I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Forthcoming Events and News


Niamh Boyce is in conversation with Neil Hegarty at Arklow Library on March 6th at 7.30 pm. Wicklow’s festival Way with Words continues until March 14th. All events free, booking at https://bit.ly/39UDroR

To celebrate International Women’s s Day the contribution of women to the Renaissance will be discussed through the images, voices and words of female readers, writers, editors, musicians and artists at an event (in English) at the Italian Cultural Institute on March 6th at 6.30 pm. Admission free; booking advisable through the ICI website.

A new exhibition on Irish botanical art, Drawn from Nature, begins at the National Gallery in Dublin on March 7th and runs until late June.

Rob Doyle and Neil Hegarty will read at Books Upstairs, 17 D’Olier Street, Dublin 2 at 3pm this Sunday, February 9th. Both Doyle and Hegarty have recently published novels, both of them reviewed in the drb: drb.ie/essays/glimmering-in-the-dark and drb.ie/essays/shandy-anyone-
Admission is free, but reservations can be made by emailing: [email protected]

Rachel Hegarty and Frank Connolly will be reading at Books Upstairs, D’Olier Street, Dublin on Sunday, December 1st. Rachel’s May Day 1974 is an act of remembrance and reclamation in memory of the victims of the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings. Frank Connolly is an investigative journalist. His A Conspiracy of Lies is a thriller set in the 1970s in the wake of the bombings.
The Goethe Choir will be at the National Concert Hall on December 16th with a programme drawn from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Francis Poulenc and a selection of carols. See www.goethechoir.ie
Dr Éamon Ó Ciosáin will launch Dominique Le Meur’s new novel La Promesse de Dublin at the Alliance Française in Kildare Street, Dublin on Thursday, December 5th at 6.30pm. Admission is free.

Caelainn Hogan will be talking about her new book, Republic of Shame, about Ireland’s mother-and-baby homes, at Books Upstairs in D’Olier Street, Dublin at 3pm on Sunday, November 3rd. With guest, playwright and actor, Noelle Brown.

A trilingual event – based on the book Bliain na nIontas – 1989 sa Ghearmáin: dialann / Year of Miracles – Germany in 1989: a Diary by Sylvia Bledow ‑ on the subject of the events of autumn 1989 in Berlin, with readings in Irish and German, will be heard at the Goethe-Institut Dublin on Tuesday, November 5th at 6.30 pm. Remarks and discussion will be in English. Admission is free but booking is required by emailing: [email protected]

Mary Cregan will be in conversation with Catríona Crowe as she discusses her new memoir, The Scar, at Books Upstairs, D’Olier Street, Dublin on Tuesday October 29th at 6.30 pm. This profoundly moving memoir explores loss and mourning, melancholia, ECT, the asylum and the development of antidepressant drugs, mapping a journey within the long and as yet incomplete movement towards effective treatment and cure. Reserve a space by clicking here.
A Hallowe’en-themed storytime for children aged three to seven will take place at Books Upstairs on Wednesday, October 30th at twelve noon. Costumes welcome!

Three Northern poets, Tory Campbell, Geraldine O’Kane and Colin Dardis, will be reading at Books Upstairs, D’Olier Street, Dublin on Sunday, October 20th at 3 pm.

Hugo Hamilton will read from his new novel, Dublin Palms, on October 22nd at the Goethe-Institut headquarters in Merrion Square, Dublin at 6.30 pm. Admission free but you must book through Eventbrite (on the Goethe-Institut website).

Dr Triona O’Hanlon will give a lecture entitled ‘Thomas Moore in Paris’ in the series ‘Discovering Thomas Moore’ at the Royal Irish Academy headquarters, 19 Dawson Street, on Wednesday, October 30th at 1 pm.

Lucy Sweeney Byrne is in conversation with Gavin Corbett at Books Upstairs this Sunday 13th October, 3pm. Sweeney Byrne’s debut short story collection, Paris Syndrome, published by Banshee Press, is receiving rave reviews.

Adrian Duncan will read on Sunday, September 29th at 3 pm at Books Upstairs, D’Olier Street, Dublin. Adrian has published in The Stinging FlyGorseThe Dublin Review and other publications. His first novel, Love Notes from a German Building Site (see review: https://drb.ie/essays/love-notes-from-a-german-building-site-adrian-duncan), was published this year.
On Thursday, October 3rd at 5.30 pm at the Alliance Française in Kildare Street in Dublin, Prof Michael Cronin will be in conversation with Prof Mary Gallagher about translating Paul Morand.
The Goethe-Institut Irland is presenting a series of films about the Berlin Wall from October 2nd to 16th as part of the Dublin Festival of History.

On Sunday, September 15th at 3pm at Books Upstairs, D’Olier Street, poets Peter Robinson, James Peake and Ben McGuire will read from their work. There will be music from Brian McGuire.
On September 20th at 6.30pm (Culture Night), also at Books Upstairs, Maurice Earls will give a talk on extra-judicial and politically motivated murder in Dublin in 1923. The Irish Civil War, which ended in the middle of that year, was marked by a viciousness which was in part due to so many of those involved being former comrades.

September 6th: At Books Upstairs, 17 D’Olier Street, Dublin on Sunday, September 8th at 3pmPoets Ali Whitelock, Gerald Smyth and Angela T Carr (in association with Rowan Tree Readings) will be reading from their work Singer/songwriters Shona Blake and Claire Watts (of Three Women Sing fame) will also be performing.

At Books Upstairs, 17 D’Olier Street, Dublin on Thursday, September 12th at 6.30pm: Niven Govinden will be in conversation with Susan Tomaselli, writer and editor of gorse magazine, about his new novel This Brutal House, which is on the shortlist for the 2019 Gordon Burn prize for “novels which dare to enter history and to interrogate the past”. This Brutal House uses the riotous drag ball scene of New York as a backdrop to a story of civil disobedience and political resistance. This is a free event. To reserve a place please email [email protected]

June 14th: To mark the publication of his memoir A Shared Home Place, Books Upstairs in D’Olier Street will be hosting Seamus Mallon in conversation with Andy Pollak on June 27th at 6.30pm. Mallon’s memoir is a primary source for the social and political history of Northern Ireland. The event is free but booking is essential. Email [email protected] with your name.
The Royal Irish Academy is holding a one-day conference on Wednesday, June 19th on ‘Eighteenth-century Manuscript Culture in the Wider Gaelic World: The Manuscripts of Rev James McLagan (1728-1805)’. The event explores issues of eighteenth-century Irish, Manx and Scottish Gaelic manuscript and literary culture, with a particular focus on fiannaigheacht lays and ‘Ossian’, scholarly networks, oral tradition, historical and political contexts for manuscript creation and collection. Details from ria.ie

June 11th: Monica O’Connor, author of The Sex Economy, will discuss the question of whether the sale of women’s bodies can ever be acceptable in a conversation with Ivana Bacik at the Books Upstairs cafe in D’Olier Street in Dublin on Thursday, June 13th at 6.30 pm. The event is free but you must reserve a place, which you can do simply by emailing your name to [email protected]

May 24th: As the Dublin International Literature Festival draw to an end, Naomi Wolf speaks at Liberty Hall tonight (May 24th) at 6 pm. Tomorrow (May 25th), at the same venue and time, Fintan O’Toole is joined by Catriona Crowe and Neal Ascherson to discuss nationalism and identity.

May 17th: The posthumous publication of Angela Doyle’s ‘Under the Clock’ marks the end of a long journey. Colette Byrne will be bringing the novel she worked with such tenacity to publish ‑ a story of a lesbian couple living in conservative 90s Ireland ‑ to Books Upstairs on Sunday, May 19th at 3 pm, where it will be officially launched by Brendan Courtney and Ann Marie Keenan will read extracts.

May 10th: 
The Lifeboat Poets, Suzannah Dickey, Joe Lines and Anna Loughran, read at Books Upstairs, D’Olier Street, Dublin at 3 pm on Sunday, May 12th. The Lifeboat is a poetry reading series and small press based in Belfast, run by Stephen Connolly and Manuela Moser. Last year it published the three pamphlets Chords of Inquiry by Loughran, Plot by Lines and Genuine Human Values by Dickey.
The RTÉ Contempo Quartet and soprano Deirdre Moynihan will give a lunchtime concert at the Goethe-Institut Irland in Dublin’s Merrion Square on Saturday, May 18th at midday. The concerts will feature music by Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann, the two-hundredth anniversary of whose birth occurs this year. Admission is free but booking is essential through https://www.goethe.de/ins/ie/en/ver.cfm

May 2ndInternational Literature Festival Dublin 2019 is offering a 25 per cent reduction on selected poetry events in the festival for International Poetry Day. The offer is valid until midnight tomorrow (May 3rd). Among the highlights are Sylva Fischerová and Michael O’Loughlin on The Power of Poetry at Poetry Ireland on Sunday, May 19th at 6 pm; Talking Translation, with Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Peter Sirr at the Trinity Long Room Hub on Thursday, May 24th at 4 pm ; an Evening with Paul Muldoon on Sunday, May 26th at 8 pm at the Smock Alley Theatre. Details on the ILF site: ilfdublin.com

April 16th: Nicole Flattery, Wendy Erskine and Eoghan Smith will take part in a reading at Books Upstairs, D’Olier Street, Dublin 2 on Sunday, April 28th at 3pm. Nicole Flattery’s stories have appeared in The Irish Times, the Dublin ReviewThe Stinging Fly and other journals. Her debut collection, Show Them a Good Time, has just been published by The Stinging Fly Press in Ireland and Bloomsbury in the UK. Wendy Erskine’s debut short story collection, Sweet Home, was published by The Stinging Fly Press last September and will be published by Picador in the UK in June. Eoghan Smith’s first novel is The Failing Heart (Dedalus Original Fiction). He has published criticism in a wide number of literary publications, including the Dublin Review of Books. He is the author of John Banville: Art and Authenticity.

April 14th: A debate on the legacy of Conor Cruise O’Brien will take place between Niall Meehan and Frank Callinan SC at Howth Angling Centre, West Pier, Howth on Tuesday, April 23rd at 8 pm. The event is organised by the Howth Peninsula Heritage Society. Those wishing to attend are reminded that the event will start at eight o’clock sharp, so it would be best to aim to be there by 7.30 pm.

April 12th:  Tom Wall, author of Dachau to the Dolomites: The Untold Story of the Irishmen, Himmler’s Special Prisoners and the End of World War II, will be in conversation with David Blake Knox at Books Upstairs, D’Olier Street, Dublin on Thursday, April 18th at 6.30 pm. The event is free but space is limited, so please book a seat at [email protected]. Nicole Flattery, Wendy Erskine and Eoghan Smith will be reading at Books Upstairs on Sunday, April 28th at 3pm. Nicole Flattery’s debut collection, Show Them A Good Time, has just been published by The Stinging Fly Press and Bloomsbury.

April 11th: Where townscapes meet seascapes, ports are a significant feature of our nineteenth century urban inheritance. The topographical, environmental and cartographical impact of the port is well represented in the Irish Historic Towns Atlas series, as exemplified by the IHTA published fascicles for Dublin, Belfast, Derry/Londonderry, Drogheda, Dundalk, Galway, Limerick, Sligo and Youghal; Cork, Dungarvan and New Ross are forthcoming. The 2019 annual seminar of the Irish Historic Towns Atlas will explore the evolution of port topography on the island of Ireland, as well as its associations with broader nineteenth century urban experience in Britain and Europe. “Seascapes and Townscapes – Ports and the Nineteenth-Century City” is an all-day seminar under the auspices of the Royal Irish Academy and Dublin Port Company and will take place on May 17th. Attendance is free but booking is essential (go to www.ria.ie). On the previous day, May 16th, at 6pm, Professor Colm Lennon will give a lecture at Dublin Port HQ on “The Shaping of Dublin Port. Again attendance is free but booking essential.

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