We're pleased to announce our programme. Buy tickets here online, from the booking office on 089 436 9868, or from the The Book MARKet Café in Kells (tel 085 889 6352) or Antonia's Bookstore in Trim (tel 046 943 7532). You can view a copy of the printed programme here.
For a dozen years, from the time he set up in 1986, Welsh-born Jonathan Williams had the distinction of being Ireland’s only literary agent. He says himself that it took him more than half that time just to become established. Over the years he has represented writers as diverse as Benedict Kiely, John Montague and John Waters. During his career of over 30 years in the business (he intends to retire and read whatever he wants sometime soon), the role of the agent has changed radically. They have, in effect, replaced the talent-spotting editor. They are the buffer between the writer and the publisher, who no longer accepts material not sent them by an agent. Jonathan will talk about his three decade ‘adventure in the book trade’.
Gerard Siggins, bestselling author of the popular ‘Rugby Spirit’ series, will talk about writing seven books on the adventures of star rugby player, Eoin Madden. Eoin has played rugby for his school, Leinster, Ireland and even the Lions, he’s faced up to bullies, tackled thieves and solved mysteries all with the help of some ghostly friends from rugby’s history. Fans of sports and mysteries will love this event!
Cruinniú na nÓg at Hinterland. For more free Cruinniú na nÓg events, please contact Kells Library for details and bookings.
After the success of their unique partnership in 2016 and 2017 we present another intimate interlude of songs, readings and talk with three acclaimed artists from County Meath. As one of The Lost Brothers Oisin Leech, from Navan, has played Glastonbury, the Electric Picnic and SXSW. Here he’ll sing solo and combine with his sister Saramai, another exceptional singer-songwriter who, thanks to a recent EP and appearances at Other Voices and other venues, is a growing force.
Joining Oisin and Saramai to read his poetry and stimulate a conversation is award-winning poet and publisher Peter Fallon, the success of whose work has brought him around the world and who, in the words of the Sunday Times, is ‘one of Ireland's greatest literary talents’.
Spend an hour in the company of the great Irish lyric tenor who charmed and electrified audiences the world over in the early years of the 20th century. His repertoire ranged from operatic arias to his favourite Irish ‘come all ye’s’. The event will take place in a venue in which McCormack himself actually performed, the magnificent Robert Adam ballroom of Headfort House. The music of McCormack will be performed by one of Ireland’s contemporary great lyric tenors, Matthew Gilsenan (The Celtic Tenors) accompanied on piano by Gavan Murray. Script and narration by Myles Dungan.
What’s your favourite place in Ireland? What brilliant stories has the Irish landscape inspired? Join Alan Nolan, author and illustrator of Let’s Colour Ireland, to design and create your own unique Irish fictional character! Alan Nolan is also author and illustrator of popular novels Fintan’s Fifteen, Conor’s Caveman and Sam Hannigan’s Woof Week, about a girl who gets brain-swapped with a dog, for the O’Brien Press. Let’s Colour Ireland is his latest book, out now.
For decades Susan Denham has graced the legal profession in Ireland, ultimately rising to the very top to become the country’s first female Chief Justice. Among her many achievements in that office was to supervise the creation of a dedicated Court of Appeal, designed to clear the decks of outstanding cases more quickly, and ensure that the infamous ‘wheels of justice’ turned more efficiently. In the second of a series of talks in which we invite leading practitioners to discuss their ‘adventures’ in their chosen profession, Justice Denham will look back over the highlights of a long and distinguished career in the law. She talks to Myles Dungan.
Gráinne Shaffrey is one of Ireland’s leading conservation architects, and current President of ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) Ireland. Her practice, Shaffrey Associates, undertakes architectural, urban design and planning projects throughout Ireland. Her work includes the conservation, adaptation and extension of historic buildings and new buildings in existing urban settings, and includes projects like the Wicklow Head Lighthouse in 1998 (conservation) for the Irish Landmark Trust and Ardfert Cathedral in Co. Kerry (restoration) for the Office of Public Works. The latter project was awarded the RIAI Silver Medal for Restoration 1999-2001.
Seconds out! Round two! For 50 minutes last year Mary O’Rourke (please don’t tell us she needs any introduction) kept a Kells audience enthralled reading from Letters of My Life, in which Mary wrote a letter to 20 people past and present, close and distant, living and deceased. To her beloved brother Paddy, to the Athlone Fianna Fail Women’s Group, to a young couple embracing on a bridge, to a past professor, to a cousin in America. Every letter is heartfelt, every letter offers gratitude for the difference the recipient made to Mary’s life. But 50 minutes wasn’t enough, so the moment she stepped off the podium we invited her to come back for part two in 2018. She graciously agreed. Who knows, maybe 100 minutes won’t be enough.
Lisa, whose own website describes her as creator of ‘fitful short stories and…the occasional gourmet crisp sandwich’, is the author of Los Pecados Gloriosos, Weergaloze Dwalingen and Hérésies Glorieuses, which will give some indication of the outstanding success of her first novel The Glorious Heresies (it’s also been translated into German, Czech, Polish, Danish, Italian and American). Lisa is probably the most persuasive argument in favour of blogging, because that’s where she started. But with the publication of the award-winning The Glorious Heresies and her recent follow-up The Blood Miracles Lisa is channelling her creativity into the writing of some of the best fiction to come out of Ireland since the invention of…well, blogging. If we talk nicely to her she may also offer a workshop on making the perfect crisp butty.
Short story writer, playwright and novelist John McKenna can get you started on a writing project or help you to the finish line. John’s novels, which include Clare, A Haunted Heart and The Space Between Us, have been critically acclaimed. He has also written three collections of short stories, two volumes of poems and a biography of the Kildare-born explorer Ernest Shackleton. John also writes, directs and acts with Mend and Makedo Theatre Company. He is winner of an Irish Times Fiction Award and in 2014 was shortlisted for the position of Irish Fiction Laureate.
Harry Potter is 21 this year, or at least this is the 21st anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. So that’s the same thing, right? Right or wrong, Hinterland is celebrating the impact of the young wizard with the iconic birthmark on the reading habits of a generation (some now entering into their thirties and reading the Potter books to their own children). Kelly Gartland is, to her chagrin, 100% muggle (or so she tells us anyway) but with the aid of potions (smelly) and perhaps a mandrake or two, she will introduce a young audience to the practicalities of Potterism in a magical workshop.
With her debut novel Unravelling Oliver Liz Nugent made a spectacular entrance onto the Irish and international literary stage. Unravelling Oliver has been published in 14 languages, longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award (formerly the IMPAC) and selected as Best Crime Novel at the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards. Her second novel Lying in Wait was published in 2016, went straight to Number 1 and spent eight months in the top ten of the Irish bestseller lists. It also won Liz a second Irish Book Award. It was hailed by Sebastian Barry as ‘taut, crisp, clear – a storm-warning of a book’ and has also been longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award. Liz was named Irish Tatler Woman of the Year in Literature in 2017. Her third novel, Skin Deep, was published by Penguin Books in spring 2018. It has been described by Donal Ryan as ‘monumentally good’ and Marian Keyes said the story was ‘brilliantly done’. Liz talks to Sinead Gleeson.
‘Sean Hartnett’ is a pseudonym and its owner is a marked man. Born in Cork in the 1970s and despite being from a strong Republican background ‘Hartnett’ joined the British Army in 1998 and in 2001 was posted to Northern Ireland as a member of the elite Joint Communications Unit, Northern Ireland, known colloquially as ‘the FRU’. While there he was (covertly) involved in some of the most high profile events of the tail end of the ‘Troubles’. He told his story, to the consternation of the British establishment, in the best-selling memoir Charlie One in 2016. Since leaving the British Army he has been working in the world of commercial espionage and counter espionage, mostly in Ireland. In his follow-up, Corporate Confidential: Spooks, Secrets and Counter-Espionage in Celtic Tiger Ireland, due out in the autumn, he will lift the lid on surveillance and corruption in the years leading up to the ‘Great Bust’ of 2008, including an account of his undercover work for Anglo-Irish Bank. ‘Sean’ will be interviewed from a remote and secret location. In conversation with Myles Dungan.
Suzanne Campbell is a journalist with a particular interest in food, in its production, its consumption and its politics. She is a regular contributor to radio and TV programmes (Drivetime and Countrywide, RTÉ Radio 1) and to newspapers and magazines (Irish Times, Irish Independent). She is also the author, with her husband Philip Boucher Hayes, of Basketcase: What’s Happening to Ireland’s Food, which poses the challenging question: ‘When did the nation that was married to the land lose its inner culchie?’ and discusses what Ireland has lost in its headlong rush towards cosmopolitanism. The expression ‘food for thought’ was devised for events like this.
Mary Watson is the author of the Young Adult novel The Wren Hunt, described by the Sunday Times as ‘a thrilling and otherworldly depiction of Irish culture’. Her debut novel is part thriller, part love story. It was extremely well reviewed and was brought out by Bloomsbury, publishers of the Harry Potter series, a distinct vote of confidence from the company which discovered and nurtured J.K. Rowling. Originally from Cape Town in South Africa, and author of a number of works for adults, Mary now lives in Galway.
Whether as a journalist, critic, essayist, academic or novelist, Colm Tóibín is non pareil. As editor of the groundbreaking Magill magazine for three years in the 1980s Tóibín established journalistic credentials that would, undoubtedly, have led to the very top of that profession. Instead he chose a different direction, with the publication in 1990 of The South, which he quickly followed up with The Heather Blazing (1992). His fifth novel The Master (2004), a fictional account of elements of the life of Henry James, gained a nomination for the Man Booker Prize and won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In 2009 he won the Costa Award for his novel Brooklyn, later turned into a successful film. His most recent work House of Names (2017) is a retelling of the Greek tragedy of the house of Atreus (Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Orestes, Iphigenia and Electra). In his three decades as a novelist Tóibín has himself become The Master. There is, quite simply, no better writer in the English language. He talks to Myles Dungan.