Sunday, May 28, 2017

Exciting News: New Director of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature

We are on the cusp of June and I'm surprised to discover that I haven’t blogged in a full six months! Don’t consign me to the netherworld of dormant Blogspot sites just yet though – I have some valid excuses for my absence! It’s been a a roller coaster of vicissitudes since the turn of the year, replete with health scares, the tragic loss of an old friend, and our two boys catching horrible flu viruses (we are all fine again, thankfully) but also with bright new career and extra-curricular opportunities. In March I was invited to be the Guest Editor of the next couple of issues of The Weary Blues - a neat online journal of literature and art founded by writer and digital humanities scholar, James O'Sullivan of New Binary Press. I’m thoroughly enjoying the range of themes and vibrant voices in all the work I’ve received to date. While our window for submissions for Issue 8 just closed last Friday (26 May), don’t worry if you missed this submission period as it will reopen for issue 9 anon. Keep an eye out here and on The Weary Blues website for further details soon.

Another development I'm excited to report relates to my professional life. After lovingly attending the Cúirt International Festival of Literature as an audience member for many years, (since I first came to Galway to study for my BA back in the early 1990s….oops am I giving away my age now?), the planets have aligned, and last month I was appointed Programme Director of the very same festival. Cúirt has brought many joyful memories over the years, of hearing great authors read their work and interact with other writers, and then of getting to meet them in person as they signed books (see pic below), or spying literary luminaries such as J.M. Coetzee sauntering down Eglinton street in the afternoon during the festival week.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tobias Wolff at the 2016
Cúirt International Festival of Literature
It is an honour to be appointed to this post and I’m already imagining new generative possibilities for the festival, engaging themes, potential collaborations and interesting pairings of writers and interviewers, etc. (The Connaught Tribune published a short piece about my experience as an arts curator and recent appointment to Cúirt last month here.)
So maybe now I can somewhat justify the citadel of books that is our home with evidence of my sprees in Charlie Byrnes Bookshop, Kennys and the Book Depository overflowing in every nook and cranny of our house! My husband – also a bibliophile, but not as much of a book hoarder as me – is uncommonly forgiving and, thankfully, a great assembler of bookcases! Watch this space for gradual announcements of highlights for Cúirt 2018 (23-29 April) which I may be able to sneakily share with you on the QT over the coming months….!