Dublin Book Festival will welcome no less than seven published Derry writers to their prestigious event this weekend - all of whom will be flying the flag for the city and proving yet again that the city is punching well above its weight when it comes to its literary and creative output. ‘Journal’ reporter Julieann Campbell reveals all...
This year, four Guildhall Press authors will travel to Dublin’s Fair City for the occasion, Freya McClements, Garbhan Downey, Dave Duggan and Jenni Doherty, who will be launching her debut collection of poetry and prose, ‘Rain Spill’.
Another well-known Guildhall Press author, Felicity McCall, will also be attending to promote her most recent novel with publishers Little Island, while Derry-born poet John Walsh will also travel to the festival from his base in Connemara with his latest collection, ‘Border Lines’.
And Jennifer Johnston, who lives in Derry, will also be appearing at the festival and so another notch for the city can be claimed.
Johnston is one of the foremost Irish writers of her, or any, generation. She has won the Whitbread Prize, the Evening Standard Best First Novel Award, the Yorkshire Post Award, and Best Book of the Year on two occasions. She has also been shortlisted for the Book.
The Dublin Book Festival is one of Ireland’s most successful and vibrant book festivals, running since June 2005.
The annual public Festival showcases, supports and develops Irish publishing by programming, publicising and selling Irish published books, their authors, editors and contributors all in an entertaining, festive, friendly and accessible environment that reflects the creativity and personality of the sector and its authors.
This year the Festival will take place in Smock Alley Theatre, Temple Bar, and features an eclectic programme with over 50 events for adults, children and schools most of which are free.
Delighted at the having so many authors involved in this year’s festival, Paul Hippsley, Managing Director of Guildhall Press, said: “We are delighted that the Dublin Book Festival organisers have invited four of our authors to perform and read in this year’s programme and congratulate them on their success.
“We see it as a recognition of the wealth and depth of modern literary talent Derry has to offer which will also be celebrated in the coming 2013 culture year. Guildhall Press are always proud to support local authors and showcase their writing.”
Originally from Greencastle further up Lough Foyle but now based in Derry, Jenni will launch her first solo collection, ‘Rain Spill’, in Dublin this weekend, with two more launches lined up closer to home next week. Jenni’s background ranges from publishing, journalism, bookselling and the public library service to facilitating creative writing workshops, organising literary events and performing poetry.
Rain Spill will be her first solo collection, published by Guildhall Press, and supported by the Arts Council of N Ireland. Jenni currently runs Little Acorns Bookstore in Derry.
Other publishing credits include Moments (2011), Wonderful World of Worders (2007), EVE – A Celebration of Creative Women (2006) and That Land Beyond (2003), all published by Guildhall Press.
Garbhan Downey has worked as a journalist, broadcaster, newspaper editor and literary editor. He spent two years as a full-time student politician after graduating from University College Galway in 1987 and was Deputy-President of the Union of Students in Ireland. His novel Yours Confidentially: Letters of a would-be MP was listed as one of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s top seven International Crime Reads of 2008. War of the Blue Roses was columnist Eamonn McCann’s Novel of the Year for 2009. Across The Line (2012) is his sixth book for Guildhall Press.Downey lives in Derry with his wife Una and children.
Dave Duggan is a novelist and dramatist. Originally from Waterford, he now lives in Derry. He was awarded a Major Arts Award by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 2010. His writing for film and television includes the Oscar-nominated Dance Lexie Dance. Dave’s stage plays include Gruagairí, which won a Stewart Parker Award. Guildhall Press published Plays in a Peace Process (2008), a collection of his work for Sole Purpose Productions, and his novels The Greening of Larry Mahon (2004) and A Sudden Sun (2012). His radio plays have been broadcast by BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service and RTÉ.
Freya McClements is a BBC journalist and literary reviewer with the Irish Times. In 2006 she was shortlisted for the Orange/Northern Woman Short Story Prize. In 2009 she received an award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to write a series of short stories which became The Dangerous Edge Of Things, published by in July 2012. She is currently working on her first novel.
A BBC journalist for twenty years during the Northern Ireland conflict, Felicity is an occasional broadcaster, arts facilitator and actor. She is the author of many works of fiction, non-fiction, plays and a graphic novel. She is the co-founder and director of two theatre companies, and won the Tyrone Guthrie award for screenplay.
John Walsh was born in Derry but now lives in Connemara where he founded Doire Press. He’s published three collections of poetry, including Chopping Wood with T.S. Eliot (Salmon Poetry). He has read at events in Ireland, the UK, Germany, Sweden and the USA. He is organizer and MC of North Beach Nights in Galway, Ireland’s leading monthly performance poetry event. Border Lines is his debut short story collection.
With this wealth of Derry-born talent, and so much more besides, it seems clear that we are indeed a thriving City of Culture.!
For more info, see: www.dublinbookfestival.com