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea.  Then there was a blend of prose and images in a presentation commissioned of Sue Rainsford, a lesson in celestial symmetry (it's best if she explains it). 

On Tuesday, community activist Oein DeBhairduin's debut collection of stories originating from the Irish Traveller community, the Mincéirí, was Why the moon travels. Beautifully illustrated by fellow Traveller Leanne McDonagh, DeBhairduin spoke about the collection with Ruth Smith

It was the turn on Wednesday of Annemarie Ní Churreáin in conversation with writer Kimberly Lojewski whose debut story collection, Worm Fiddling Nocturne in the Key of a Broken Heart is about fairy tales turned dark and dark tales turned whimsical. Wednesday also saw Maynooth University Department of English and Kildare County Council Arts and Library Services new writers-in-residence Susan Tomaselli and Dr Nathan O’Donnell discuss their work, their plans for this year’s residencies and more. 

On Thursday Donegal poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin talked poetry craft and process with poet, fictionist, and scriptwriter Patrick Chapman. On the same day, authors Cauvery Madhavan and Margaret Scott had a conversation about writing and stories. 

And on Friday Annemarie Ní Churreáin spoke with poet, fiction writer and essayist Honorée Fanonne Jeffers about Jeffers' The Age of Phillis, based on the life and times of enslaved person Phillis Wheatley. Also on Friday, Naoise Dolan spoke with journalist and broadcaster Edel Coffey about her debut novel Exciting Times

On Saturday it was the Ten Books selection by two guests, talking about why they each chose their five for recommendation. The Denis O'Driscoll Awards winners for this year spoke also on Saturday, reading from their work.  And last evening one of Ireland’s best-loved authors, Marita Conlon-McKenna talked about her new adult novel, The Hungry Road with Margaret Scott.

All worth dipping into as the evenings ever darken.

(And here's my personal tip: Instead of sitting watching two people talking to each other on two screen windows, leave the discussion coming through another tab and deal with it as radio. As always, radio has much better pictures.)

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