Leading Irish and International Writers
for 38th Cúirt International Festival of Literature
Tuesday 18 – Sunday 23 April, 2023

Cúirt International Festival of Literature has announced details of a diverse and eclectic programme for 2023, curated by its new Director, Manuela Moser. Featuring an array of some of the most exciting Irish and international writers at work today, the 38th Cúirt International Festival of Literature will take place in Galway from Tuesday 18 – Sunday 23 April. Spanning over 50 events, the programme includes poetry, fiction, theatre, memoir, masterclasses, exhibitions, and family events.

Highlights include two former Laureates for Irish Fiction, Booker Prize-winner Anne Enright, and twice Costa Prize-winner, Sebastian Barry; Carmen Maria Machado (USA), author of the Folio Prize-winning memoir In the Dream House; Max Porter; Tara Bergin; Donal Ryan; Vona Groarke; Manchán Magan and Colette Bryce.

Festival Director for Cúirt, Manuela Moser, commented that: “This year Cúirt offers audiences new perspectives, and an opportunity to share a love of literature with the city and with each other. After all, reading is both a solitary and shared act that can bring us closer and widen our appreciation of the world. This idea is reflected in our poster, illustrated by artist Charlot Kristensen, which is an invitation to settle into a book and share the act of reading, and all that it encompasses – ideas, inspiration, conversation – with those around us. We’re excited to welcome audiences and authors to Galway this April!”

This year’s edition of Cúirt will amplify established and emerging Irish voices, among them Emer McLysaght, co-author of the Aisling series (in a live episode of hit podcast Sentimental Garbage); Wendy Erskine; Louise Kennedy(Novel of the Year 2022, An Post Irish Book Awards); Nicole Flattery; Seán Hewitt (​​Rooney Prize for Irish Literature); Alice Kinsella; Sophie White; Elaine Feeney; Susannah Dickey; Suad Aldarra; Eoghan Daltun (Lifestyle Book of the Year 2022, An Post Irish Book Awards); Michael Magee; and Elaine Farrell and Leanne McCormick.

Joining these authors from further afield: the 2020 and 2022 winners of the Desmond Elliott Prize Derek Owusu and Maddie Mortimer; Tice Cin; Ione Gamble (founder of Polyester zine) Camilla Grudova; and Travis Alabanza(Waterstones Best Book of the Year 2022)

The poetry line-up includes Pigott Prize-winning Colette Bryce, who will be reading alongside Sarah Clancy and Toby Buckley, in celebration of the landmark anthology Queering the Green: Post-2000 Queer Irish Poetry. Galway-resident Eva Bourke will be reading with Forward Prize shortlisted Padraig Regan and Tara Bergin (shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize). Another T. S. Eliot shortlisted poet Will Harris will be reading alongside Rachael Allen and Forward Prize winning, celebrated Irish poet Vona Groarke. Daisy Lafarge will be reading as part of an eco-poetry event with Selina Nwulu and Emma Must. There will be Irish language poetry by Áine Uí Fhoghlú and Ógie Ó Célleachair.

Events centred around the environment and climate change take place on Earth Day (Saturday 22nd) as a jumping off point. Shore Lines is a sea swim and readings event at the iconic Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill, followed by a panel about wild swimming with authors Chantal Thomas, Emily Hasler and artist Vanessa Earl. Manchán Magan, Eoghan Daltun and Emma Must will discuss environment, writing and activism, in what is sure to be a rejuvenating and essential panel. Magan will also be discussing ways in which memoir and nature intertwine with Amanda Thomson and Seán Hewitt.

Fans of YA fiction can join three of the most exciting YA novelists writing today, Caroline O’Donoghue, Clara Kiyoko Kumagai and Adiba Jaigirdar in conversation with Mary Watson. They will discuss their new books and how YA can change perspectives and influence the young people of today.

The festival’s 2023 stage and screen offering includes an exclusive performance of Too Much of Nothing, a play by Mark O’Halloran and David Wilmot and directed by Andrew Flynn, performed in Galway’s renowned Tigh Neachtain pub as well as films by Benjamin de Burca and Bárbara Wagner, while visual arts will be represented in talks by Meadhbh McNutt, Jan McCullough, Vanessa Earl and Áine O’Hara.

The festival will host a memorial event in honour of poet, Kevin Higgins, who died last January. Founder and co-organiser of the Over the Edge literary events in Galway, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, join Susan Millar DuMars and special guests to honour Kevin’s legacy.

Festival favourites making a welcome return in 2023 include the New Writing Showcase, highlighting the best in new poetry and fiction, with writers selected from the Over the Edge Literary Series and Skylight 47: Fiona Hanley,John Noonan, Riley Johnston and Helen Flynn. Joining them will be the winners of the Cúirt New Writing Prize: Jess Raymon for fiction, Lauren O’Donovan for poetry, and Liam Mac Peaircín for the festival’s new Irish language category. The Irish Writers Centre Young Writer Delegates programme returns for its 6th year, giving four young writers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the festival, mentored by Alan McMonagle, and delivering a showcase event in Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop.

Family-friendly events include Kid’s Story Hour in Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop on the Saturday and Sunday, including scéaltaí as Gaeilge with Irish language author Fearghas MacLochlainn.

Workshops, masterclasses and panels for writers include: a Poetry Masterclass with Colette Bryce (editor of Picador Poetry), a Poetry Workshop with Dani Gill, and a Fiction Masterclass with Carmen Maria Machado. Three panels titled ‘Frames of Reference’ (‘Editing Poetry’, ‘Art Writing’, and ‘Editing Fiction’) offer opportunities to hear from, and ask questions to, leading editors and writers.

Cúirt International Festival of Literature would like to acknowledge the support of its principal funders the Arts Council, Galway City Council and Galway County Council. The festival takes place in Galway from Tuesday 18 – Sunday 23 April, 2023. Tickets for all events are on sale now or through the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569 777.


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