Welcome to the Dublin Writers Festival website

Cllr. Emer Costello, Lord Mayor of Dublin

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.

Joseph O'Connor

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)


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