Announcing the launch of the 38th Cúirt International Festival of Literature

'So much of this festival is about celebrating Irish writers.' - Manuela Moser, Festival Director for Cúirt.

Founded in Galway in 1985, Cúirt International Festival of Literature is one of the oldest and most recognised literature festivals in Europe. The festival aims to celebrate and shine a spotlight on national and international literary talent, as well as to promote the written, and spoken, word in poetry, literary fiction, and more recently, in non-fiction and genre writing.

Cúirt International Festival of Literature have just announced details of an exciting and eclectic programme for 2023, curated by its new Director, Manuela Moser. Featuring a selection of the most exciting Irish and international writers at work today, the 38th Cúirt International Festival of Literature will take place in Galway from Tuesday April 18 to Sunday April 23. Spanning over 50 events, the programme includes poetry, fiction, theatre, memoir, masterclasses, exhibitions, and family events.

Highlights of this year's programme include two former Laureates for Irish Fiction, Booker Prize-winner Anne Enright, and twice Costa Prize-winner, Sebastian Barry; Carmen Maria Machado (USA ), author of the Folio Prize-winning memoir In the Dream House; Max Porter, Tara Bergin, Donal Ryan, Vona Groarke, Manchán Magan and Colette Bryce.

Festival Director, Manuela Moser says: 'Reading is both a solitary and shared act that can bring us closer and widen our appreciation of the world. This idea is reflected in our poster, illustrated by artist Charlot Kristensen, which is an invitation to settle into a book and share the act of reading, and also all that it encompasses – ideas, inspiration, conversation – with those around us. We’re excited to welcome audiences and authors to Galway this April!'

This is Manuela's first year as Festival Director for Cúirt. She says: 'I’m really enjoying it – we’ve got a fantastic team of people organising the festival this year. I have been organising and programming literary (and occasionally visual and performance arts ) events for the last ten years in Belfast. As one half of The Lifeboat Press, I have programmed and hosted over 50 events in Belfast and I love the thrill of live events, of hearing writers read to an audience. It sounds simple but it can be extremely moving.'

This year’s edition of Cúirt will amplify established and emerging Irish voices, among them Emer McLysaght, co-author of the Aisling series (in a live episode of hit podcast Sentimental Garbage ); Wendy Erskine, Louise Kennedy (Novel of the Year 2022, An Post Irish Book Awards ); Seán Hewitt (Rooney Prize for Irish Literature ); Alice Kinsella, Sophie White, Susannah Dickey, Suad Aldarra, Eoghan Daltun (Lifestyle Book of the Year 2022, An Post Irish Book Awards ); Michael Magee, Elaine Farrell and Leanne McCormick.

Manuela says: 'We’re thrilled to have some of Galway’s finest writers: Nicole Flattery will talk about her latest novel, Eva Bourke will be reading alongside Tara Bergin and Padraig Regan, and Elaine Feeney will be launching her second novel How to Build a Boat in Kenny’s Bookshop. We will also be hosting a memorial for Kevin Higgins, founder and co-organiser of Over the Edge literary events in Galway, which marks its 20th anniversary this year.'

Manuela Moser. 

From further afield, we will be joined by the 2020 and 2022 winners of the Desmond Elliott Prize Derek Owusu and Maddie Mortimer; Tice Cin, Ione Gamble (founder of Polyester zine ); Camilla Grudova and Travis Alabanza (Waterstones Best Book of the Year 2022 ).

The poetry line-up includes Pigott Prize-winning Colette Bryce, who will be reading alongside Sarah Clancy and Toby Buckley, in celebration of the landmark anthology Queering the Green: Post-2000 Queer Irish Poetry. Galway-resident Eva Bourke will be reading with Forward Prize shortlisted Padraig Regan and Tara Bergin (shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize ). Another T. S. Eliot shortlisted poet Will Harris will be reading alongside Rachael Allen and Forward Prize winning, celebrated Irish poet Vona Groarke. Daisy Lafarge will be reading as part of an eco-poetry event with Selina Nwulu and Emma Must. There will be Irish language poetry by Áine Uí Fhoghlú and Ógie Ó Célleachair.

Events centred around the environment and climate change take place on Earth Day (Saturday April 22 ) as a jumping off point. Shore Lines is a sea swim and readings event at the iconic Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill, followed by a panel about wild swimming with authors Chantal Thomas, Emily Hasler and artist Vanessa Earl. Manchán Magan, Eoghan Daltun and Emma Must will discuss environment, writing and activism, in what is sure to be a rejuvenating and essential panel. Magan will also be discussing ways in which memoir and nature intertwine with Amanda Thomson and Seán Hewitt.

Fans of YA fiction can join three of the most exciting YA novelists writing today, Caroline O’Donoghue, Clara Kiyoko Kumagai and Adiba Jaigirdar in conversation with Mary Watson. They will discuss their new books and how YA can change perspectives and influence the young people of today.

The festival’s 2023 stage and screen offering includes an exclusive performance of Too Much of Nothing, a play by Mark O’Halloran and David Wilmot and directed by Andrew Flynn, performed in Galway’s renowned Tigh Neachtain pub as well as films by Benjamin de Burca and Bárbara Wagner, while visual arts will be represented in talks by Meadhbh McNutt, Jan McCullough, Vanessa Earl and Áine O’Hara.

Festival favourites making a welcome return in 2023 include the New Writing Showcase, highlighting the best in new poetry and fiction, with writers selected from the Over the Edge Literary Series and Skylight 47: Fiona Hanley, John Noonan, Riley Johnston and Helen Flynn. Joining them will be the winners of the Cúirt New Writing Prize: Jess Raymon for fiction, Lauren O’Donovan for poetry, and Liam Mac Peaircín for the festival’s new Irish language category. The Irish Writers Centre Young Writer Delegates programme returns for its 6th year, giving four young writers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the festival, mentored by Alan McMonagle, and delivering a showcase event in Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop.

Family-friendly events include Kid’s Story Hour in Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop on the Saturday and Sunday, including sce?altai? as Gaeilge with Irish language author Fearghas MacLochlainn.

Workshops, masterclasses and panels for writers include: a Poetry Masterclass with Colette Bryce (editor of Picador Poetry ), a Poetry Workshop with Dani Gill, and a Fiction Masterclass with Carmen Maria Machado. Three panels titled ‘Frames of Reference’ (‘Editing Poetry’, ‘Art Writing’, and ‘Editing Fiction’ ) offer opportunities to hear from, and ask questions to, leading editors and writers.

Manuela cannot picture a better location for Cúirt. She says: 'Galway is a fantastic city with such a rich cultural heritage, and such a welcoming community of people, and it’s wonderful to see the arts thriving in the city. There are so many beautiful venues and theatres, and we’re delighted to be holding many events in the Galway Arts Centre/Nuns Island Theatre this year, as well as An Taidhbhearc and the Town Hall Theatre.'

How does she see the festival developing over years to come? 'I hope that Cúirt will continue to attract world renowned authors from Ireland and internationally, and also to continue to support emerging and new writers. We are working this year on developing our young people’s programme Cúirt Labs through funding from the Community Foundation. This year the festival will have a writer-in-residence who will visit schools during the festival week, bringing books and writing to young people and helping to shape their imaginations.'

Cúirt International Festival of Literature takes place in Galway from Tuesday April 18 to Sunday April 23, 2023. Tickets for all events are on sale here: and via the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569 777.

Irish literature Elaine Feeney Ireland forward United States Europe artist Reading director author Entertainment_Culture Andrew Flynn Town Hall Theatre Belfast poet Charlie Byrne Charlie Byrnes Bookshop Kevin Higgins Galway Arts Centre Festival director editor Booker Prize Kennys Bookshop Blackrock Town Hall Theatre Cirt International Festival of Literature Donal Ryan Mark Anne Enright Dani Gill Louise Kennedy Alan McMonagle Sarah Clancy Cirt Labs Elaine Feeney co-author Vona Groarke Caroline Colette Bryce Eva Bourke Earth Day Integrated Circuits Sebastian Barry Fiction Amanda Thomson Helen Flynn Nicole Flattery waterstones Blackrock Diving Tower Dolls & Stuffed Toys Alice Kinsella the Desmond Elliott Prize Max Porter Sophie White Over The Edge Wagner the Community Foundation Community Foundation Writers Events Meadhbh McNutt Wendy Erskine Tigh Neachtain pub John Noonan Lauren Travis Alabanza Liam Mac Hewitt Magan Business Support Services (NEC) Investment Management & Fund Operators (NEC) Suad Aldarra Derek Owusu Vanessa Earl Emer McLysaght Poetry Manuela Moser Lifeboat Press Susannah Dickey LaFarge Riley Johnston Rachael Allen Leanne McCormick Fiona Hanley Tara Bergin Fearghas MacLochlainn Emily Hasler Charlot Kristensen Maddie Mortimer Eoghan Daltun Michael Magee Chantal Thomas Jess Raymon Ione Gamble Galway, which marks its 20th anniversary Jan McCullough David Wilmot Toby Buckley Elaine Farrell Will Harris Picador Poetry language author Tice Cin Carmen Maria Machado Adiba Jaigirdar Benjamin de Burca T. S. Camilla Grudova Padraig Regan Selina Nwulu Mary Watson Emma Must Clara Kiyoko Kumagai

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