Thursday 13 December 2018

Literary diary: Madeleine Keane

The 12th Dublin Book Festival promises a feast of Irish writing and publishing
The 12th Dublin Book Festival promises a feast of Irish writing and publishing

Madeleine Keane

Barely has the ink dried on one festival - last week's inaugural celebration of crime writing MurderOne was a fantastic success - than another one hurtles down the tracks. Opening on Thursday, November 15 at Smock Alley, the 12th Dublin Book Festival promises a feast of Irish writing and publishing across the weekend.

There's a rich and diverse programme of talks, launches, exhibitions, workshops and clinics. I'm especially looking forward to chairing a discussion on Sunday about Ireland's inspiring women with Professor Deirdre Raftery, Martina Devlin, Lindie Naughton and Marian Broderick. Full programme details and booking at www.dublinbookfestival.com

Busy times all round for book peeps as November is also awards month. Great excitement attends this year's Irish Book Awards crop as we've partnered up with a dynamic new sponsor, An Post. What hasn't changed is the fact that you, the reader, can vote for the books you have loved and admired over the last 12 months. So let your voice be heard and cast your vote at www.irishbookawards.ie and watch these pages for features and a fab competition - for which I've a very generous prize up my sleeve.

There's no rest these days for a literary editor. As you read this, I'm in London for the opening of a new installation by poet Christina Reihill. Glad I Did It, which opens on Tuesday at Project Art Space in Bermondsey, is based on the tragic life and death of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in England.

Following a close reading of the psychiatric reports, prison files, diaries and correspondence, Reihill invites us into the mind of the nightclub hostess who shot her abusive lover David Blakely at point-blank range, to explore the theme of thwarted desire in the human condition. It runs until December.

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