We are delighted to welcome award-winning writers Donal Ryan & Wendy Erskine to the Cúirt stage in conversation with Edel Coffey.

Donal Ryan’s latest novel, The Queen of Dirt Island, is a story that explores the challenges of the Aylward women as they make their way in a rural community in 1980s Ireland. Among misogyny, family conflict and a tense broader landscape, Ryan crafts a powerful story about love, grief and the bonds that last generations. 

In Wendy Erskine’s latest collection of stories, Dance Move, Belfast comes to life with colourful and complex characters trying to make sense of their present as they struggle to come to terms with the past that marked them. Erskine’s characters and stories are at times funny and devastating, familiar and strange, as they explore the kind of wisdom that can only be found by looking at the ordinary through new eyes.

Duration 1 hour

Supported by Dubray Books

Donal Ryan is an award-winning author from Nenagh, County Tipperary. He has published six novels and one short story collection. The Spinning Heart (Doubleday, 2012) won the Guardian First Book Award, the EU Prize for Literature (Ireland), and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards; it was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and was voted ‘Irish Book of the Decade’. His fourth novel, From a Low and Quiet Sea (2018), was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2018, and won the Jean Monnet Prize for European Literature. His most recent novel, Strange Flowers (2020), was voted Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards, and was a number one bestseller. The Queen of Dirt Island (2022) is his sixth novel.

Wendy Erskine lives in Belfast. Her work has been published in The Stinging Fly, Winter Papers, Female Lines: New Writing from Northern Ireland and Being Various: New Irish Short Stories. Her debut collection, Sweet Home, was published by The Stinging Fly Press in 2018 and Picador in 2019; it won the 2020 Butler Literary Award, was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize 2019 and longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize 2019. The story ‘Inakeen’ was longlisted for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Prize 2019. Her second collection of stories, Dance Move (Stinging Fly Press, 2022) was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards Short Story of the Year and the Edge Hill Prize.

Event Location

Town Hall Theatre

1 Courthouse Square, Galway, H91 VF21

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Access Statements Cúirt

The main auditorium is step free with accessible seating and
accessible toilet facilities. Please let the box office know of any
requirements so that they can assist with seating. There are two
accessible parking spaces on Waterside immediately by the
venue and a further two spaces on Corrib Terrace. There is a
Loop System in every auditorium. There is a Fresh Air Distribution
System. All events at the Town Hall Theatre will be captioned.