Cúirt International Festival of Literature is one of Europe’s oldest book festivals, and a leading voice for literature both internationally and across Ireland. Cúirt brings readers and writers together to tell stories, share new perspectives, and to celebrate writing, books and reading in all forms.
Through our festival every April and our year-round programme of engagement, we nurture a community of readers interested in the world, creating a space for conversation, debate and reflection.
What We Do
Rooted in Galway on the west coast of Ireland, we are committed to creating a space where the broadest audience is empowered to engage with books and reading, and a commitment to equality and inclusion underpins our core values.
We are proud to create a festival that showcases brilliant and diverse writing, championing new voices and celebrating Irish and international writing talent. At the core of Cúirt’s programme lives an enduring curiosity, a desire to ask questions and to understand how we make meaning in a changing world. Cúirt contributes in essential ways to Ireland’s literature ecology, providing an international platform for new writing, developmental opportunities for writers and the wider sector, and fostering and nurturing Ireland’s nation of readers.
Cúirt Festival Team Members
Sasha de Buyl
Aisling O’ Riordan
Board of Directors
Chair of the Board
Mike O’ Halloran
Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop
Cúirt is proudly supported by our festival bookseller, Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop. Nestled in the heart of Galway, its seven rooms and over a hundred thousand new and second-hand titles are a magical space for any wandering reader to explore.Find Out More
Frequently Asked Questions
Getting to Cúirt has never been easier in 2021.
- You can browse the programme, using this brochure or our event listings online.
- Click through to buy your tickets and register for an event (and choose your Pay-What-You-Can ticket price!).
- You’ll receive an email with a link to view the event the day before it starts, and a reminder right before the event.
- Tune in and enjoy!
All events take place at Irish Standard Time, which is GMT/UTC.
Yes! The broadcasts will be available with any IP address, from any location.
Cúirt is committed to ensuring that the broadest possible audience can enjoy our events in 2021. We’re also keenly aware of what a difficult year 2020 has been, both financially and otherwise. As such, we have chosen to implement Pay-What-You-Can tiered ticketing for this year’s festival events. Though we remain reliant on your support to make the festival a success and to support our artists this year, we feel strongly that no one should be excluded from the enjoyment books, reading and live events can provide at this time.
If you are booking a ticket to an event this year, please consider the following:
- How much would you traditionally pay for a ticket to an event?
- Whether multiple people in your household will be enjoying this event.
- Your own financial situation.
How to estimate what to pay with Pay-What-You-Can ticketing:
€0 – €2 per event
- I frequently stress about basic* needs and don’t always meet them.
- I have debt and it sometimes prohibits me from meeting my basic needs.
- I struggle to rent or have unstable housing.
- I sometimes can’t afford public or private transport. If I own a car/have access to a car, I am not always able to afford petrol.
- I am unemployed or underemployed.
- I qualify for government and/or voluntary assistance including: food banks and benefits.
- I have no access to savings.
- I have no or very limited expendable** income.
- I rarely buy new items because I am unable to afford them.
- I cannot afford a holiday or have the ability to take time off without financial burden.
€5 – €10 per event
- I may stress about meeting my basic needs but regularly meet them.
- I may have some debt but it does not prohibit attainment of basic needs.
- I can afford public transport and often private transport. If I have a car/access to a car I can afford petrol.
- I am employed.
- I have access to health care.
- I might have access to financial savings.
- I have some expendable income.
- I am able to buy some new items and I buy others second hand.
- I can take a holiday annually or every few years without financial burden.
€10 – €15 per event
- I am comfortably able to meet all of my basic needs.
- I may have some debt but it does not prohibit attainment of basic needs.
- I own my home or property or I rent comfortably.
- I can afford public and private transport. If I have a car/access to a car I can afford petrol.
- I have regular access to healthcare.
- I have access to financial savings.
- I have an expendable** income.
- I can always buy new items.
- I can afford an annual holiday or take time off.
*Basic needs include food, housing, clothing and transportation.
**Expendable income might mean you are able to buy coffee or tea at a shop, go to the cinema or a concert, buy new clothes, books and similar items each month, etc.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a subsidised place for an event.
Please email email@example.com if you are having any trouble registering for an event and we’ll do our best to help.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the event details and we will help you!
Email email@example.com and we will be able to confirm your booking and give you the access link for your event.
If you are having any technical difficulties, email firstname.lastname@example.org and our administration team will be happy to help you. We will have support available during events and normal office working hours.
We hope to make our events as accessible as we can, so that everyone can enjoy the festival. This year, all of our pre-recorded events will have closed captions available.
For our live events, we will try to support live transcription, or live captions, on demand.
If you are attending one of our events and would like to request captions for an event, please email email@example.com with the subject line ‘Captions on Demand’.
No, you do not have to buy a ticket if you are planning on watching the event after its broadcast. However, if you are planning on watching an event at a later date, we would ask that, if you are able, that you purchase a ticket or make a donation so that we can continue to support our writers and contributors.
Absolutely! Visit our Support Us page to make a donation to Cúirt. Any contribution is greatly appreciated by the festival – without it, we would not be able to continue to support our artists and contributors, and to keep bringing incredible books and literature into your homes!
The term ‘Cúirt’ is inspired by the Gaelic court of poets and so the festival arises from the idea of a gathering of like-minded people who share a love of literature, ideas and debate. This tradition has been the festival’s inspiration ever since it was founded in 1985.
Our festival bookseller, Charlie Byrnes Bookshop, has a online shop with a dedicated page stocking all your favourite writers appearing at Cúirt this year.
Cúirt does not have an open submissions process. Our planning for the following year normally takes place between August and December of each year.
If you are a writer or publicist interested in appearing at the festival, or an organisation who would like to partner with Cúirt, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Given that we are a small team, we may not be able to respond to every unsolicited query, though we will try our best.