Counter Culture / April 13, 2021

International literature festival Dublin returns this May

Counter Culture / April 13, 2021

International literature festival Dublin returns this May

Featuring 120 authors and artists across 10 days, the festival will provide online talks, readings, self-guided audio walks and much more.

International Literature Festival Dublin (ILFDublin) will return to the capital on May 20 this year following the announcement of the 2021 winner of the Dublin Literary Award.

Across 10 days the festival will offer a diverse and contemporary experience celebrating the Here & Now, breaking the program’s content into four programming strands: WriteNowStoryMachineBoundless and Advance. Featuring 120 authors and artists from 26 countries around the world and a program consisting of live online talks, readings, performances, self-guided audio walks, podcasts and more. 

Irish & International Writing

Showcasing a globally diverse array of cutting edge new voices, translated authors and household names. 

  • Breaking The Silence, a unique event, live-streamed for one night only from the National Concert Hall, featuring creative responses to Ireland’s dark legacy, featuring survivors, writers & artists including Elaine Feeney, Loah, Terri Harrison, The Mary Wallopers, Majella Moynihan, Noelle Brown, Phil Mullen, Jess Kav, Alison Lowry & Caelainn Hogan.
  • ‘Best of the Booker’ winner Salman Rushdie returns to discuss his new essay collection, Languages of Truth
  • International Booker Prize winner – and godmother of ‘flash fiction’ – American Lydia Davis gives a very rare public event talking about the forms and influences that have shaped her life as a writer
  • Davos disruptor and globally renowned thinker Rutger Bregman discusses Humankind, one of the key ‘big ideas’ books of Covid times
  • Jhumpa Lahiri, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction,  discusses her new novel Whereabouts and her unique practice, writing in Italian and translating herself into English
  • Writer, music critic and poet Hanif Abdurragib weaves a unique and intimate history of Black performance.
  • Laureate for Irish Fiction Sebastian Barry presents his third and final Laureate Lecture. 
  • Get to know the authors on the shortlist of DUBLIN Literary Award in a podcast series hosted by Maeve Higgins and Jessica Traynor ahead of the announcement of this year’s winner. 
  • With unrivalled access to the archives Mark Stevens & Annalyn Swan talk of Revelations in their extraordinary study of Francis Bacon 
  • Lucy Caldwell & Deirdre Sullivan discuss the heartbreak and hope of modern life, and what lies beneath the surface when writing women.
  • Best-selling author of Find Me and Call Me by Your Name André Aciman discusses memory, mirage, and the mood of the fantasy life.
  • Explore the concept of The Disaster Tourist and why we just can’t look away, with award-winning Yun Ko-Eun.  

Family, Children & YA

This year’s Children, Families and Young Adults programme focuses on friendship, kindness and creating a journey of exploration and discovery.

Each weekday morning of the festival, little ones can take part in ‘Let’s Get Busy…’ events, exciting stories and activities by leading picture book writers and illustrators including Irish writer Patricia Forde and illustrator Chris Haughton, household favourites such as Rebecca Cobb and Jim Field and a world of poetry with Joseph CoelhoValerie Bloom and Matt Goodfellow.

Highlights include: 

  • US activist, former teen rapper and author of The Hate U Give Angie Thomas joins Toronto based performance poet Britta B. to discuss her new novel, Concrete Rose,an emotionally honest and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood. 
  • TV presenter Dermot O’Leary shares his new book, Toto the Ninja Cat and the Jewel Thief as he chats writing, his rescue cats, and his Irish family.
  • The immensely popular YA writers Holly Bourne & Adiba Jaigirdar talk about reality and romance, dating and making big decisions.
  • Germany’s Wibke Brueggmann joins Ciara Smyth to prove love knows no borders or boundaries as they explore LGBTQ+ themes of coming of age, finding love and forging friendships for life. 
  • In Laureate-2-Laureate – Ireland and the UK Children’s Laureates, Áine Ní Ghlinn and Cressida Cowell explore writing and the role they have in shaping the hopes and aspirations of young readers.
  • Discover the winners of the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards.
  • Laughter is everywhere as Irish comedian David O’Doherty & illustrator Chris Judge return with their new stand-alone novel, The Summer I Robbed A Bank.
  • A series of five podcasts created by ILFDublin in partnership with MoLI and the MPhil in Children’s Literature, School of English, Trinity College Dublin will explore landscape, environment, cityscapes, myth and folklore in children’s and young adult fiction with authors such as Carnegie Medal winner David Almond and Ireland’s Caroline O’Donoghue

Fringe Programme

Including self-guided audio walks and events, the fringe programme celebrates wellbeing, wandering, sightseeing, and promises to be as unusual and quirky as always. 

Highlights include: 

  • Drawing on memory, story, curiosity, and playfulness to deliver imaginative messages of hope right to your door, I Want You To Knowisabout reconnecting with the world and finding new curiosity and joy. Featuring brand new commissioned work posted directly to your door. With writing from Clare Monnelly, Shane O’Reilly, and Maïa Nunes. 
  • Discover the hidden stories of women who lived in the city with Flâneuse, a self-guided Dublin audio walk; from the Rosie Hackett bridge to the women of the Easter Rising, to Outhouse and the Moore Street traders.
  • Explore the ‘lost’ buildings of Dublin on a self-guided walking tour with photographic historian and librarian Orla Fitzpatrick. Discover the stories behind the elaborately decorated French urinals on Eden Quay, the High Altar on O’Connell Bridge, and more.
  • REIC, a multilingual spoken word and open mic night that features poetry, music, storytelling and rap with  Ciara Ní É, Roxanna Nic Liam, Tadhg Ó Grifín, and Stephen James Smith.
  • A special festival Cinema Book Club Quiz Night with quizmasters Charlene Lydon and Chelsea Morgan Hoffman from The Lighthouse Cinema covering all things literature and the screen.

Professional Development

Gain invaluable insights into the world of writing, reading and translations through masterclasses and workshops.  

  • Award-winning poet-writer and children’s advocate Laura Mucha talks about writing poetry that lives on the page and comes to life in performance.
  • Emma Carroll and Hilary McKay on writing the past for young readers.
  • Explore the art of translation with independent Foreign Fiction Prize winner David Colmer and prolific French language translator Sarah Ardizzone 
  • Further events within the Advance programme to be announced. 

International Literature Festival Dublin takes place 20-30 May 2021.

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