Dublin Writers Festival 2011

The 2011 Dublin Writers Festival takes place this week, with Pulitzer, Whitbread, Booker, T.S. Eliot , Costa & a pair of Nobel Prize winners among its 43 participating writers.

A rare visit from one of the world’s greatest travel writers Paul Theroux, an evening with Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Harding, a celebration of the Nobel Laureate Czesław Miłosz and, to salute Dublin’s recent designation as the fourth UNESCO City of Literature, a themed programme linking UNESCO sister cities (Edinburgh, Iowa City and Melbourne), are among the many highlights of the 2011 Dublin Writers Festival which runs from May 23rd-29th.

With 43 writers from over 12 countries featured, a Festival Children’s Programme, a seminar focusing on independent publishing, two recordings of Festival broadcast partner Sky Arts’ hugely popular Book Show, and a Poetry Season which includes the commission of an Aisling (traditional Irish dream-poem) from three poets, this year’s festival promises to be the largest yet.

Showcasing the work of 2 Nobel Prize winners, as well as Pulitzer, Whitbread, Booker, T.S. Eliot and Costa award winners, the 13th annual festival line-up also includes the travel writers Micheal Palin and Colin Thubron; first novelists Kevin Barry and John Butler; award-winning Irish writers John Banville, John Boyne, Roddy Doyle, Paul Durcan, Anne Enright, Dermot Healy and Colm Tóibín;American author Rebecca Miller; Libyan writer Hisham Matar; acclaimed French screenwriter and frequent Louis Bunuel and Peter Brook collaborator Jean-Claude Carrière; and ‘Gonzo’ style journalist Jon Ronson.

Poets featured in the festival include Adam Zagajewski who knew Miłosz and will deliver a keynote talk on his work; firebrand performance poet August Kleinzahler; Michael Longley on his first collection in a decade; recent Costa Book Prize winner Jo Shapcott; the recently appointed Scottish Makar, Liz Lochhead; and Paddy Bushe, Gearóid Mac Lochlainn and Dairena Ní Chinnéide who will present their commissioned Aislings in response to the current social and political environment.

In the children’s programme the festival features work from Jeremy Strong, Paul Stewart, and Chris Riddell, and a panel discussion on what makes a great book for children, with Siobhan Parkinson (Irish Poet Laureate), Anna Carey (children’s writer), Padraic Whyte(TCD) and Kim Harte (Dubray Books).

Speaking at the launch of the Festival at the Festival Club in Odessa Club, Festival Programme Director Liam Browne said, “We are fortunate to have the opportunity to welcome to the festival writers of extraordinary quality and renown. And I’m particularly delighted that the festival has established links with the other three UNESCO Cities of Literature; it’s a relationship that we hope to develop further in future years.”

The participating writers:

John Banville, Kevin Barry, Eva Bourke, John Boyne, John Burnside, Paddy Bushe, John Butler, Anna Carey, Jean-Claude Carrière, Roddy Doyle, Paul Durcan, Anne Enright, Fadia Faqir, Celia de Fréine, Paul Harding, Dermot Healy, Seamus Heaney, Richard Holloway, Peter Jankowski, August Kleinzahler, Liz Lochhead, Michael Longley, Gearóid Mac Lochlainn, Kevin MacNeil, Hisham Matar, Eoin McNamee, Rebecca Miller, Dairene Ní Chinnéide, Julie O’Callaghan, Dennis O’Driscoll, Michael Palin, Siobhan Parkinson, Chris Riddell, Jon Ronson, Jo Shapcott, Gerard Smyth, Paul Stewart, Jeremy Strong, Paul Theroux, Colin Thubron, Colm Tóibín, Louise Welsh, Adam Zagajewski.

The 2011 Dublin Writers Festival runs May 23rd-29th at assorted venues around Dublin. For full details visit 


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