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.
Dunnes Stores cashier Mary Manning knew little about apartheid when, in 1984, at the age of 21, she refused to register the sale of two Outspan South African grapefruit under a directive from her union. She was suspended and nine of her co-workers walked out in support. They all assumed they would shortly return to work. They didn’t. Instead they became the central figures in a prolonged strike and boycott that captured world attention, a dispute waged at considerable financial and emotional cost to themselves. Striking Back: The Untold Story of an Anti-Apartheid Striker is Mary Manning’s story, told with the help of Sinead O’Brien. Mary and Sinead talk to Catriona Crowe.
On 2 August 2015, Limerick father-of-two Jason Corbett was savagely beaten to death in the bedroom of his luxury North Carolina home. His killers were his wife Molly Martens and his father-in-law, Thomas Martens. In a trial that gripped both the US and Ireland, the case that the duo had acted in self-defence quickly fell apart and they were sentenced to over 20 years in prison. Behind the scenes, Jason’s family was locked in a desperate custody battle to bring Jason’s children back to Ireland. With full access to Jason’s letters, emails, keepsakes and photographs, Jason’s sister, Tracey Corbett-Lynch, with the help of journalist Ralph Riegel, reveals for the first time the full and shocking story of what Molly and Tom Martens tried to get away with. Tracey and Ralph will be in conversation with Rick O’Shea.
Michael Harding is a playwright and novelist. Many of his plays have been produced by the Abbey Theatre, and his novels include Priest, The Trouble With Sarah Gullion, and Bird in the Snow. In an innovative and creative column in the Irish Times he has been chronicling ordinary life in midland Ireland for over a decade, and the project has also evolved into four volumes of bestselling memoir: Staring at Lakes; Hanging with the Elephant; Talking to Strangers; and On Tuesdays I’m a Buddhist. He is currently working on volume five of that memoir. He is a member of Aosdana. Michael will offer Hinterland 2018 some wisdom and musings on ‘The Art of Memoir’, illustrated with readings from his own work.
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’.
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.
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.
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.