Welcome to the Dublin Writers Festival website
Lord Mayor’s Address
by Cllr. Emer Costello,
Lord Mayor of Dublin
It is always wonderful to have reason to show pride and to celebrate. Dublin Writers Festival 2010 offers the city a chance to draw strength and inspiration from the best of the nation’s contemporary writers. Our playwrights, poets, fiction and non-fiction writers, as well songwriters and composers will give voice to a living heritage that marks us as the richest of nations.
As Dublin (at time of writing) awaits its hoped for designation as UNESCO City of Literature, we also welcome those international writers who, while challenging us, illuminate our concerns and beliefs, adding weight to what we intuitively know : that Art is both critical to and a reflection on society. Whether questioning our conflicted attitudes to the rights of women, capturing the tensions and potentials in our multicultural/multiracial society or illustrating how art and science engage with ecological concerns, these gripping writers demonstrate with conviction the power of the engaged and thoughtful citizen.
I would like to thank our partners, The Arts Council, for their continued and vital support in making this year’s festival one of the most impressive to date. On a personal note, I am delighted this year we have the opportunity to say thank you for your legacy to us, to the incomparable Jennifer Johnston, Tom Murphy and Gallery Press, as we look forward to celebrating your respective 80th, 75th and 40th birth years.
Those Who Care About Books
by Joseph O’Connor
In his poem ‘The Given Note’, Seamus Heaney describes an old Irish traditional air coasting out of the atmosphere ‘on loud weather’. There’s been plenty of loudness in Ireland recently. We’re living through days of fury. Yet the work of storytellers and writers, of filmmakers and musicians, has been finding a way up through the swamp of recession, just as punk did in its time and place, and rap, and gospel, as the blues bubbled up from the Mississippi. The wrecked Dublin of my adolescence was re-energised not by any politician, but by the explosion of music and related creativities that was detonated in the late 1970s.
Ireland’s in a mess. Old certainties are broken. But one treasure we continue to have is the extraordinary resource of the written word. And when all the swarming lies around us are dust and old headlines, we’ll still have it. It’s then we’re going to need it the most.
A novel, like a song, takes its chances alone. It needs the reader to bring it to life. What the reader does is the truly creative part of the relationship, for in the intimate act of empathy invited by the book, the little black ink-stains called ‘words’ and ‘sentences’ are blazed into life by imagination. And the Dublin Writers’ Festival, a great meeting of readers, speaks to those of us who have been thrilled and changed by a story, and who need to be so uplifted again. Here are some of the world’s most exciting writers, from overseas and from home, their words finding breath on the air.
Joseph O’Connor will be at the Project Arts Centre on June 3rd. (click here for details)