Adult Fiction, Adult Non-fiction, Kildare readers Festival

Live Literary Events are back at Riverbank with Kildare Readers Festival this October

Kildare Readers Festival is in it’s 12th year and the committee have put together stellar line up for you, with a mixture of live, in-person events, which will be in the festival’s usual hot-spot Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge and live online events. Below is a preview of the in-person events which include two live shows, the popular Ten Books, a discussion with author John Bowman and a writers discussion of pieces they ‘shelved’ at some point in their career.

‘Shelving’ with Darran Anderson, Claire-Louise Bennett, and Suzanne Walsh. October 5th at 7pm

Curated by outgoing Maynooth University Writers in Residence Susan Tomaselli and Nathan O’Donnell, this is an interesting look at what writing gets finished and what gets shelved.

They as the question:
Why do artists and writers shelve or abandon particular projects – books, artworks, ideas?

What does this tell us about how artists and writers work? What does it tell us about the systems in which they work, the expectations placed upon them, the kinds of work considered viable, valuable, worthwhile?

For this event as part of Kildare Readers’ Festival, a number of practitioners from literature and the visual arts have been invited to present and talk about works they’ve previously shelved, abandoned, cannibalised, lost, forgotten, or reconfigured.

SHELVING will feature presentations/performances by three writers and artists: Darran Anderson, Claire-Louise Bennett, and Suzanne Walsh.

With a shared love of history and debate John Bowman and Abie Philbin Bowman are ideal interviewer and interviewee. KRF are delighted to bring you this exclusive interview as they discuss John’s book Ireland the Autobiography: One Hundred Years in the Life of the Nation, Told by its People. This absorbing and highly acclaimed book which has been researched over decades draws on eyewitness accounts, diaries and memoirs from the perspective of people who lived in these times, how they felt, their personal and societal experiences. These stories reflect how people were feeling whereas an official account can only tell us what happened. The power of personal testimony continues to influence.

10 Books You Should Read continues to be a favourite event at Kildare Readers Festival. Its format is a simple one – our guests choose five titles each – conversation ensues, as recommendations – and the advocacy of same – volley back and forth. On this occasion we thought to have the conversation be amongst the keepers of our cultural collections.

Simon O’Connor is the Director of the Museum of Literature Ireland, a creative collaboration between UCD and the National Library of Ireland, located on Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green. MoLI has won numerous awards since opening, including the Business to Arts Best Philanthropic Support of the Arts award 2021, Red Dot Best Exhibition Design Gold Award 2021, IDEA Exhibition Design Gold Award 2021 and is shortlisted for the European Mies Van Der Rohe Architecture Award 2022. A composer by training, Simon was also the founding curator of the Little Museum of Dublin, building that museum from scratch in 2011 and winning numerous awards in the process, including the European Commission’s Europa Nostra award for Cultural Heritage. He has presented exhibitions on many writers, including Bram Stoker, Christy Brown, Lafcadio Hearn, Kate O’Brien, Nuala O’Faolain and Chris Haughton. As a composer, he has studied with Donnacha Dennehy and Kevin Volans, and is published on the Ergodos label. Notable works include the acclaimed piano suite “What is Living and What is Dead”, and the song cycle collaboration with mezzo-soprano Michelle O’Rourke, “Left Behind – Songs of the 1916 Widows”.

Jason McElligott grew up in Cabra on Dublin’s northside. He only developed a love of reading in secondary school under the influence of an inspirational English teacher, Patrick Lillis, in St Paul’s CBS, North Brunswick Street (“Brunner”). He studied history at UCD and then read for a Ph.D. in modern history at St. John’s College, Cambridge. He is a former Fellow of Merton College, Oxford and since 2011 he has been the Director of Ireland’s oldest public library, Marsh’s Library. He is currently writing about book thieves in eighteenth-century Dublin.

The Iron Annie Cabaret is a celebration of music, theatre and literature. Based on Luke Cassidy’s debut novel Iron Annie, it tells the story of Aoife, a major figure in Dundalk’s small-town underworld, and her fatal attraction to Annie, a magnetic and elusive force that barged into her life. Think Reservoir Dogs meets Thelma and Louise meets the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

This production features performances by Eleanor McLoughlin as Aoife, accompanied by musical performances by folk duo the Dandelion Few and newly-formed rock band False Slag. Directed by Peter Moreton, artistic director of the Applecart Arts Centre (London), it is produced by Luke Cassidy, with production design by Marianne Thibault. The production is made possible with the support of the Arts Council of Ireland and Louth County Council.

‘Alphabet of Birds’ with Holy Show October 17th at 3pm

Live readings of Baume’s new essay are interspersed with four short documentaries from Jamie Goldrick that feature artists Gary Coyle, Laura Fitzgerald, Sara Baume and Natalia Beylis. The essay and films are live scored by musicians Irene Buckley and Elaine Howley (Howlbux).

The Alphabet of Birds is the second stage show from annual arts magazine Holy Show, who tour a new literary-hybrid production each year. Holy Show is generously funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. This production was also funded by the Western Development Commission as part of a project developed by Spot-Lit.

There are also additional live Zoom events and pre-recorded live interviews which will be going live on our Vimeo.

Keep an eye on our social media and the website for the live launch today which will include ticketing information! Tickets for the above events will be through Riverbanks Ticket Sales website and the additional online events will be through Eventbrite.


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