We’re firmly in my favourite time of year. Autumn brings several family birthdays, the cream of new publications, the Dublin Theatre Festival and awards season.
The shortlists for this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards will be announced in the GPO on October 20 (a couple of days after the Booker Prize winner is announced) and the An Post winners will be revealed at a glamorous affair in Dublin’s Convention Centre next month. It’s three years since the book community got together in real life for this event, so the excitement is already at Toy Show levels. I’ll keep you posted.
Tomorrow evening the Wild Atlantic Words Festival opens in Castlebar, Co Mayo, with Dr Michael O’Connor’s lecture, ‘Criminal Conversations with My Wife’, on an overlooked aspect of judicial history.
A busy week features a talk by Tom Crean biographer Michael Smith, along with poetry, book launches by Tommie Gorman and Paul Brady, and a Civil War seminar at the Courthouse. Marie Louise O’Donnell will moderate a panel comprising Professors Diarmaid Ferriter and Linda Connolly, historian Dominic Price, Éamon Ó Cuív, and former minister for justice Nora Owen. All events are free – first come, first served. wildatlanticwords.ie
Meanwhile down Limerick way, drums and a lantern parade will signal the start of Éigse Michael Hartnett Literary and Arts Festival. Playwright Gerry Stembridge and the winner of this year’s Michael Hartnett Poetry Award, Eleanor Hooker, will open the event running from Thursday to Sunday in Newcastle West, the town that was home to the much-loved poet.
Readings by writer Mary Costello, Glenstal monk Mark Patrick Hederman and poets Kerry Hardie and Peter Sirr, a screening of An Cailín Ciúin, and a lecture on Ireland’s decade of centenaries by archivist and historian Catriona Crowe are among the highlights of a lively programme. eigsemichaelhartnett.ie