Cúirt 2021 - What are you going to see?

The Top 5 events to see this week at Galway’s literary festival

THE CÚIRT International Festival of Literature has begun and runs until Sunday. This year, things are a little different due to Covid-19 restrictions, so audiences are encouraged to watch at home and be part of the online festival community.

Many interviews will be streaming from a TV-like studio set up in the Town Hall Theatre with some authors joining events from their own homes. With a jam packed programme we have picked five of our top tips for what not to miss at Cúirt 2021.


The festival officially begins on Thursday April 22 at 8.30pm with The Times were Grand in Size and We Were Small, an event all about how we connect. Through words and music, Lisa McInerney, Maija Sofia, Oein DeBhairduin, Arnold Thomas Fanning, Una-Minh Kavanagh, Suad Aldarra, and MC Louise Bruton will reflect on their experiences of finding, losing, and maintaining connection throughout the past year of the pandemic.


While Cúirt is offering plenty of intriguing conversations to enjoy, one that is unmissable will be with Marian Keyes, one of Ireland’s best-loved writers, in her very first event with Cúirt - a conversation with RTÉ’s Ray D’Arcy this Saturday, April 24 at 8pm.

Marian’s writing captures all the complications of contemporary Ireland, but, not content with writing novels, she also recently gave a four-week novel writing course free via social media, giving insight into her writing process and helping take away some of the fear many feel when considering writing for the first time. The Cúirt event will celebrate everything Marian has achieved in her career so far and look ahead to what’s next.


Nuala O'Connor.

The festival team also filmed three events in the surrounds of Ashford Castle recently. They included a chat with Galway author Nuala O’Connor, who is launching her latest historical novel, Nora, about Nora Barnacle. For the launch, Nuala will be in conversation with Elaine Feeney tomorrow, Friday April 23 at 5.30pm. Read Kernan Andrew’s interview with Nuala, about her new novel HERE.


Bryan Washington author

Another must see event is Bryan Washington in conversation with Alex Clark this Saturday at 12.30pm. Bryan is a writer from Houston whose ifiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review. He also won the 2020 International Dylan Thomas Prize. For Cúirt, he will talk about his debut novel, Memorial, which explores the challenges of intimacy, hard-won vulnerability, and building relationships while dealing with your own issues.


Room to flag one more? Then it has to be Emma Dabiri and What White People Can Do Next this evening, Thursday April 22 at 7pm, where she will be in conversation with Blindboy Boatclub about her second book, also entitled, What White People Can Do Next.

As part of Cúirt's ongoing commitment to make literature events accessible to everyone, audiences are invited to pay-what-you-can. The support of audiences allows Cúirt to continue supporting writers at this time. For more details and how to view online see cuirt.ie


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