Poet John W. Sexton is this year’s Festival Writer in Residence.
He has worked with local groups gathering stories and turning them into performance pieces to be premiered on Saturday 5 October at Lough Derg Yacht Club.
For Culture Night, on 20th September in the Steeples Cafe, John will present his own new work, An Ormond Aisling, inspired by his research of local pagan folklore and mythology.
This is a free event – no booking necessary
Moya Roddy’s debut collection Out of the Ordinary was shortlisted for the Shine Strong Award 2018. She was also shortlisted for the Hennessy Award in 2017. Rita Ann Higgins called her poems “stunning and memorable’ and they have been been published in the Irish Times, Crannog, Stoney Thursday, Boyne Berries and Poeming Pigeons (USA) among others. Moya’s novel The Long Way Home was described as “simply brilliant” in the Irish Times; her short story collection Other People was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She also writes for television and film.
Moya will be opening the festival this year, reading her poetry alongside Pete Mullineaux , in the Wine Buff, Nenagh, on Tuesday 1 October.
Tickets cannot be pre-booked and will be available at the door
Pete Mullineaux lives in Galway and works nationally teaching global issues through poetry and drama. He’s published four poetry collections: Zen Traffic Lights (Lapwing 2005) A Father’s Day (Salmon 2008) Session (Salmon 2011) and How to Bake a Planet (Salmon 2016). He’s also had several plays produced by RTE radio. Pete’s been interviewed about his work on RTE’s Arena programme and published widely internationally. His work has been described by various reviewers as ‘sensitive and profound’ ‘gorgeous and resonant’ and ‘grimly funny’, while stylistic comparisons have been made with Roger McGough, John Clare, Pete Seeger and John Cooper Clarke.
Pete will be opening the festival this year, reading his poetry alongside Moya Roddy, in the Wine Buff, Nenagh, on Tuesday 1 October.
Admission: €10.00 Tickets cannot be pre-booked and will be available at the door
Manchán Magan is an Irish writer, traveller and documentary maker. He has made over 30 travel documentaries focusing on issues of world cultures and globalisation. He has written books on his travels in Africa, India and South America and two novels. He writes occasionally for The Irish Times and reports on travel for various radio programmes. He lives in an oak forest in a self-made hovel in the bogs of Ireland.
Manchán Magan will be in conversation with Rosita Boland at Nenagh Arts Centre on Wednesday 2 October.
Rosita Boland is a senior features writer at the Irish Times, specialising in human-interest stories. She was a 2009 Nieman Fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. She won ‘Journalist of the Year’ at the 2018 Newsbrands Ireland journalism awards. Rosita has recently published Elsewhere, a collection of essays that is a distillation of thirty years of worldwide travel diaries and memorabilia.
Rosita Boland will be in conversation with Manchán Magan at Nenagh Arts Centre on Wednesday 2 October.
Jackie Gorman is a poet who has been published in a number of journals including Poetry Ireland Review, The Lonely Crowd and The Honest Ulsterman. She was part of the 2017 Poetry Ireland Introductions Series and won the 2017 Listowel Writers’ Week Single Poem Award. She recently completed a Masters in Poetry Studies at Dublin City University. Her first collection was published in May 2019 by UK publisher The Onslaught Press.
Nenagh Arts Centre, prior to the conversation with Joseph O’Connor and Paula Shields on Thursday 3 October.
Joseph O’Connor is a novelist, screenwriter, playwright and broadcaster. He is the author of nine novels including Star of the Sea, Ghost Light and his latest, Shadowplay. Among his awards are the Prix Zepter for European Novel of the Year, France’s Prix Millepages, Italy’s Premio Acerbi, an American Library Association Award and the Irish Pen Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature. His work has been translated into forty languages. In 2014 he was appointed Frank McCourt Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick.
Joseph O’Connor will be reading from his latest historical novel, Shadowplay, and in conversation with journalist, Paula Shields, about what inspires him to write. Jackie Gorman, an emerging poet, will start off the evening with a short reading from her debut collection.
Paula Shields has been an arts journalist in London since the 1990s. She has worked in print, TV and now in radio on Arena, RTÉ’s flagship arts show. Highlights of Paula Shield’s career include an interview with Margaret Atwood, making the IFTA award-winning documentary Fairytale of New York, and judging the 2017 and 2018 Irish Times Theatre Awards.
Paula Shields will be in conversation with novelist Joseph O’Connor at Nenagh Arts Centre on Thursday 3 October.
Paul McNamara was the 2018 Dromineer Nenagh Literary festival Writer in Residence. During his time at the festival he began writing the poetry play Hello My Name is Single which would go on the win the 2019 Limerick Fringe Spirit of the Fringe Award. His poetry show Quarter Life Crises (2018) featured at Limerick Fringe, Galway Fringe and Galway Culture night and won the Galway Fringe Spoken Word Award. Paul is a two-time All-Ireland Spoken Word Slam Runner-up (2015, 2016), a former Munster Slam Champion (2016) and Yeats’ Tower Slam Champion (2016) and winner of Limerick’s Got Talent (2015). His work has been featured on TV3 and RTÉ Radio and published widely. He spent the past summer studying in Columbia University in New York City funded by an Erasmus+ Grant.
Paul McNamara will be leading workshops for local Transition Year students at Lough Derg Yacht Club on Friday 4 October. 9am-3pm
Danny Grace is a retired secondary school teacher who has written and spoken extensively on the history of County Tipperary. He has published books on the parish of Monsea & Killodiernan, the Famine in Nenagh Poor Law Union and more recently, the Centenary History of Kiladangan GAA Club. He is a regular contributor of articles to the Tipperary Historical Journal and readers of the Nenagh Guardian will know him from his Glimpses of the Past series.
Danny Grace will be in conversation with novelist, Maggie Wadey, at Nenagh Heritage Centre on Friday 4 October.
Maggie Wadey is a novelist and screenwriter. Her mother was born in Puckane, County Tipperary, while her father was English. Much of her childhood was spent abroad, in Egypt, Cyprus and Malaya.
Her first novel Sleight of Heart was published in 1975 and she has since had a career writing for television, both original screenplays and adaptations, including Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park.
In 2016 she published The English Daughter, a work she describes as a memoir of her mother and of Ireland. She has just completed a collection of interconnected stories Eros in Blue.
Maggie Wadey will be reading from her work and in conversation with local historian, Danny Grace, at Nenagh Heritage Centre on Friday 4 October.
Anne Griffin’s debut novel When All is Said, spent 5 weeks in the number 1 bestseller list this year. She began writing in 2013 and has received the John McGahern Award for Literature. Anne’s short stories have been shortlisted for both the Hennessy New Irish Writing Awards and the Sunday Business Post Short Story Award.
Anne will be in conversation at Nenagh Arts Centre on Friday 4 October with John Boyne and Rick O’Shea.
Grace Wilentz is a poet based in the Liberties, Dublin. Her poetry has appeared in Irish, British and American journals including Poetry Ireland Review, Cyphers, The Seneca Review, The American Poetry Journal, The Harvard Advocate, Magma, and The Irish Times. Her work has featured as part of a public artwork displayed on the facade of the Abbey Theatre. Her debut pamphlet, Holding Distance, will be launched by the Green Bottle Press at the Poetry Book Society in London in October 2019.
Grace Wilentz will be reading her poetry at Nenagh Arts Centre, prior to the conversation with Anne Griffin, John Boyne and Rick O’Shea on Friday 4 October.
John Boyne is the author of eleven novels for adults and six novels for younger readers. His books have been published in over 50 languages. He is perhaps best known for his 2006 novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which was adapted for film.
John will be in conversation at Nenagh Arts Centre on Friday 4 October with Anne Griffin and Rick O’Shea.
Rick O’Shea has been a broadcaster with RTÉ since 2001, previously on RTÉ 2FM and as a presenter of RTÉ Radio 1’s The Poetry Programme. He currently presents weekday mornings on RTÉ Gold.
He runs The Rick O’Shea Book Club (Ireland’s largest with over 26,000 members), hosts events and public interviews at book festivals all across the country, and has been the National Patron of Epilepsy Ireland since 2006.
He is also a Book Ambassador for Easons, compiling the “Sinead And Rick’s Must Reads” lists 4 times a year with writer Sinead Moriarty.
Rick has been curator of the Waterford Writers Weekend and was one of the judges for the 2018 Costa Book Awards in the UK.
Rick will be in conversation at Nenagh Arts Centre on Friday 4 October with Anne Griffin and John Boyne.
Jane Clarke’s first collection, The River, was published in 2015 to public and critical acclaim. Her second collection, When the Tree Falls will be published in September 2019 and her illustrated poems, All the Way Home, was published in April 2019.
The River was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize, given for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry evoking the spirit of a place. In 2016 Jane won the Hennessy Literary Award for Emerging Poetry and the inaugural Listowel Writers’ Week Poem of the Year Award. She was awarded an Arts Council of Ireland Literary Bursary in 2017.
Jane grew up on a farm in Roscommon and now lives with her partner in County Wicklow, where she combines writing with her work as creative writing tutor and group facilitator.
Jane will lead a poetry masterclass for adults at Lough Derg Yacht Club on Saturday 5 October.
Poetry Masterclass: What makes a good poem? Through a combination of writing exercises, inputs and discussion, acclaimed poet Jane Clarke will lead this masterclass on what makes a good poem. Participants are invited to bring along two poems: one poem they love by another poet and one poem of their own that they’d like to workshop. Poets will go away with new work and ways of improving their work.
ENTRY: €40 (INCLUDES LUNCH) – TO BOOK EMAIL: INFO@DNLF.IE
Jane will also be reading and discussing her poetry with Donal Ryan at Nenagh Arts Centre on Saturday 5 October at 8pm. You can meet her in Steeples Café on Sunday morning, 6 October, 10 – 11am
Cafe Trail: Jane will be reading and talking about the poetry of her colleague and friend, the late Shirley McClure with Geraldine Mitchell in Steeples on Sunday 6 October.
The Cafe Trail event is free and booking is not necessary.
Graham Tugwell is an Irish writer and performer. His work has been published across five continents and has been adapted for stage, radio and screen. He is the creator and writer of audio drama podcast Down Below the Reservoir. He lives in the country with his cats, Tiramisu and Banoffee.
Graham will be leading an interactive storytelling workshop, Greetings Heros! for young people aged 6-10 in Nenagh Library on Saturday 5 October.
Greetings Heroes! workshop involves inventing heroes, each with their own powers and abilities and creating adventure stories together. The children drive the action and no two sessions are ever alike.
Greetings Heroes! has been enjoyed by children, parents and teachers in schools, libraries and festivals around Ireland.
This is a free event but pre booking is essential due to limited places. Book directly with Nenagh Library Phone: 067 34404
Siobhan Mac Mahon is a poet and performer with an MA in Creative Writing from University College Dublin. She has been writing and performing her poetry for many years in England, Ireland and across Europe. Siobhan won the WOMAD Festival poetry slam in 2017 and was poet in residence for The International Permaculture Conference in 2016. She has been published both online and in print, most recently in a Bloodaxe/ Raving Beauties Anthology, Hallelujah for 50 Foot Women. She was shortlisted for the Hennessey Award for New Irish Writing 2019.
She is actively involved in the “100 Thousand Poets for Change” worldwide movement and runs creative writing workshops in a wide range of diverse communities and settings.
Cafe Trail: Siobhan will also be reading from her work in our Café Trail on Saturday 5 October.
Cinnamon Alley, Hanly’s Place, Nenagh – 10.30am – 11.15am
Deborah’s Cafe, 16, Silver Street Nenagh 11.30am-12.15pm
The cafe trail events are free and no booking is necessary.
Siobhan Mac Mahon will also be leading one of our annual workshops with Paul McNamara for Transition Year Students in Lough Derg Yacht Club on 4 October, 9am-3pm.
Pre-booked groups only.
Robert Gogan is passionate about James Joyce’s Ulysses and works to encourage others to enjoy the book as much as he does. Robert is a comic performer and invites you to his one man show Strolling Through Ulysses! The show will guide you through the curious events and quirky characters of Ulysses, in a humorous, entertaining and informative manner.
Strolling Through Ulysses! will be performed by Robert Gogan at lunchtime on Saturday 5 October.
PLEASE NOTE: This show contains adult content and is not suitable for children.
Donal Ryan is the author of four bestselling novels and a short story collection. He has won numerous awards, among them the European Union Prize for Literature, the Guardian First Book Award, and three Irish Book Awards. He was nominated for the Man Booker Prize in 2013 for his debut, The Spinning Heart, and again in 2018, for his fourth novel, From A Low And Quiet Sea. His work has been adapted for stage and screen and translated into over twenty languages. The Spinning Heart was voted Irish Book of the Decade in 2016 in a nationwide poll run by Dublin Book Festival. His sixth book, Strange Flowers, will be published worldwide in Spring 2020. Donal lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Limerick.
The festival committee are delighted to welcome Donal, a local who was born just outside of Nenagh. Donal will be reading from and discussing his work at Nenagh Arts Centre on Saturday 5 October, with poet Jane Clarke.
Edel Coffey is an arts journalist and broadcaster. She is a regular interviewer at literary festivals around Ireland, including Mountains to Sea, International Literary Festival Dublin and Cúirt. She is a regular stand-in presenter for Arena, RTÉ Radio One’s nightly arts show.
Edel Coffey will be in conversation with Donal Ryan and Jane Clarke at Nenagh Arts Centre on Saturday 5 October.
Siobhán McSweeney is originally from Cork and holds a BSc from UCC. She studied acting at Central School of Speech & Drama, London, and Ecole Philippe Gaulier, Paris.
Dublin-born poet Geraldine Mitchell has lived on the coast of County Mayo, looking out on Clare Island, for almost twenty years and this wild landscape inhabits her poems. Geraldine won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2008 and has since won further awards and published three collections with Arlen House: World Without Maps, Of Birds and Bones, and most recently, Mountains for Breakfast.
Geraldine Mitchell is the judge of DNLF’s annual school poetry competition, each year setting a theme and reading the hundreds of entries to find the best.
Cafe Trail: Geraldine will also be reading and talking about the poetry of her colleague and friend, the late Shirley McClure with Jane Clarke in Steeples on Sunday 6 October.
This event is free and booking is not necessary.
Eleanor Hooker is a poet and writer. She has published two poetry collections with Dedalus Press: A Tug of Blue (2016); The Shadow Owner’s Companion (2012). Her third collection, Mending the Light, will be published in 2020. She’s working to complete a novel.
Eleanor holds an MPhil in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin, an MA (Hons) in Cultural History from the University of Northumbria, and a BA (Hons) from the Open University, UK. Eleanor is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. She is a helm on Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat. She is founder and curator of the Rowan Tree Readings, an international reading series.
Her poetry is published in literary journals internationally and her poems have been broadcast on RTÉ. Her fiction has been published in: The Irish Times, Bare Fiction journal and Banshee literary journal.
Eleanor Hooker will be in conversation with Eoin Warner on board the Ku-Ee-Tu on Sunday 6 October, which sets out onto Lough Derg from Dromineer Harbour.
Admission: €13 Concessions: €10
Tickets for this event cannot be pre-booked and will be available at Dromineer Harbour before the event begins.
Eoin Warner is a native of West Cork who is fascinated by nature and the outdoors. He presented the recent wildlife documentary Éire Fhiáin–An Cósta Thiar and a Wild Irish Year. Éire Fhiáin won best programme and Eoin was best presenter at the 2018 TG4 awards. Eoin has travelled extensively, always with a focus on wildlife. He is interested in the provenance of our food and the sustainability of its production. He grows most of his own vegetables and fruit, keeps honey-bees and forages for native plants and seaweeds.
Eoin Warner will be talking about what inspires him on board the Ku-Ee-Tu on Sunday 6 October, which sets out onto Lough Derg from Dromineer Harbour.
TICKETS FOR THIS EVENT CANNOT BE PRE-BOOKED AND WILL BE AVAILABLE AT DROMINEER HARBOUR BEFORE THE EVENT BEGINS.
Dylan Rooney is a baritone from Nenagh. He has recently completed a BA in Music Performance (Vocal Studies) at the Royal Irish Academy of Music under the tuition of Virginia Kerr. He has achieved multiple awards and bursaries, as a prize winner in several competitions throughout Feiseanna.
Dylan was featured vocalist at the AIMS 50th Anniversary Concert in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and has performed at Dublin’s National Concert Hall (Gala Dinner 2018) and Dublin Castle for the US-Irish Council Annual Dinner. He has represented the Royal Irish Academy of Music in New York City as one of its chosen ambassadors, performing in the American-Irish Historical Society building.
Dylan Rooney will be singing as part of the Witch Within the Walls event, at Nenagh Castle, on Sunday 6 October, accompanied on the cello by Gráinne Higgins.
Niamh Boyce was named Hennessy XO New Irish Writer of The Year in 2012 for her critically acclaimed debut novel The Herbalist, which also won Debut of the Year at the Irish Book Awards and was nominated for an IMPAC Award. Inside the Wolf, her poetry collection was released in 2018. Her fiction and poetry have been broadcast, adapted for stage and widely anthologised. Her most recent novel, Her Kind, transports readers back to the 14th century Kilkenny Witchcraft Trial of Alice Kytler. Based on the life of Alice Kytler, a powerful, wealthy money-lender in Kilkenny, Niamh’s book is a vivid re-imagining of the events leading to Ireland’s first witch trials. Nominated for the EU Prize for literature, the judges called Her Kind, ‘as searing a critique of our own times as is Arthur Millar’s The Crucible.
Niamh will read from her award winning novel, and will be in conversation with writer and academic Sarah Moore Fitzgerald. Music from singer, Dylan Rooney and cellist, Gráinne Higgins will enhance the atmosphere within the walls of Nenagh Castle.
Dress warmly and bring a cushion if you wish. This venue is not wheelchair accessible.
Sarah Moore Fitzgerald was born in New York, grew up in Dublin and lives in Limerick where she works as an academic. She says she wrote fiction constantly as a child and her novels have been published since 2013. Sarah’s work has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Prize and the CBI Book of the Year Award and she won the 2016 Irish Writers’ Centre’s Jack Harte Award. She has researched extensively on the writing process and is founder of the UL Creative Writing Winter School.
Sarah will be in conversation with novelist, Niamh Boyce, in the atmospheric Nenagh Castle, at the closing event of the festival, on Sunday 6 October.
Dress warmly and bring a cushion if you wish. This venue is not wheelchair accessible.
Gráinne Higgins began playing cello at the age of nine as a pupil of Tara Lee Byrne at the Munster Music Academy in Killaloe. She is currently studying with Christopher Marwood at The Cork School of Music. She has just completed her Leaving Certificate and is looking forward to continuing her cello studies at CSM as a full-time student. She is a member of Limerick Symphony Orchestra and has performed in chamber and competitive settings too, most notably with Quartet an Ghleanna, under the direction of Katherine Hunka. She is also a current member of the Irish Youth Choir.
Gráinne Higgins will be playing her cello to accompany singer, Dylan Rooney, at Nenagh Castle, on Sunday 6 October.