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Keane on books: An exquisite arts anthology, Dingle Literary Festival, and awards news

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Michael D Higgins is speaking at the Dingle Literary Festival this week. Picture by Niall Carson

Michael D Higgins is speaking at the Dingle Literary Festival this week. Picture by Niall Carson

Michael D Higgins is speaking at the Dingle Literary Festival this week. Picture by Niall Carson

A golden hare stands to attention on its field of scarlet cloth – this is the striking cover of the seventh volume of Winter Papers (Curlew Editions), Kevin Barry and Olivia Smith’s exquisite annual anthology for the arts.

An enticing table of contents promises an actor’s diary from Aaron Monaghan, Niamh Campbell’s ‘Notes on Ireland’s Generation X’, Bernard MacLaverty interviewed by Andrew Meehan, and Wendy Erskine and David Holmes in conversation.

It’s published on Thursday and is available in all good bookshops.

There’s a tangible frisson of excitement ahead of An Post’s Irish Book Awards, which take place at Dublin’s Convention Centre on November 23.

I’m very happy to be on the judging panel for the overall Book of the Year, which will be announced as part of a show on RTÉ on December 8. Remember there’s still time for readers to give a shout out for their favourite titles of the year: voting closes tomorrow at 5pm. See anpostirishbookawards.ie

 Awards biz precludes me from dangling in Dingle with all the literary folk for the Dingle Literary Festival. A series of online workshops was kicking off proceedings yesterday, including one on fiction writing from talented Jan Carson, whose third novel The Raptures is due from Doubleday in January.

Events start in person in the Co Kerry town this coming Friday with President Michael D Higgins talking to journalist Seán Mac an tSíthigh. An eclectic array of authors includes Caitriona Lally, Nicole Flattery, Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin and Diarmaid Ferriter. Full festival listings at dinglelit.ie

Cuirt’s New Writing Prize has just opened for submissions. Writer Lisa McInerney and poet Gail McConnell will respectively judge short fiction and poetry.

The winners will each receive €500 and the chance to read at Cuirt’s 37th International Festival of Literature next April. The closing date for entries is January 21. Terms and conditions at cuirt.ie

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