Cúirt International Festival of Literature takes place from 18-23 April 2023 and features an array of some of the most exciting Irish and international writers at work today. Spanning over 50 events the programme includes poetry, fiction, theatre, memoir, masterclasses, exhibitions, and family events.
Wednesday 19 April — Poetry Reading with Vona Groarke, Rachael Allen, Will Harris
Venue: Nun’s Island Theatre | 1.00pm | Tickets
‘A collection of almost sublime purity’ is how the Dublin Review of Books described Vona Groake’s Selected Poems, a book which surveyed her first two-and-a-half decades of published work. Her most recent book is Hereafter: The Telling Life of Ellen O’Hara, an innovative blend of poetry, fiction and history that reflects on the life of an emigrant Irish woman in the latter part of the nineteenth-century.
At once intellectual and accessible, moving and experimental, and combining a linguistic innovation with a deep emotional rooting, RENDANG (2020), the first collection by London-based poet Will Harris, won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. His second book of poems, Brother Poem, was published by Granta in the UK and by Wesleyan in the US in March 2023.
Rachael Allen’s highly anticipated debut collection, Kingdomland, was published by Faber and Faber in 2019 and marked the arrival of a significant new voice in British poetry. Lauding Kingdomland in the Sunday Times, Jeremy Noel-Tod wrote that you mustn’t ‘be fooled by this book’s bright orange jacket: it’s not cheerful, it’s on fire’.
Wednesday 19 April — Telling Tales: Irish Emigrant Women in the 19th Century
Vona Groarke, Elaine Farrell and Leanne McCormick in conversation with Nuala O’Connor
Venue: Nun’s Island Theatre | 6.00pm | Tickets
Bad Bridget: Crime, Mayhem and the Lives of Irish Emigrant Women is the astonishing product of years of meticulous work in various archives by leading historians Elaine Farrell and Leanne McCormick. It tells the stories of Irish women who sought new lives in North America becoming involved in crime of all sorts: from crimes of passion and opportunity, to calculated and daring acts of transgression. Despite its basis in thorough academic research, it is an accessible work that became an instant best-seller in Ireland.
Acclaimed poet Vona Groake’s most recent book is Hereafter: The Telling Life of Ellen O’Hara, an innovative blend of poetry, fiction and history that reflects on the life of her great-grandmother, a emigrant Irish woman in the latter part of the nineteenth-century. Colm Tóibín described the new book as ‘a groundbreaking way of investigating a traumatic period in history, not only Irish history, but American history too.’