Star literary line-up at online Kildare Readers Festival this week

Tune in all this week

Leader reporter


Leader reporter


Star literary line-up at online Kildare Readers Festival this week

Kildare Readers Festival will be broadcast online all this week. Picture: Ger Holland

Kildare Readers Festival returns this October and this year the festival is moving entirely online with an impressive line-up of events.

The festival started yesterday, Monday, October 12, with Newbridge journalist and author Patrick Freyne in conversation with Abie Philbin Bowman about his new book OK, Let’s Try Your Stupid Idea.

The festival runs until this Sunday, October 18. It is organised by Kildare Library and Arts Service and as always all the events are free and open to all to attend.

Guests this year include Dermot Bolger, Abie Philbin Bowman, Patrick Chapman, Edel Coffey, Marita Conlon-McKenna, Oein DeBharduin, Naoise Dolan, Patrick Freyne, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Kimberly Lojewski, Cauvery Madhavan, Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Nathan O'Donnell, Sue Rainsford, Margaret Scott, Ruth Smith and Susan Tomaselli.

The festival’s ever-popular Ten Books event will also be returning featuring a fresh list of impassioned book recommendations from guest speakers, Peter Cunningham and Rosita Sweetman.

So sit back, relax and enjoy talks with a wide range of established and emerging talents from the comfort of your own home.

Join Kildare Readers Festival online for more conversation and debate after the events using the hashtag #KRF2020 on social media.

For more information and links to events please visit:


Here's just a selection of the great events on this week as part of Kildare Readers Festival

We are all made of stories: Oein DeBhairduin with Ruth Smith

Why The Moon Travels is community activist Oein DeBhairduin's debut collection of stories originating from the Irish Traveller community, the Mincéirí. Beautifully illustrated by fellow Traveller Leanne McDonagh, this book is thought to be the first of its kind published in Ireland. Pull up a chair and join in for a discussion about this lyrical collection of stories celebrating a culture rooted in a profound respect for tradition, the natural world and family. Event premieres Tuesday, 13 October at 9pm.

Cauvery Madhavan and Margaret Scott in conversation

Local authors Cauvery Madhavan and Margaret Scott. Picture: Ger Holland

Cauvery Madhavan’s third novel The Tainted, picked by An Post Irish Book Awards as one of their Top 5 Summer Reads, has been described by Sebastian Barry as a “wonderful story written by a wonderful writer”. Join Cauvery and author Margaret Scott in a conversation about writing and stories. Event premieres Thursday, October 15, at 9pm.

Edel Coffey and Naoise Dolan: Exciting Times

Naoise Dolan’s debut novel Exciting Times has garnered huge praise and attention since its publication earlier this year and has announced her as a wonderfully sharp and comic new voice in Irish literature. The novel follows Ava, a young Irishwoman, grappling with love, relationships and class as she tries to make a life for herself in Hong Kong. Naoise joins journalist and broadcaster Edel Coffey to discuss her book, its inspiration and what lies ahead in her writing career. Event premieres Friday, October 16, at 9pm.

Dennis O’Driscoll Awards

Regarded as one of the best European poets of his time, Dennis O'Driscoll was a poet, essayist, critic, editor and mentor who made Naas, Co Kildare, his home until his death.

The Dennis O'Driscoll Literary Bursary Award is open to both established and emerging writers and critics in all genres.
The award for professional writers is to augment their professional practice, particularly research towards the production of new writings. The award for emerging writers supports their professional development/training opportunities.

The organisers introduce this year’s awardees who will read their work, adjudicated by Kildare native singer-songwriter and podcaster Megan O’Neill. Event premieres Saturday, October 17, at 2pm.

Marita Conlon-McKenna with Margaret Scott

Margaret Scott is joined by one of Ireland’s best-loved authors, Marita Conlon-McKenna. Her first book, which was read by so many of us, was the classic children’s book Under the Hawthorn Tree. Marita’s new adult novel, The Hungry Road is set during The Great Irish Famine and is a story of courage and the strength of the human spirit. Event premieres Saturday, October 17, at 9pm.

Sunday Sessions with Dermot Bolger and Christine Dwyer Hickey

Kildare Readers Festival regular Dermot is back this year for a relaxed and intimate conversation with award-winning author Christine Dwyer Hickey, whose book Tatty is the UNESCO Dublin One City, One Book choice for 2020. Not to be missed! Event premieres Sunday, 18 October at 11am.

For full schedule and links to events, and profiles of speakers, see